Pictured // Irvine Concourse
Pictured // Cityscape of Irvine
Pictured // Irvine Chamber of Commerce Building
Pictured // Cityscape of Irvine
Ash Kumra took his first trip to the White House last week to address the nation about his success and to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
“I want to help create, find and nurture game changing opportunities,” Kumra said in his speech. “At the end of the day, entrepreneurs are what makes the world go round. We are the poeple that move and shake our society. I want you all to feel proud of what you also are going to do.”
Being honored at the White House was more than an award, said Kumra, 30. He left Washington, D.C. with the drive to inspire the next entrepreneur and to continue doing what he’s already doing.
Entrepreneurism is the smartest way to create job growth and spur the economy, he said.
“I left there thinking, wow, I’m this small person in Southern California, but the impact I can make every day could help motivate our nation,” he said.
Kumra, president and CEO of DesiYou, and co-founder Harish Rao noticed there was a market for Indian entertainment, but the content wasn’t being distributed.
They started kicking around ideas at a Panera Bakery in 2006 and founded the company in 2007. After testing a few models, the site shifted from a one-stop shop into a distribution role, where the company signs deals with studios and connects the content with YouTube and other sites and channels.
It was a great opportunity for DesiYou to be a leader in Indian entertainment, he said, adding that the company is continuing to rebrand itself and expand farther into mobile distribution.
Kumra said he knows his talent is public speaking and was raised to appreciate what you have in life, adding that he doesn’t want to waste his gift. The first time he spoke to a large group was in college at UC Irvine when he ran for the Inter Fraternal Council. He gave a last-minute speech off the top of his head, but his 800-person audience was engaged and he felt empowered when he finished.
A lot of entrepreneurs are fearful, he said, and he wants to use his knack for motivating people and focusing on their skills to inspire them to do what they dream.
The first Irvine Entrepreneur Forum in 2010 was a pivotal moment for Kumra. An undergraduate at UC Irvine, he was curious about starting a business and decided to enter the competition, ultimately winning. His business plan for an online magazine was nothing to brag about, he said, but the competition taught him how to build a strong team and solidified his resolve to start a business.
Finalists in the competition were given one-on-one coaching, and were asked to create a powerpoint presentation for their plan, said Chris Lynch, vice president of economic development and tourism for the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.
Kumra came in the room with a presentation he was sure about and left knowing that he had to change it to make it better, said Lynch, who continues to advise Kumra.
“That is really the sign of a successful entrepreneur, a person is able to sit down and listen,” he said.
His business concepts have been the same since the outset, Lynch said, but Kumra adapts and evolves to make sure his companies really have a niche in the market.
Kumra is Irvine’s “poster child” for entrepreneurs because he is receptive to coaching and has stayed involved and given back to the community after becoming successful, he added.
Kumra said his life has recently expanded in a new direction, with the co-founding of dreamitalive.com. Users can create an online dream board to share with friends, family and the community to receive supportive comments or donations so they can achieve their goals.
The company has the perfect balance of creativity, business and technology in its co-founders, Kumra said, which is exciting for him because there is a huge amount of energy driving the operation.
Kumra also advises several companies, including Spawnd.com, where video gamers can earn points that turn into charitable donations, and Speak With Me, Inc., which specializes in voice recognition technology, and is a fellow at Occidental College. He said he loves advising companies because he sees his experiences reflected in their growth and wants to be a part of that journey.
“I want to create game-changing opportunities,” he said. “I want to make people’s dreams happen.”
As chairman of Spawnd.com, he sets high goals for the company, which motivates employees to meet them, said CEO Naren Sathiya, adding that Kumra is always willing and able to answer questions their by drawing on his past experience.Visit Link
Coming Soon! Mayor Choi and Tallia Hart will present the state of Irvine. A luncheon your business cannot miss! http://t.co/osQGrfceYN
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