A New Generation of Black Founders Is Rising in Atlanta–and the Startup World Is Taking Notice

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Forget Silicon Valley. Black entrepreneurs have discovered the best tech scene in the country.

On the 7th floor of Atlanta’s historic Biltmore Hotel, high above the Bird and Lime e-scooters below, Paul Judge stands by a window. He points toward nearly every building within a few-block radius. “Five years ago, these spaces were all dirt,” he says.

Now, they’re full of startups–and Judge, a serial entrepreneur who’s been on the tech scene for 21 years, is responsible for much of that growth. The cybersecurity firm he co-founded in 2011, Pindrop, occupies office space on three floors of the Biltmore. Judge’s early stage venture capital firm, TechSquare Labs, is a five-minute walk away–and as he passes by, a man leans out the front door. “Hey, Paul!”

Judge is practically a celebrity in Atlanta’s entrepreneur world, partly because he’s the most accomplished black tech founder in the city. The 41-year-old Baton Rouge native moved here in 1995 to attend Morehouse College, and never left. After a few successful startups, he started using his capital to help other Atlanta-based entrepreneurs get off the ground. Now, a new generation of young and ambitious black founders are working to craft their own versions of his career path.

Atlanta has a 52 percent black population, according to census data, and it’s brimming with entrepreneurs who benefit from what Judge describes as the “three Cs”–colleges, corporations, and culture. Atlanta’s schools–including Georgia Tech, Georgia State, and black universities like Morehouse College and Spelman College–are churning out talented black developers and engineers. Pair that with the city’s thriving black culture–from actors and musicians like Tyler Perry, Donald Glover, and Outkast to politicians like John Lewis and current mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms–and the result is what Mike Ross, a local black angel investor, describes as an atmosphere “like Harlem was in the ’20s.”

Three years ago, entrepreneurs Ryan Wilson and T.K. Petersen opened The Gathering Spot, a private membership club created to build community between black entrepreneurs from local colleges, Atlanta’s celebrities, and executives from corporations like Coca-Cola and Home Depot. “The Gathering Spot, humbly, has become one of the places in town where people know that important conversations are going to be held,” Wilson says. “We’ve been fortunate that other people have come to see this space as one of those central places where you can connect with people.”

His proof: The club has more than 1,000 members, including founders of black-led startups like consumer robotics maker Monsieur, political engagement app Empowrd, and visual recognition tech company Partpic, which was sold to Amazon for an undisclosed sum in 2016.​​ In particular, Partpic co-founder Jewel Burks Solomon, 29, is one of the city’s most recent success stories.

Growing up in Nashville, Burks Solomon dreamed of moving to Atlanta and starting a business. Upon doing it in 2013, she found plenty of like-minded black entrepreneurs experiencing a common challenge: difficulty securing funding. Of the $2 million Burks Solomon raised for Partpic, only $25,000 of it came from a local source–Ross, one of the city’s few black angel investors.

“Atlanta has a high population of black entrepreneurs. The investor landscape doesn’t necessarily look the same,” explains Burks Solomon. “I’m a black person, and I’m also a woman–and if you look at the numbers, we don’t get invested in at the same rate as our white male counterparts.”

Shawn Wilkinson, founder of blockchain cloud storage company Storj, faced similar hurdles when he was trying to fundraise in 2015. “Then I brought on an older, white co-founder,” says Wilkinson, who’s 27 years old and black. “And suddenly, we’re just getting so many more leads and actually closing deals.” The company has since raised $33 million over seven funding rounds, according to Wilkinson.

Some of Atlanta’s black founders believe they can change that equation by building or selling successful companies and then investing in other black founders. “We’re trying to create this momentum where we can start having major exits or major growth in our businesses to really start shaping the ecosystem,” says Candace Mitchell, 31, founder of Atlanta-based digital hair-care startup Myavana.

Burks Solomon is already leading the way. She’s helped fund five minority-led startups since selling Partpic, including a surplus food management platform called Goodr and The Gathering Spot. And successful companies are emerging–the increasingly popular online scheduling tool Calendly, for example, was founded by Tope Awotona, an Atlanta-based native Nigerian.

Black entrepreneurs in other parts of the country are taking notice. In December, Tristan Walker sold his personal care business, Walker & Company Brands, to Procter & Gamble. Rather than relocate his operations from Silicon Valley to P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters, he threw a curve ball: The company would be moving to Atlanta. “I’ve been spending more time over the past year in Atlanta, and I get this feeling that I had back in 2008 when I came to the Bay Area where you knew something was about to pop off,” Walker explains. “I feel that way in Atlanta now across every industry.”

Continue onto Inc. to read the complete article.

Geeky Stars: Hollywood Celebrities Who Studied Science

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image of the famous Hollywood sign on the hillside

Do people possessing degrees in science, medicine, or technology always continue working in their own field of study? Absolutely not!

Many students, after graduating from college, end up pursuing other careers out of genuine interest.

Instead of looking for the usual academic, government, or industry jobs, many such science geeks adopted a slightly different path and became well-known celebrities. Let us have a look at what these celebrities were up to before choosing this alternative career.

Mayim Bialik

Celebrities

(Image Credits: iDominick via Wikipedia)

She is best known for her role as neurobiologist, Amy Farrah Fowler on ‘The Big Bang Theory’, Mayim Bialik was also the lead in a famous 90’s sitcom ‘Blossom. In 2000, she completed her BS in Neuroscience and Hebrew & Jewish Studies from UCLA. In 2007, she earned her PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA after completing her doctoral thesis. Her thesis was on ‘Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader–Willi syndrome’.

 

Natalie Portman

Celebrities
(Image Credits: Georges Biard via Wikipedia)

Natalie Portman debuted in ‘Léon: The Professional’ in 1994. However, she continued to gain recognition for her performances in movies such as ‘Closer’, ‘Black Swan’, and ‘V for Vendetta’. In 2003, she completed her BA in Psychology from Harvard University. Previously, in 1998, she was a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search and co-authored the following study: ‘Frontal lobe activation during object permanence: data from near-infrared spectroscopy’ (doi:10.1006/nimg.2002.1170). In an interview for the New York Post, she mentioned, ”I’d rather be smart than a movie star.”

 

Ken Jeong

Celebrities

(Image Credits: Nan Palmero via Wikipedia)

Ken Jong is best known for his role as ‘Leslie Chow’ in the ‘Hangover’ trilogy and ‘Ben Chang’ for the sitcom ‘Community’. He is a physician, comedian, and actor. He completed his graduation from Duke University, followed by an MD from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Interestingly, in a sitcom on ABC, he portrays the role of Dr. Ken who is also a physician!

 

Rowan Atkinson

Celebrities

(Image Credits: Eva Rinaldi via Wikipedia)

For many of us, he has immortalized the character of ‘Mr. Bean’ through his perfect comic timing, Rowan Atkinson who has been awarded a CBE has also worked in acclaimed programs such as Blackadder and Not the Nine O’Clock News. He completed his BSc in Electrical Engineering from University of Newcastle and MSc in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s College, Oxford.

 

Lisa Kudrow

Celebrities

(Image Credits: Lan Bui via Wikipedia)

Lisa Kudrow gained global fame for her character ‘Phoebe Buffay’ in the famous sitcom, Friends. Although she played the character of a quirky masseuse, she was possibly more qualified to be the palaentologist instead of Ross! As a student, Lisa earned her BS degree in Biology from Vassar College. She spent some time doing research with her father, Dr. Lee Kudrow, a well-renowned clinician in the field of headache medicine.

 

Eva Longoria

Celebrities

(Image Credits:Georges Biard via Wikipedia)

She is known for her role as ‘Isabella Braña’ on ‘The Young and the Restless’ and as ‘Gabrielle Solis’ in ‘Desperate Housewives’, Eva Longoria received BS degree in Kinesiology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She earned her MA degree in Chicano and Chicana Studies from California State University and her thesis was titled ‘Success STEMS From Diversity: The Value of Latinas in STEM Careers’.

Continue on to Enago.com to read the complete article.

 

 

Cyber Security Awareness Training for all Ages in Delaware

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image of a breakout box on a table

Children and adults in Sussex County are now getting hands-on cyber security awareness training at the Selbyville library thanks to Cyber Streets and the library itself.

Cyber Streets is a nonprofit organization that was started in Dover back in 2017. Founder Rob Bentley began spreading the knowledge at the Selbyville Library on June 3rd and he now runs the program there every other Monday. The Sussex County Stem Alliance helped connect Bentley to volunteers and this week they’re using what is called the ‘break out box’ to learn how cyber security is used to break into something.

“They go around looking for clues,” Bentley explains. “They find those clues, put them together, and work together as teams to crack the code on the puzzle that actually unlocks the locks to get into the box.”

Thirteen-year-old Eleni Apostolidis of Millsboro has been homeschooled her entire life. She’s thankful for an after-school opportunity that is available to students like her. “It can teach us coding if we want to maybe look into the community a bit more to find tools to maybe create our own software in the future,” she shares.

Most of the students who’ve been attending in Selbyville are homeschooled students but Cyber Streets is open to anyone. Bentley says he teaches people from six to sixty-years-old. In fact, many parents join their kids in these lessons.

The program is completely free. To sign up in Selbyville, reach out to the library or Cyber Streets. Bentley says those interested in attending can simply show up to the next lesson on July 29.

Continue on to WBOC.com to read the complete article.

Why Aren’t More Women in Computer Science?

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By Suzanne Weston

Until 1984, growth of women entering professions including physical sciences, law, medicine, and computer science was steady, but then something changed. After the introduction of personal computers, the percentage of women in computer science flattened and then plunged, even though the number of professional women kept rising.

Initially, personal computers were toys used for playing simple games, marketed directly to boys and men. While both genders are equally talented in logic and problem solving, boys were given computers more often than girls. And boys were more comfortable when teachers started using computers in the classroom.

Teachers have a significant influence on students’ decisions to study computer science. Students who receive positive reinforcement are three times more likely to go into computer science, and the window for making this impact occurs before age 14. Therefore, children need exposure to computers at a young age.

Is it realistic for both women and men to enter computer science and related fields?

Yes. Harvey Mudd College demonstrated that women are as capable as men in computer science (CS). They introduced CS courses with different names: “Introductory Java” became “Creative Problem-Solving in Science and Engineering Using Computational Approaches,” and changing the course name reduced intimidation due to lack of prior exposure. Classes were structured to become collaborative and team-oriented (which appealed to women who found the stereotypical loner geek programmer unappealing). The percentage of women in CS increased from 10 percent to 50 percent. The solution was to create an environment where women can flourish.

Why aren’t more women in computer science?

Women think differently than men. Because women want to avoid mistakes, they may become frustrated when their code does not work. Because men see learning programming as a trial-and-error process, they don’t see code not running as a reflection of their skills. Adding check-points to affirm success can build women’s confidence.

Since socialization and collaboration are important to women when selecting careers, they may feel isolation until more women enter the field. Women need role models. Programs like Girls Who Code address this gap. They encourage girls to take advanced placement (AP) classes in high school, which positions them to study technical disciplines in college. Seventy percent of students who took the AP exam say they want to work in computer science; this shows the importance of early exposure in framing career aspirations.

Attracting women to technology is the first step toward developing women in CS. The second step is building an inclusive culture that offers career advancement and encourages them to remain in CS. Women leave technology companies at twice the rate of men. Early intervention and education will begin to close the gap between women and men in CS. Female students who have visible, female role models in CS careers and receive encouragement from parents and teachers can increase the likelihood that they pursue additional CS courses and degrees (2017 Gallup poll). To thrive in business, women need a collaborative culture with role models.

ShareSpace Education donates 50 Giant Moon Map™ packages to 50 schools and museums around the world

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Childer are standing on a giant map of the Moon while a teacher explains what they are seeing on the map

The Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) announced its ShareSpace Education has named 50 global recipients of its new Giant Moon Map™ program.

Launched in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, this one-of-a-kind educational tool sparks creativity in students while they learn STEAM concepts and celebrate one of humankind’s greatest achievements. The donation is collectively valued at more than $240,500.

“As we move closer to the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, there is a renewed fascination with this historic achievement,” said Dr. Andrew Aldrin, president of AFF. “The response to the launch of the Giant Moon Map™ program a few months ago was phenomenal, with more applications than we ever imagined. Everyone clearly sees how it’s the perfect tool to help teach today’s youth about that moment in time, while helping them build a love for STEAM-based concepts. Our goal is that this initial donation of 50 maps will only be the beginning.”

Giant Moon Map™ packages will be distributed to schools and educational institutions in 45 states, including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. In addition, packages were awarded to 5 schools and educational institutions in Canada, Germany, India and Mexico. Click here to see the full list of recipients.

Each ShareSpace Education Giant Moon Map™ program package includes either a 25’ x 25’ vinyl map of the Moon or a 15’ x 15’ one. Both sizes also come with 15 Welcome to the Moon books and the Moon Map educational activities package. Through a new partnership with AstroReality, the kit now includes a 120mm 3D model of the Moon. The model features augmented reality technology that enhances interactions on the map through each of the Apollo mission patches, teaching students about the six landing sites where 12 humans have walked on the moon. The package features authentic, fun lessons and activities designed especially for students ages 10 to 14, and access to in-person and online program training from ShareSpace Education.

AFF worked with donors to make the 50 Giant Moon Map™ packages available for distribution. The program launched in April at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Convention in St. Louis. Applications from individual schools, school districts and informal education organizations were accepted through May 18, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 launch. All applications were reviewed by an independent team of judges with the aim of distributing the packages to educational institutions where they can do the most good, especially in underserved communities.
 
For more information, visit sharespace.org/giant-moon-map/.

About the Aldrin Family Foundation

The Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) strives to cultivate the next generation of space leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers who will extend human habitation beyond the Earth to the Moon and Mars. AFF’s STEAM-based educational tools, educational activities and programs span from a child’s first classroom experience through graduate school and professional programs. This vertical pathway unites explorers at all levels to learn from each other’s vision for space, ultimately creating the first generation of Martians.

About ShareSpace Education

ShareSpace Education, one of the key organizations within the Aldrin Family Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating children’s passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) by providing innovative, interactive educational tools to schools, teachers and information educations throughout the United States and abroad. Founded in 2016 by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, ShareSpace has reached more than 300,000 children and continues to grow its impact each year.

The University of Hawai’i Partners with SACNAS Conference to Help Achieve True Diversity in STEM

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The University of Hawaiʻi will be the Presenting Sponsor for 2019 SACNAS-The National Diversity in STEM Conference. UH will support the convening of more than 4,000 STEM professionals, scientists, engineers and college students at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center from October 31–November 2, 2019 for the country’s largest multidisciplinary and multicultural STEM diversity event.

The conference is produced and hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), an inclusive organization with over 45 years of experience of fostering the success underrepresented minorities in STEM.

“With the most diverse campuses in the nation, the University of Hawaiʻi is perfectly aligned with the mission and goals of SACNAS,” said UH President David Lassner. “This is also an amazing opportunity to showcase the work of our faculty bringing together Hawaiʻi’s traditional indigenous knowledge and practice with modern science to better understand and address the challenges and opportunities we all face.”

Estimates show the conference’s thousands of attendees from across the nation could have an economic impact of more than $14 million on the state of Hawaiʻi. Through the sponsorship, UH looks forward to highlighting the STEM leadership and expertise, often seen through a unique indigenous lens, that abounds in its 10 campuses across the state. It will be an important opportunity to recruit faculty and students from underrepresented populations as the experience UH’s affordable community colleges committed to open access and student success, regional universities with distinctive hands-on programs, and the flagship UH Mānoa research university one of only a handful of land-, sea-, sun- and space-grant institutions and a global leader in earth and environmental sciences, consistently ranked among the top 15 universities internationally.

“The SACNAS conference is fully aligned with Hawaiʻi for partnering with SACNAS in the essential work of making the scientific enterprise diverse, equitable and inclusive, ” said SACNAS President Sonia Zárate.

“SACNAS is excited to work with the University of Hawaiʻi to develop relevant, meaningful, and culturally inclusive STEM programming that will reflect the values, community, and spirit of Hawaiʻi at this year’s conference. We look forward to welcoming students from across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Islands. SACNAS is equally excited to develop a year-round partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi that will have a lasting impact well beyond the 2019 conference,” said John D. Winnett, SACNAS executive director.

Virtual Training Tackles Fires

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firefighter putting out fire

When on the scene of a fire and other emergency situations, a firefighter’s work can be dangerous. When not in an emergency, firefighters remain on call at fire stations, where they sleep, eat, and perform other duties during shifts that often last 24 hours. Many firefighters work more than 40 hours per week.

Instead of dangerous, expensive, traditional training that firefighters normally have to go through, however, they can now tackle fires in a safe and realistic way.

FLAIM Trainer® family of solutions are next-generation firefighter training systems, which comprise an immersive virtual reality environment combined with realistic scenarios, patented force feedback system, breathing apparatus, real nozzles, and heated personal protective clothing to provide a unique training and engagement experience.

This safe, low-cost, mobile and distributed solution can simulate a range of fire events and conditions for training firefighters. With virtual reality, firefighters can train more, train better, and train anywhere.

Sources: Darley, Flaim Systems

The Engineers of Formula 1

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Two cars pictured at the F1 Grand Prix of Australia. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

By Peter Placey

When you’re watching a Formula 1 (F1) race, you don’t see the driver, the medical delegates, stewards, safety car driver or the race director—you see the cars. But who builds these high-speed machines? One word: engineers. What does it take to be a F1 engineer?

Most race engineers need a degree or equivalent in mechanical or automotive engineering. Many mechanical engineering courses last three to four years. Annual salary for race engineers:$84K–$152K

There is no average in F1—you have to be the best. Car engineers are the drivers’ ‘right hands’—they have to be resilient, quick thinkers, able to communicate effectively with each member of the team and most of all, have a passion for racing.

Bernadette Collins, who is breaking barriers for women with the Sahara Force India F1 team as a performance and strategy engineer, said in an interview with The Guardian, “Whether it’s a male or female doing the job, we’ve got some of the best engineers in the business.”

15 Best Cities for STEM Careers (and Quality of Life)

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Professional Black Woman

By Nick Kolakowski

It’s a good time to work in a STEM field—many companies are hungry for engineers, developers, and mathematicians.

But not every metro area is a good one for STEM careers; for example, many have lots of job opportunities, but a stratospheric cost of living, while others simply lack jobs.

WalletHub recently crunched some numbers and came up with best metro areas for STEM professionals.

In an utterly unsurprising turn of events, some of the country’s biggest tech hubs topped the list (despite higher costs of living), although some smaller towns also did quite well.

 

 

WalletHub graded 100 metro areas on three benchmarks:

  • Professional opportunities (including job openings, share of workforce in STEM, projected demand for STEM jobs, etc.)
  • STEM friendliness (quality of local engineering universities, tech meetups per capita, etc.)
  • Quality of life (housing affordability, family-friendliness, and so on.)

Here are the results for the top 15 cities.

Best Cities for STEM Jobs

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Boston, MA
  3. Pittsburgh, PA
  4. Austin, TX
  5. San Francisco, CA
  6. Madison, WI
  7. Atlanta, GA
  8. Salt Lake City, UT
  9. Minneapolis, MN
  10. Cincinnati, OH
  11. San Diego, CA
  12. Columbus, OH
  13. Hartford, CT
  14. Springfield, MA
  15. Worcester, MA

For STEM workers across the United States, the message here is pretty clear: There are lots of places around the country with good quality of living—and great job opportunities.

Source: insights.dice.com

New Comic Book Series to Spur Student Interest in STEM

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Ella the Engineer comic book picture

Deloitte and The Ella Project, creator of Ella the Engineer, launched a new collaborative comic book series with the goal of exposing girls to STEM in a fun and unique way.

The graphic novel series features comic book character Ella solving various problems using her STEM skill set under the guidance of various Deloitte leaders, including Deloitte Chair and Consulting CEO Janet Foutty and Chief Innovation Officer Nishita Henry.

Geared toward inspiring educational and student groups around the country, Ella the Engineer was created to showcase a young, female role model with a passion for science, technology, engineering, math, and entrepreneurship with whom many students can identify. The series champions problem-solving skills, tech-savviness, collaboration, and various emerging technologies to get to the bottom of hijinks and challenges facing the main characters. In the inaugural issue with Deloitte, Janet Foutty encourages Ella to use analytics to piece together the whereabouts of her stolen class pet. Deloitte’s involvement in this creative project underscores its long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and STEM education.

“Deloitte is committed to creating opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities to enter into productive careers in STEM and STEM adjacent fields – and it starts with early education,” said Janet Foutty, chair and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Despite ongoing efforts to gain parity, women currently only represent 28 percent of STEM jobs in the United States. The need for STEM workers will permeate every industry, as noted by a recent study by the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte. The study revealed a need for 3.5 million STEM jobs by 2025, with more than 2 million going unfilled due to the lack of highly skilled candidates to meet current demand.

Deloitte’s collaboration with The Ella Project is the latest in its efforts to create multiple pathways to STEM and STEM adjacent skills development and career opportunities to help build an inclusive and tech-savvy workforce.

“We are thrilled to have the support of Deloitte for The Ella Project,” said Ella founder Anthony Onesto. “This collaboration allows us the opportunity to highlight real life female role models in STEM; as their stories are woven into edutainment, we know to be invaluable to our future leaders. Ella, our tech savvy hero, is someone who young kids, girls and boys alike, can relate to and encourages the importance of critical-thinking throughout her exciting adventures.”

The series will be four comic books, plus a graphic novel. Other Deloitte leaders to be featured include Catherine Bannister, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and chief talent officer, technology; and Kelly Herod, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

The graphic novel series will be circulated to schools and educational groups around the country in an effort to inspire new generations of tech talent.

Source: Deloitte

The One-page Resume of Elon Musk

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elon Musk is pictured speaking to an audience using a microphone

As one of the most accomplished CEO’s and leaders in the worlds, he does not need any introduction, as simply saying his name would open most of the doors in the world.

Elon Musk revolutionized, improved and changed many industries, from electric vehicles to reusable rockets to being among the first to create the electronic payments industry to selling 20.000 flamethrowers in 4 days.

With so many achievements and past experiences, one would be right to think that you would need lots of pages in order to cover them all.

However, our team proved the concept of “Less, is More” that recruiters and employers ask for when receiving job applications, and through efficient use of design principles and advice from recruiters we managed to summarize all of the professional experience of Elon Musk in a one-page resume.

The following example of Elon Musk resume is the renewed version which has been created using the professional resume template that you can use to create yours as well and impress recruiters:

elon musk one page resume

The first version that we have created in 2016 proving the concept “Less, is More!” which inspired many persons to reduce the length of their resumes and impress recruiters is the following:

elon musk original one page resume

Continue on to Novoresume to read the complete article and “Build Your Resume”!