How A Tech Employee Became A Tech Entrepreneur Helping Underserved Populations

Jared Karol
Written by Jared Karol

“You are the talent. Think of us as the support group.”

That’s the motto of REMHAI, an Atlanta-based technology solutions company dedicated to helping startups and small- and medium-sized businesses build and develop their digital presence.

Ramala Ande, one of the co-founders of REMHAI, knows all about what it means to be supported––and perhaps more about what it means not to be supported.

“One of the biggest challenges we face as a company is the lack of mentors and guides,” Ande told Moguldom.com. “And it’s much harder in the minority community. We are taking a risk with our own money, not what was passed down from past generations.”

Born in Ethiopia, Ande, 30, is the first generation in his family to go out and risk everything for a belief or passion, he said. “This means it is harder to get support from family members at times, and harder to gain external resources.”

These challenges didn’t stop Ande and his sister, co-founder Lily Andemariam, from building a company from the ground up. “We believe in what we are doing and we’re passionate about our solution to the small business and startup world,” Ande says. “Yes, it gets hard at times but when you are truly passionate about what you are doing, late nights and early mornings don’t seem that bad anymore.”

Lily Andemariam, co-founder of REMHAI. Photo provided

 

Ande’s passion for technology began at an early age. “The spark was created when my mother took me to her computer typing class as a little kid,” Ande reminisces. “During her class, I sat by a computer and played a 2D game that captured my imagination. It was the moment I decided that I wanted to figure out everything there is to know about computers.”

Before co-founding REMHAI in 2013, Ande held various IT roles at GE, worked as a Java developer at retail chain Kroger, and was a web application developer at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology. “I use IT daily to help those around me,” Ande says. “I was the kid that was called to fix the computer at home, and soon I became the man who ran technical projects at GE Aviation.”

Staying close the pulse of the ever-changing technology trends served Ande well in his journey from IT employee to IT entrepreneur.

“The idea for REMHAI started from a lot of encounters with small business owners,” Ande reflects. “They complained about how they couldn’t focus on building their business because the trends in technology were keeping them so busy.

“Ultimately, the goal of this company is to help people be great at what they do instead of worrying about technology. We want them to feel empowered and realize that together there is nothing we can’t achieve.”

REMHAI is focused on helping startups as much as possible. “Even if they decide to not use our services,” Ande says, “we provide a lot of valuable guidance on how they can take their innovative ideas and bring them to reality.”

Ande is dedicated to the development and success of businesses. REMHAI shares information and educates its audience on current trends, technologies, and platforms via their Tech Tuesday Blog; and Ande is active in his community at volunteer events and other social activities where his tech knowledge can benefit others.

“As a startup ourselves,” Ande says, “we know how important it is to have someone who will honestly tell you what you need and not try to add a bunch of stuff just so they can charge more. This is a valuable asset to have, so we aspire to be that to our clients.”

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About Jared Karol
Jared Karol is the founder and chief storyteller at Storytelling for Good, connecting people and ideas through the power of story. A proud resident of Oakland, he values diverse perspectives and building inclusive communities. The son of a gay father who died of AIDS, Jared has been the father of twins since January of 2009. Jared is a writer, musician, collaborator, reader, meditator, and lover of urban serendipity. Learn more at storytellingforgood.coach.