Edi Demaj Receives Global Detroit’s 2018 Corporate Impact Award
“If a 14-year-old kid can move from a war-torn country and figure out a way to start a number of companies that are successful, then anyone can do it – both immigrants and U.S. born,” exclaimed Edi Demaj, co-founder of Rocket Fiber, a multi-million dollar venture he started in 2014, along with partners Marc Hudson and Randy Foster.
At age 14, Demaj and his family fled the war in Kosovo; and settled in Rochester, Michigan to begin a new life in the U.S. This is when his entrepreneurial drive quickly took over. “My family had no money when we came here. It pushed me to want to find ways to make money, so I could help.” That entrepreneurial spirit has continued to this day. He completed his undergraduate degree in three years, took MBA classes at Walsh College, and founded several companies, including Rocket Fiber and KODE Labs.
“Seeing other immigrants and non-immigrants have the impact they were having in the U.S. and the world became an inspiration to me. The U.S. has a way of making you believe you can do whatever you want to do. I wanted to have an impact on where I came from and where I live now, as well.”
When asked what kind of an impact he feels Rocket Fiber has had on the metro Detroit area, he shared, “We are a leader in our space, both locally and globally.” He went on to say that he believes it has been huge for both Detroit, Michigan and beyond. “It’s the young entrepreneurs and innovators that are starting companies, like Rocket Fiber and others, that are helping the U.S. stay on the leading edge.”
Demaj said that his companies have built things no one has figured out yet. Rocket Fiber is one of the biggest companies to come out of Detroit in a long time. Rocket Fiber is not just software. It is a mix of an infrastructure, hardware and software company. That is what makes them unique to the typical startup.
When asked about receiving the Corporate Impact Award, Edi declared, “I have followed Global Detroit for a while. I have spoken at several Global Detroit events. Global Detroit has had a big impact on immigration, both from an educational perspective, as well as the laws being discussed and passed. I am truly honored that they look at me as someone who is having a positive impact on society, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with them.”
Edi Demaj will be honored on Thursday, September 20 when Global Detroit hosts its third annual fundraiser at the N’namdi Gallery in Midtown to celebrate eight years of Immigrant Innovation. The event is from 5:30 – 8 pm. Ticket prices are $125 and can be purchased by going to www.globaldetroit.com/celebration or by sending a check written to Global Detroit to 4444 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201. Sponsorships are still available. Call Kate Brennan at 248.561.0330 for details.
Global Detroit is a regional economic development engine that leverages the talent, ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit, and determination of immigrants in Metro Detroit to power the regional economy. Visit www.globaldetroit.com to learn more.
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