Rags to riches characterizes the story of Michael Kalantarov, a 27-year-old entrepreneur who obtained millionaire status by teaching himself the ins and outs of the technology industry including programming and code writing.
On Monday, March 12, the Tulane Jewish Leaders, Tulane Hillel’s leadership program for students, will welcome Kalantarov to the uptown campus for a lecture, “How Israel’s High Tech Sector Is Changing Lives.”
Born in the desert city of Arad in Israel, Kalantarov’s immigrant parents could not afford to move to Tel Aviv where business was booming. This setback did not stop him from becoming an entrepreneur despite his adversity.
Instead of moving to Tel Aviv after his success, Kalantarov kept his business in the lesser populated Negev desert with a vision of forming another Silicon Valley. Using his experience as an example, Kalantarov hopes to show students how much is possible with dedication and hard work.
Omri Einav, Tulane Hillel’s Israel Fellow and organizer of Kalantarov’s visit, learned about Kalantarov while at a conference. Einav knew right away that Kalantarov would resonate well with students at Tulane.
“He’s not just focusing on himself and making his company grow, he’s trying to channel all of his success back into his community,” Einav said. “The goal of the lecture is to have Michael motivate students into pursuing their dreams, into taking up those big challenges one step at a time, and at the same time hoping that they will use the knowledge and experience they gain to improve their communities.”
Students who attend will have the opportunity to sign up for notifications from tech companies in Israel pertaining to internship opportunities.
“Kalantarov’s passion is to work with youth and student programs that get students interested in Israel technology industry in the Negev area,” said Einav. “He does all of this to give the young generation growing up in the Israeli desert opportunities that he never had.”
The lecture takes place on March 12 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in room 203 of the Lavin-Bernick Center.