Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who have upended an existing market with a disruptive innovation share insights on how to discover disruptive innovations and how to turn disruptive ideas/concept into game changing innovations.
Founder & CEOAmpcus, Inc.
Ann Anjali Ramakumaran
Founder & CEO
Anjali Ann Ramakumaran, Founder and CEO of Ampcus Inc. (Ampcus), is a technology savvy entrepreneur with more than 15 years of contribution towards the design, development and delivery of leading edge Technology Solutions and Human Capital Management across the globe. Under her leadership she has cultivated Ampcus into a fast growing Consulting and Professional Services firm. For eight consecutive years (2009-2016), she has been recognized as a top Asian American owned business by the USPAACC. In addition, for the past seven consecutive years (2010-2016), she has been honored as one of the 50 Fastest Growing Women Owned Businesses in the CONUS by the Women Presidents Organization. Under Ann’s leadership, Ampcus has made the Inc. 500/5000 list and has been recognized as a Top Diversity Business for the past 7 years (2010-2016). Ann was also awarded Women in Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by WIT and most recently received the Chairman’s Award for Inspirational Leadership from the CRMSDC. Ampcus has also received the Global Growth Award from Astra Women’s Business Alliance, Supplier of the Year Award from the GMSDC and the Top Asian American Business Award from the USPAACC-SE.
Ann works closely with her Advisory Board, whose advice/input on strategy and direction helps her drive the company to attain its vision of being one of the largest and most successful high performing Professional Services companies globally. She has been actively involved in executing a consultative methodology to define, qualify and quantify Ampcus’ target clients, determine their strategic IT and business objectives and from this developed solutions which proactively address their current and evolving demands and needs.
Ann serves on the CRMSDC Board of Directors, WPEO Leadership Committee and the USPAACC Scholarship Committee. She has been a speaker at numerous National and Local Procurement and Diversity Conferences. In addition, Ann has mentored several women and minority start up’s in an effort to help them grow their business. Ann holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business and Commercial Management from India and has completed Executive Management from the Robins School of Business, University of Richmond Virginia and an Advanced Management from the Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University Illinois.
Founder & CEOLola's Fine Hot Sauce
Founder & CEO
Lola's Fine Hot Sauce
Taufeek Shah is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of Lola's Fine Sauces, Inc a global leader in the CPG space featuring generational family recipe food products & condiments from his mother, Lola. He built, boot strapped, and accomplished significant growth expanding his product portfolios in over 10,000 retailers and restaurants across the US, Canada, and Asia.
Sharp and successful marketing strategist in both domestic and international markets with his strong leadership team. He is an accomplished leader in creating, inspiring, and building successful teams focused on diversity, inclusion, and growth.
Season 1 finalist on Making It With Lowe's featuring Daymond John and the Lowe's executive team.
Founder & CEOpHresh Products
Founder & CEO
Howard Hoffman is a Philippine-born American entrepreneur and humanitarian committed to changing the world through proper health and nutrition education. He is the CEO of The Omnium Group, which provides quality private label, co-packing, and bulk supply services for clients in the Dietary Supplement, Nutraceutical, HPP Beverage, Cosmetic, Hair, Body, Skin Care, and OTC industries. He is also the founder and CEO of PHPD; Howard operates two brands - pHresh Products and Dream Nutrition - and is a formulator and creator of the world's first narrow-range pH testing strip, a Class One medical device.
Howard is also the co-founder and CEO of Omnium Canna, the first minority-owned cannabis processor and extractor in the United States and one of the faces of New Yorks's "Why Buy Legal" campaign.
As an executive, Howard has an impressive track record of leading diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success across highly competitive industries, cutting-edge markets, and fast-paced business environments. His technical and business qualifications, paired with hands-on experience in strategic planning, product development, and system engineering strategies, have proven his ability to successfully analyze an organization's critical business requirements to develop highly efficient strategies and cost-effective solutions.
Omnium Canna, which operates in Long Island, NY, is a cGMP-licensed, regulated cannabis extractor and processor with a seasoned management team of over 90 years in the dietary supplement and highly regulated industries. The company operates out of a 45k sqft state-of-the-art facility powered by renewable energy and offers a one-stop supply chain infrastructure solution to support the cannabis industry within New York. The company ensures consistent quality of the highest standards throughout the supply chain process, from the final product to dispensary shelves.
AdministratorU.S. Small Business Administration
The Hon. Isabella Casillas Guzman
U.S. Small Business Administration
Isabella Casillas Guzman serves as the 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and was sworn in on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Administrator Guzman represents the more than 30 million U.S. small businesses and is committed to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs start, grow and be resilient.
A lifelong proponent of small businesses, Guzman grew up as the daughter of a small business owner and learned at a young age how important small businesses are to the communities they serve, the people they employ, and the economies they help power.
Administrator Guzman previously served as Director of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate, a position she held after being appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in April 2019. In that role, she served as the voice of small businesses and innovative startups in the 5th largest economy in the world. She administered and advocated for programs and initiatives to help small businesses access capital, markets, and networks for stronger outcomes. She and her team helped connect entrepreneurs in every community with the resources needed. As the economic recovery support function coordinator for the state, she focused on resilience and most recently worked to help small businesses access relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In California, Administrator Guzman oversaw a network of small business centers focused on expanding assistance to underserved business groups. She launched new public private partnerships and collaborated to deliver cutting edge resources to small businesses, including through initiatives like Get Digital CA to increase technology and e-commerce adoption and Source Diverse Source Local to strengthen supply chain readiness. She advocated fiercely for financial relief for small businesses, leading to the expansion of state supported lending and the largest COVID-19 grant relief program in the nation at over $2.5 billion. Guzman's office launched the Entrepreneurship Task Force to serve as a bridge to small businesses and create content and programs to help strengthen the competitiveness of startup and small firms.
Administrator Guzman has previously served in leadership at the SBA as the agency’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor during the Obama-Biden Administration, where she oversaw policy and new program implementation. She was a small business entrepreneur herself, and an advisor to fellow founders including in accelerating technology commercialization and in helping small business contractors leverage the federal marketplace. Administrator Guzman earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
Founder & CEOYo-Kai Express
Founder & CEO
Andy earned his Electrical Engineering Master degree from UC Irvine and has worked in the Semiconductor industry for more than 12 years. Andy is not only focused on developing autonomous restaurant to serve people 24/7 anytime anywhere but also trying to reduce the food waste by ordering as needed. In the meantime, Andy also put lots of effort to develop the green energy to support the future power shortage. He and his team are working on reusable power storage and try to provide zero emission and zero noise power solutions to the public.