Alumnus/Entrepreneur Featured on CNN

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Hajj Flemings, a 1996 Michigan Tech alumnus who is now a Detroit area entrepreneur, is one of eight African-American tech start-up company founders who will be featured on CNN's "Black in America" series, airing next Sunday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. 

Flemings, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tech, is the founder of Brand Camp University, which offers personal branding training. The Birmingham, Mich., resident is also CEO and co-founder of Gokit, an online service that enables people to manage their online presence across a variety of platforms.

Sunday's CNN program, the fourth in the cable news network's "Black in America" series, is called "The New Promised Land--Silicon Valley."  It follows the 9-week odyssey of Flemings and his fellow minority tech start-up entrepreneurs as they lived and worked in California's Silicon Valley, networking with leaders of some of the largest and most successful tech firms in the nation.

"We immersed ourselves in the tech start-up ecosystem of Silicon Valley," Flemings explains. The minority entrepreneurs lived together in a 1,300 square foot rental house, a crowded but productive boot camp for eight dynamic entrepreneurs. During that time, they received invaluable advice, met potential investors and "worked to develop our start-ups," Flemings says.

He will be on a panel discussing his experience in Silicon Valley and answering questions from young people, their families and teachers, at an invitation-only  preview of the CNN program on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in Detroit. The preview is sponsored by the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), Brand Camp University and the United Auto Workers-General Motors (UAW-GM) at its Center for Human Resources. It is designed to strengthen students' motivation and show young people and their families the relationship between education and professional achievement.

Flemings himself has some forthright advice for those young people. "We live in an information-based economy," he says. "Anyone who wants to get and keep a high-paying job needs the right kind of education, and they need to know how to operate in this knowledge-based world." 

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.