The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Award Nominees Are…


On May 4, 2017, at The Immigrant Learning Center’s sixth annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards, 36 Massachusetts residents from 23 countries who founded businesses in 19 Massachusetts communities will be honored by more than 250 business and community leaders. The nominees represent outstanding business leaders from across the commonwealth in four business categories: growth, neighborhood, high-tech and life science. A committee of experts in each area will review the nominations and select a winner in each category.


The 2017 winners will be announced at The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., with special guest speaker Jeff Bussgang, general partner at Flybridge Capital, and Master of Ceremonies Larry O’Toole, founder of Gentle Giant Moving Company and 2016 nominee. Ticket and sponsorship information is available at


The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Award Nominees


Business Growth

According to data from the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development, private employers increased their workforce by 6.3 percent from 2013 to 2016. The five nominees in the Business Growth category increased their number of full-time-equivalent employees by 40 to 388 percent during the same time frame. The nominees for The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in Business Growth are:

Jose de la Rosa, Guardian Healthcare in Jamaica Plain from Dominican Republic

Vijay Nalamada, Avco Consulting in Worcester from India

David Nguyen, US Bedding Inc. in Fall River from Vietnam

Daniel Perez, DPV Transportation Worldwide in East Boston from Colombia

Amir Shiranian, Amelia’s Taqueria, Inc. in Boston and Brighton from Iran


Neighborhood Business

Small businesses are the lifeblood of many neighborhoods. They provide needed goods and services, local jobs, and they give back to their communities. The nominees for The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in Neighborhood Business are:

Jitka Borowick, Cleangreen, Inc. in Barnstable from Czech Republic

Mario Cruz, Mario’s Subs and Salads in Roxbury from Guatemala

Yessy Feliz, Tails, Inc. in Jamaica Plain from Dominican Republic

Kham Inthirath, Envision Digital Group in Worcester from Laos

Rowaid Khudhur, STELA TECH in Worcester from Iraq

Josefina Luna, CERO in Boston from Dominican Republic

Valentin Maldonado, Continental Construction Group LLC in Lynn from Guatemala

Mike Mohamed, Il Forno Restaurant in Acton, Fitchburg and West Boylston from Egypt

Monica Ryan, Strawberry Child Care in Watertown from Colombia

Harley Silva, Cape Cod Marble & Granite, Inc. in Hyannis from Brazil

Myra Vargas, J & P Cleaners in Jamaica Plain and Roslindale from Guatemala



The nominees in the high-tech category have each made remarkable contributions in their fields and to the American innovation economy. They are at the cutting edge of technologies as diverse as mobile technology, digital health, ed-tech, cyber security, internet of things (IOT) and clean energy. The nominees for The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in High-Tech are:

Raj Aggarwal, Localytics in Boston from Canada

Ahmed Albaiti, Medullan Inc. in Cambridge from Tanzania

Sandro Catanzaro, DataXu in Boston from Peru

Joshua Feast, Cogito Corporation in Boston from New Zealand

Lingping Gao, NetBrain in Burlington from China

Lissy Hu, CarePort Health in Boston from China

Minh (Sam) Le, HeliDirect LLC in Malden from Vietnam

Jennifer Lum, Adelphic Mobile in Waltham from Canada

Bhaskar Panigrahi, Unique Computing, Cambridge Technology, CellExchange, ConnectM Technology Solutions, Ecovent Systems and Cambridge Energy Resources from India

Luis Pedroso, Accutronics in Chelmsford from Portugal

Anil Shah, MRCC Solutions in Billerica from India

Elad Shoushan, Ready4 in Boston from Israel

Nagarjuna Venna, BitSight Technologies in Cambridge from India


Life Science

Immigrant entrepreneurs are a critical component to Massachusetts’ reputation as a leading life science ecosystem. These founders are making significant breakthroughs that impact the health and well-being of us all. The nominees for The 2017 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Award in Life Science are:

Johannes Fruehauf, BioLabs and LabCentral in Cambridge from Germany

Michael Koeris, Sample 6 Technologies in Woburn from Germany

Alexey Margolin, Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Newton from Russia

Salvatore Mascia, CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Woburn from Italy

Bernat Olle, Vedanta Biosciences in Cambridge from Spain

Ajikumar Parayil, Manus Bio in Cambridge from India

Shahin Pourrahimi, Superconducting Systems in Billerica from Iran