Edi Demaj immigrated to the United States in 1999 at 14 years old from war-torn Kosovo with a fortified appreciation for life, which he uses to fuel his entrepreneurial drive. Demaj currently serves as the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Detroit-based and Rock Venture-backed Rocket Fiber - an internet provider that leverages fiber-optic cables to provide ultrafast internet access in downtown and midtown Detroit. Demaj is a serial entrepreneur and other Demaj ventures include an online survey company called iziSurvey, an Eastern European search engine called Gjirafa.com, and real estate-centric KODE Labs, which he co-founded with brother, Etrit.
How Edi Gives Back:
Board Member - Lorik Cana Foundation
In his own words:
1. What’s your most important career accomplishment to-date?
My most important career accomplishment to date is starting, building and continue to grow Rocket Fiber.
2. How have you redefined leadership through your professional success?
I've redefined leadership through my professional success by being a servant leader who is not afraid to go deep on any one issue to help his team members and this is what I live by. Having a sense of urgency all the time for all things - regardless of how basic they are - is another way I try to have a positive impact on my team.
3. Why is civic engagement (volunteerism) important to you?
Volunteerism is important to me because it provides an opportunity to have a life changing impact on people that I wouldn't otherwise have. Being able to change someone's life by donating a piece of what we have - time, money or other things - is priceless and fulfilling.
4. How have you disrupted the idea of traditional leadership? How do you express leadership?
I would say that I've disrupted the idea of traditional leadership by consistently delivering on the things I promise I will do. Minimum talk, maximum output. No one on my team works FOR me but rather WITH me. I believe in keeping as flat of an organization as possible and always finding time to address team member needs.
5. What is a blue sky goal that you would like to accomplish in your career?
My blue sky goal is to provide access to open and viable internet to all human beings, across the World.
6. Why did you choose to pursue your passion/profession in Metro-Detroit? How do you intend to impact the region through your work?
It is the area that took my family and I in after moving from a war torn country where we had lost everything. It is the area and the people in this area who helped us get used to life in America. Being able to create and build things that positively impact the people of this region is my way of paying back what they did for my family and I already.
7. What do you love most about owning your own business?
Limitless opportunities that come with it.
Meet Edi at the Vanguard Awards! Click HERE to join the celebration!