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Atlanta

Gundeep Hora: Young, Restless & CEO At 23


BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE

Gundeep Hora is a busy man. Running a company is not an easy task, especially with the launch of the second one right around the corner, all this while attending school and keeping up with assignments. Yes, at 23 Gundeep Hora is the Founder and CEO of iTech Media and is ready to launch his second venture, Digify Media soon. He currently attends Georgia State University as a graduating Senior.

Young and restless, Gundeep is brimming with positive energy. "I'm in the game to win. I'm all about winning," declares the self proclaimed serial/ accidental entrepreneur. He is also quick to point out that failure teaches humility and humbles him. 

"Gundeep is a force of nature. No matter the challenge, no matter the obstacle, you can be rest assured that Gundeep is the man to meet anything life throws at him. I always tell people, don't let his youthful appearance fool you, this guy is going places! " says Matt Hartley, Webmaster at Home Makeover Diva, Owner of Matt Hartley Dot Com
Contributor at WebMediaBrands, Digify Media, Lockergnome and Technology Evangelist at WeatherBug.

Digify Media's TrendOY!, is set up with the goal of providing the most timely mobile newswire for it's consumers. The problem according to Gundeep, is the information overload through various sources from professional media outlets to blogs and social media. He believes new platforms and devices require editorial innovation and information thatís appropriate to specific devices and platforms and they chose mobile. Digify Media has crafted a new editorial model that limits headlines to 140 characters ( inspired by twitter) or less, including the most important piece of information from the story and push it to the customer's device as soon as they hear about it. Gundeep adds that the customer will have flexibility of choosing when receive alerts and the way alerts are delivered along with a number of customizable settings that will make news reading efficient.

There have been many instances when his age has been a barrier to pursue his ambitions. The book deal that needed to be completed in 3 months, or the computer case that would have been launched under his brand, if only he had the time to get away from school!

Speaking about his foray into entrepreneurship, Gundeep says it was accidental, especially since no one from either side of his family is into business. It all started with his interest in journalism. He had the aptitude to write and loved reading about latest gadgets. So when he realized how a media brand could be launched and he can work with companies to obtain hardware and write unbiased reviews, writing about hardware, both of which interested him, seemed like a natural fit. Armed with front page and dreamweaver, Gundeep set up a web page and talked Logitech into writing reviews for their products. Initially Gundeep would send the reviews to Logitech before it went on his website but soon branched out on his own. With limited influence and traffic to their" website, compared to top brands, Gundeep says they still managed to catch the attention of biggies such as Intel and Microsoft. While dealing with engineers testing various products was keeping him busy, the lure of Sales and Marketing was stronger. Making deals and talking to people felt far more exciting and in his own words, he promoted himself to a CEO from being a journalist. 

In July, 2005 Gundeep founded and launched iTech Media, created to cover the latest technology news on the Internet. He has authored more than 2,000 stories for iTech Media properties. In the 5 years he was responsible for iTech Media, Gundeep successfully launched multiple media brands, made an acquisition and signed large partnerships with one of his significant milestones, CNET-CBS Interactive, Become.com and many other leaders in the shopping comparison space.

Gundeep has a few other feathers to his cap - He was selected as the Top 30 Global Finalist for Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in 2009 , sponsored by Kauffman Foundation and Mercedes Benz Financial and was a Finalist for TiE Atlanta Student Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Award for his success in these respective markets. He was the Entrepreneur Hero selected for excellence in Entrepreneurship by Acton Foundation. He was also the youngest attendee at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas asa journalist at 16. 

Gundeep's parents, Mahendra and Parminder Hora he says initially were apprehensive about his business. His father wanted him to be an engineer, like most parents. "Maybe you can complete engineering some day" his father would say mostly because he would feel safe knowing that education will fetch him a job if everything else fails. "Now he knows that if everything else fails, I can still get a job" Gundeep says having obtained many job offers he turned down. Gundeep has one brother, Ravdeep. 

He may have been part of deals worth millions, the most interesting aspect however is that most of these meetings over the phone have been at Starbucks or the GSU Library. He has four members on his team including himself, along his best friend, Zeeshan Khan, Matt Hartley - director, editorial and a programmer. 

Gundeep sure is an inspiration to all aspiring entrepreneurs, young or otherwise. Parents often wonder about the direction this generation is headed. As Matt Hartley points out "It's interesting as they say that Gundeep's generation is not a very motivated one. I for one, have learned to carry a new found respect for this age group after watching Gundeep take his business challenges to the next level. He never ceases to amaze and impress me." Gundeep's age combined with his drive is especially motivational to youngsters and parents who may not picture themselves succeeding in path less traversed. Gundeep is a living example of the one of Robert frost finest lines " I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." 

Here's wishing the young entrepreneur the very best with his upcoming launch, Digify Media and all his future dreams, hopes and aspirations. 

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