UNI staff member awarded national Outstanding Immigrant Business Award

Russel Karim

Russel Karim was awarded the national Outstanding Immigrant Business Award at the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit for an array of businesses he started while at the University of Northern Iowa.

Karim graduated from UNI in 2015 with a degree in computer science and entrepreneurship. He is now employed in UNI’s IT-Administrative Information Systems as an application administrator.

Karim arrived at UNI as an international student from Laxmipur, Bangledesh, in the fall of 2011. While at UNI, he developed a couple of apps, including the UNI Traditions Challenge app and FanFood, designed to improve guest experience and concession sales at sports and entertainment venues.

In 2016, Karim founded Cedar Valley Food Runner to provide delivery services to customers from local restaurants. The business expanded to St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, before being acquired by EatStreet in May 2019.

Dhakai.com is Karim’s latest startup. The company was formed in March 2019 and is intended to simplify the apparel supply chain to his home country and beyond. Karim plans to connect buyers with factories more directly to cut down on distributors' costs for the product and provide factories a higher profit.