Imran Khan is a technology entrepreneur known as the CEO and co-founder of Verishop, an enhanced e-commerce retail website that combines quality, curation, and discovery on its products.
Early life and education
Imran Khan was born on June 16, 1977, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Khan graduated High School from The Government Laboratory High School, Dhaka in 1944. In 1996, Khan passed H.S.C. from Dhaka College and moved to Colorado as a student. In 2000, Khan acquired his B.S.B.A. in Finance and Economics from the University of Denver.
Khan started his first career at WildBlue, a Denver-based satellite-broadband startup. Shortly after, Khan joined ING Barings in New York then, joined Fulcrum Global Partners where he conducted “sell-side” research on technology companies when its banking business was sold to ABN Amro. In 2004, Khan was hired as a researcher by JPMorgan and eventually became the head of global internet and US entertainment equity research.
While at JPMorgan, Khan was ranked by Institutional Investor’s annual rankings of researchers as the second-best internet analyst. In 2011, six years with JPMorgan, Khan entered Credit Suisse, where he took over the firm’s internet banking franchise and has been acknowledged for establishing the company’s stature in tech banking. As the Credit Suisse’s head internet banker, Khan is recognized for his leading role in the $25 billion Alibaba IPO, the largest ever share sale.
Khan also operated on the IPOs of American companies like GoDaddy, Groupon, and Box, as well as Chinese companies including Jumei, Weibo, and Toudu. While at Credit Suisse, Khan named China as “the future of the Internet business” due to its limited adoption and young demographic of the Internet at the time. When Credit Suisse hired Khan, the company was already in negotiations with Alibaba, a transaction that Khan helped win due to previous relationships he had with the Chinese company.
In 2015, Khan entered as Chief Strategy Officer at Snapchat, where he manages the firm’s corporate strategy, including building up operation, managing ad sales, growing the business partnership, and taking a principal role in directing the company to IPO. Khan helped grow revenue in his first 30 months at Snap Inc., from $0 to $728 million. Khan also helped achieve a $200 million investment in Snapchat from Alibaba in 2015, as well as a further $1.8 billion in funding in 2016.
In 2016, Khan was described by advertising trade magazine Adweek as one of the Most Indispensable Executives in Marketing, Media, and Tech in its annual Adweek 50 List. Adweek remarked that it chose Khan due to his work growing Snapchat, including launching Snapchat Partners, making several executives hire, and opening new offices for Snapchat. With the company attaining a market cap high of $34 billion within two days of its IPO, Snap Inc. went public in March 2017.
In 2018, Imran Khan, along with his wife, Cate Khan, who previously worked at Quidsi, launched a new online platform called Verishop, designed to bring “the joy back to shopping.” Verishop, which features curated collections of women’s and men’s apparel, home and beauty products, gives free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase, and as part of its 24/7 customer care, offers free returns. Khan also serves as CEO of Verishop.
Verishop has started with nearly 160 brands onboard and intends to have more than 300 brands by the end of 2019. Operating without third parties allow Verishop to ensure that counterfeit goods will not be marketed on the site. The site also features Tastemakers, a selection of items that are suggested by a variety of social media influencers with knowledge in various areas, and The Responsible Shop, which allows “a collection of clean and known products that make you feel and look good.” Verishop is also running with tastemakers’ seven individual at launch.
Dr. Milan Patel is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist who is also fellowship-trained corneal, cataract, and LASIK refractive surgery specialist practicing in North Atlanta. At Milan Eye Center, Dr. Patel has dedicated his practice to refractive surgery, corneal diseases and topical, no-stitch cataract surgery.
Dr. Patel began his undergraduate education at Emory University and subsequently graduated with honors from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. A Georgia native, Dr. Patel returned home and earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. During medical school, Dr. Patel had the opportunity to work with Dr. Howard Gimbel – one of the founding fathers of modern ophthalmology and the first person in Canada to perform the most advanced form of cataract removal, phacoemulsification. Dr. Patel completed his internship at Northwestern University, followed by an ophthalmology residency at the Medical College of Georgia, where he published numerous articles on corneal and retinal diseases.
Following residency training, Dr. Patel was selected to pursue a Cornea and Refractive Surgery fellowship at the prestigious Shiley Eye Center of the University of California – San Diego. There, under the direction of Dr. David Schanzlin, past president of the International Society of Refractive Surgery, Dr. Patel gained immense experience in LASIK, cataract, and corneal surgery. During his fellowship, Dr. Patel continued to publish extensively on groundbreaking technology and surgical techniques. In recognition of his outstanding work, Dr. Patel was selected from among his 16 colleagues as Fellow of the Year.
Upon completion of his fellowship, Dr. Patel decided to dedicate the next six months to serving underprivileged patients in the developing world. By volunteering his clinical and surgical skills at five community hospitals in India, Dr. Patel gave the gift of sight to many people who would otherwise not have access to modern eye care. No stranger to technology, Dr. Patel produces educational videos, the most recent of which was recognized as the Best Refractive Surgery Video at the AAO international meeting of ophthalmologists. Additionally, Dr. Patel has created a mobile application that Milan Eye Center patients can benefit from when undergoing Cataract, LASIK, and Corneal surgeries.
Dr. Patel was also selected by Castel Connolly as “Top Doctor” in the field of Ophthalmology. The doctors selected for this recognition were selected after peer nomination, extensive research, and careful review and screening by Castle Connolly’s doctor-directed research team.
In his spare time, Dr. Patel enjoys spending time with his wife, Snehal, and his children, Saajan, Dylan, and Sona.
Craig Hall is chairman and founder of Dallas-based HALL Group. Mr. Hall’s career in business and as an author, civic leader and philanthropist reflects the highest qualities of entrepreneurship. He formed HALL Group in 1968 at age 18 with $4,000 saved from small ventures begun at age 10. Today, HALL Group’s diversified business interests include active operations in commercial real estate ownership, development and management, structured financial lending, winemaking and early-stage investments in promising start-ups.
Craig actively supports new entrepreneurs, nurtures young start-ups and often speaks publicly about the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship worldwide. Together with his wife Kathryn Hall, he funded the Fulbright – Kathryn and Craig Hall Distinguished Chair for Entrepreneurship to teach entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe. Craig also founded the Dallas Regional Office of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. He is the author of seven published books, including his most recent, BOOM: Bridging the Opportunity Gap to Reignite Startups.
Craig consistently contributes time and resources at local, national and international levels to support a variety of community causes with an emphasis on art, education and entrepreneurship. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Bulgaria, the American-Austrian Fulbright Board and the Board of the Horatio Alger Association for Distinguished Americans.
A lifelong art collector, Craig believes art nourishes the human spirit and can make a profound difference in people’s lives. Throughout his businesses, pieces from Craig’s personal art collection, the HALL Collection, are on display for the public’s enjoyment. Important works by artists from all over the world can be found at HALL Park in Frisco, Texas, at the HALL Arts development in the Dallas Arts District and at HALL St. Helena and HALL Rutherford, his two destination wineries in Napa Valley.
Craig and his companies are often recognized for significant achievements and civic and charitable contributions. In 2006, Hall received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mortgage Bankers Association. In 2007, Hall was named a lifetime member of the prestigious Horatio Alger Association for Distinguished Americans and currently serves on its board of directors. He was also inducted into the North Texas Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of North Texas’ Ring of Honor. Hall was named the 2013 Dallas Real Estate Executive of the Year and in 2016 he was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Dallas Business Hall of Fame.
In 2017, Hall and his wife Kathryn were co-awarded the 2017 “Master Entrepreneur of the Year” award for the Southwest Region from the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program. In 2019, Hall received the Pioneer Award from D CEO magazine for his contribution to the Dallas real estate community, and in the same year he also was recognized with the Business Council for the Arts Obelisk Award for his partnership with and service to the arts community.
It began as a college dream. A vision of a restaurant that served the highest quality, freshest chicken finger meals – and nothing else. From this vision, Todd Graves created a business plan, which, ironically, earned the lowest grade in the class. The professor said a restaurant serving only chicken fingers would never work.
Undaunted, the young entrepreneur put on a cheap suit, carried a briefcase adorned with brass combination locks and presented his business plan to any banker that would see him. Each time, Graves received the same negative response about his concept. Some bankers even told him he should give up the idea and “get a real job.” At that point, Graves knew he would need to raise his own capital to achieve his dream.
This journey led Graves to work as a boilermaker in oil refineries. Graves eventually moved on to Alaska, where he raised his own seed money in the risky trade of commercial salmon fishing. Upon returning to Baton Rouge, Graves reconstructed an old building with his own hands into the first Raising Cane’s restaurant. In a moment of inspiration, he even named the restaurant after his yellow lab …Raising Cane.
The fun surroundings, friendly crew and rather offbeat managerial style are all part of the Cane’s culture and experience. Combined with an uncompromising dedication to quality, Graves and his company have earned countless industry awards and accolades.
Graves’s entrepreneurial spirit has been recognized in Nations Restaurant News, Chain Leader,QSR, Entrepreneur, Rolling Stone and USA Today. He appeared live on FOX News Network’s “Your World” with Neil Cavuto and “FOX and Friends” and was highlighted on CNN Headline News’s “Pulse on America” series. Graves was also featured in Entrepreneur’s Young Millionaires cover story. In 2008, Graves was named an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” and in 2010 he was awarded the SCORE Award for Outstanding Socially Progressive Business.
As a result of the passion and commitment of Graves and his team, Raising Cane’s has been recognized numerous times by industry leaders and pace setters. Raising Cane’s was honored as an “Emerging Concept” at the Elliot Conference in New York in 2002 and was chosen as a “Hot Concepts!” award winner by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2003. In 2006, Raising Cane’s received the National Restaurant Association’s Good Neighbor Award. In 2007, Graves was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” by Fast Casual magazine. Cane’s was also named to Inc. Magazine’s top 5000 list of fastest growing privately-owned companies, earning the 1,048th spot in 2007 and the 1,610th spot in 2008. Cane’s also earned a spot on the list of fastest-growing companies in the food and beverage industry, earning the 15th spot in 2007 and the 35th spot in 2008. Cane’s ranked second overall in the state of Louisiana. Also in 2008, Raising Cane’s ranked number 233 in Restaurants and Institutions’ “Top 400 Restaurant Chains” list. Graves and Raising Cane’s are most proud of the “Best Places to Work” recognition in Chain Leader magazine in 2007. Most recently, Raising Cane’s has ranked in the top five in customer satisfaction in Sandelman and Associates’ Quick-Track Customer Satisfaction study two years in a row.
In addition to Cane’s quality, Graves refuses to compromise his dedication to the community and his commit
ment to give back to the people who have given so much to him. Graves carries his tremendous success in business over to a wide array of philanthropic endeavors. As an active community partner, Graves and Raising Cane’s have given more than 25 percent of their profits back to the communities where Raising Cane’s restaurants operate. Raising Cane’s gives back to each community with an emphasis on schools, food banks, active lifestyles, canine assistance and business and entrepreneur organizations.
Raising Cane’s annual giving includes:
Schools: supporting more than 2000 educational institutions, including colleges and universities, community colleges, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools through athletics programs, teacher appreciation, student organizations and academics.
Feeding the Hungry: organizing massive food drives, including “Raising Cans with Raising Cane’s,” and making significant donations to more than 30 food banks.
Active Lifestyles: supporting hundreds of events that promote an active lifestyle, including community races, walks, sports leagues and tournaments.
Business & Entrepreneurial Organizations: being actively involved in more than 75 professional organizations, including chambers of commerce, young professional organizations, Junior Achievement, SCORE, visitors’ bureaus and city development organizations.
Pet Welfare: working with more than 50 humane societies through support and sponsorship of their events and programs. Raising Cane’s has made significant investments to six dog parks in Louisiana. Additionally, Raising Cane II makes weekly visits to hospitals and nursing homes as a certified pet therapy dog.
In December of 2008, Graves and his wife Gwen participated in Secret Millionaire, a philanthropic reality show on FOX. They spent one week posed as ordinary people in South Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, a community destroyed by Hurricane Katrina–the largest natural disaster in U.S. history. The couple was challenged to find people trying to make an impact in the community. The people, whom they described as “angels walking the earth,” inspired the couple. These people put the needs of others in their community before themselves, and the Graveses donated approximately $400,000 to three area groups to help them realize their dream of helping others.
Graves is an involved member of many national and local organizations, including the National Restaurant Association, Young Presidents Organization and United Way, where he currently serves as a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society. Graves serves on the board of the BREC Foundation, the fundraising of Baton Rouge’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Raising Cane’s is responsible for working with BREC to bring four Raising Cane’s Dog Parks to the Greater Baton Rouge area. Graves regularly guest lectures at universities and high school classes on entrepreneurship, leadership and active community involvement and delivered the 2010 commencement address at Louisiana State University.
Once a McDonald’s franchisee, Graves’s wife Gwen sold her business to spend more time focused on their children and the community. In addition to helping with the many Raising Cane’s community endeavors, Gwen visits hospitals weekly with Raising Cane II as part of the dog’s pet therapy certification.
The Graves reside in Baton Rouge, La. with their two children. In addition to spending time with his family and his faithful dog Raising Cane II, Graves enjoys fitness and other outdoor activities.
Jorge Ferraez is Co-Founder and President of the Ferraez Publications Group, which edits three successful magazines in two countries: LideresMexicanos, El Mundo del Petroleo in Mexico and Latino Leaders in the U.S. As a Bi National businessman, he is in charge of the editorial content of all three magazines and the collateral media developed from the original concept.
In the U.S. , Latino Leaders is one of the most successful magazines in the Hispanic Market with a unique concept of profiling the most influential Latinos, focusing on the movers and shakers, new emerging leaders and connecting them with each other. With nation-wide circulation, the magazine has become the who’s who publication the Hispanic community completely devoted to interviews and articles on leaders, events and conferences involving these leaders.
Outside his responsibilities as a business owner and editor, Jorge is also a member of the Board of the New America Alliance, an American Latino Business Group and PRIMER Network a group of high profile Latino Executives. Jorge is also Board Member of The American Heart Association.
Dr. Agustín Arteaga joined the Dallas Museum of Art as Eugene McDermott Director in 2016. Prior to his tenure at the Dallas Museum, Arteaga served as the director of the Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL) in Mexico City, one of Mexico’s largest and most prominent cultural institutions. Additionally, he was the director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP) in Puerto Rico, and the founding director of the contemporary art museum Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) Fundación Costantini in Argentina. Arteaga has organized more than 100 exhibitions over the course of his career, including major monographic presentations of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Diego Rivera.