The GMI Rocket podcast is hosted by me, Roman Zelichenko, an immigration lawyer-turned-immigration tech startup founder exploring immigration technology and marketing. GMI Rocket is a community of global mobility and immigration (GMI) business owners, CEOs, execs and team members dedicated to tech, marketing and growing their businesses.
I'm the co-founder and CEO of an H-1B compliance startup called LaborLess (http://www.laborless.io)
I'm the founder of a creative agency helping immigration professionals with marketing (http://www.zelichenkocreative.com)
Bahar Ansari, Founder, 2nd.law & Case.one: immigration lawyer, tech founder and social media guru
I’m super excited for episode 37 of the GMI Rocket show because my guest is immigration lawyer, tech founder, and social media guru Bahar Ansari, founder of 2nd.law and co-founder of Case.one I met Bahar at the first-ever AILA tech and innovation summit in 2019. We connected right away over immigration tech and how it can help immigration law firms automate, streamline and scale. But Bahar is also a social media guru - she’s active on Instagram, Linked In, TikTok, Clubhouse, and more. She has her own podcast, and we’ve discussed the power of digital marketing too! This episode can easily go on for hours because there’s just so much to learn from Bahar. But I’ll try to keep it manageable So, here’s what we’ll be talking about:
Bahar’s story and immigration journey, What drew Bahar to the legal field and her law school experience, Why Bahar went from litigation to immigration and started her own firm, How Bahar got into legal tech and founded Case.one, Bahar’s journey with Case.one, How Bahar has also scaled her law firm using social media, Where Bahar sees the immigration industry going in terms of tech and marketing, And more!
For More Information on Case.one:
Amélie-Sophie Vavrovsky, Co-founder, Formally: asylum-focused immigration tech and access to justice
My guest today on the GMI Rocket show is Amélie-Sophie Vavrovsky, co-founder of Formally, an immigration tech startup that’s simplifying immigration applications through accessible design. Formally focuses on asylum applications (though it’s expanding) and, importantly, supports multiple languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Amélie herself has an incredible background: she graduated Brown University with a focus on international relations and Middle East studies, worked with nonprofit Impactive in Somalia, Haiti, and Egypt, is currently doing research at Stanford and speaks NINE languages!! And in the meantime, she launched Formally, to bring address access-to-justice via technology. Here’s what we’ll be talking about: :
Amélie’s background and early life
Amélie’s time at Brown and what led her to law + tech + policy
Amélie’s experience volunteering and studying abroad
How Amélie came upon the idea for Formally, and the first steps she took
What Formally does and where the company is heading
Amélie’s experience at Stanford and how it’s impacted Formally
What Amélie sees as the future of immigration technology And more!
For More Information On Formally:
Ilya Brotzky, CEO & Founder, VanHack: helping the world’s top tech talent find jobs and relocate
Today is episode 33 of the GMI Rocket show, and I’m joined by Ilya Brotzky, the CEO & founder of VanHack, which connects tech talent from around the world who are willing to relocate with hiring employers. VanHack is based in Vancouver, BC, but its reach is truly global. They have over 180,000 members from 100+ countries. And it’s not just pure recruiting - VanHack hosts conferences, webinars, workshops, and more, all with the goal of creating a community of people looking for a job in tech and companies that are hiring. Ilya launched his first venture while a senior at Cornell, spent considerable time in Brazil, and then started multiple businesses before starting VanHack in 2014. Here’s what we’ll talk about:
Ilya’s early life and his time at Cornell, What inspired him to launch his first venture, Mountains for Moms, How Ilya found himself in Brazil, and what he did there, What eventually brought him back to Canada, How he launched VanHack, and the first steps he took, What VanHack does and how he’s scaled it so much in just a few years, What Ilya sees as the current state of the global workforce, and where it’s going. And more!
For More Information on VanHack:
Xiao Wang, CEO & cofounder, Boundless: From immigrant to Amazon to VC-backed immigration tech leader
Today, in episode 34 of the GMI Rocket show, I’m interviewing one of the immigration tech stars of the last few years: Xiao Wang, co-founder, and CEO of Boundless. I actually first heard about Boundless on an episode of The Pitch, a podcast where guests pitch their startups to a panel of VC investors. I still remember the day - I was on the bike at my gym, and I was SO HAPPY to hear immigration tech in the spotlight! Since then, Boundless has raised over $18 million, and with its last round, acquired a competitor, RapidVisa. With the new administration and general trends within the industry, there’s a huge need for tech. But immigration tech raises a lot of questions too... So here’s what we’ll be talking about::
Xiao’s early days and his family’s immigration story
Xiao’s time at Stanford and his impressive jobs after graduation
What led Xiao to business school, and his time at Amazon
How the idea for Boundless was born and how Xiao launched it
Xiao’s experience raising VC funding and acquiring a competitor
How Boundless coexists with the traditional immigration law model
The future for Boundless and the immigration industry overall And more!
For More Information On Boundless:
Dick Burke, CEO, Envoy: Disrupting immigration through innovative tech + law firm partnership model
For Episode 35 of the GMI Rocket show, I’m interviewing the CEO of one of the largest immigration tech companies in the world! Dick Burke, CEO of Envoy Global. After working as a corporate lawyer for most of the 90s, Dick spent over a decade at Classified Ventures, a VC firm that famously owned Cars.com. Then in 2012, he became President at Apartments.com, wherein for just 2 years, he helped reinvigorate the business and lead its acquisition. Shortly after the sale, he joined Envoy. Actually, at that time (2015), it wasn’t called Envoy yet… it was called VISANOW. After Dick joined as CEO, the company rebranded to Envoy (2016), raised a $21M Series C round (2017), and has continued to grow ever since! Here’s what we’ll be talking about:
Dick’s early days and his time in college and law school, Dick’s experience working as a corporate lawyer in Chicago, Why Dick went from law to VC, and what he learned, His journey growing and leading the sale of Apartments.com, Why Dick joined Envoy and what his vision was for immigration tech, How Envoy works, where the company is now and where it’s going, Where Dick sees the immigration tech industry going overall And more!
For More Information on Envoy Global:
John Cameron: CTO, Talent Beyond Boundaries: connecting skilled refugees & job opportunities
We’re exploring a nonprofit using tech to connect skilled refugees with jobs. Joining me is the CTO and co-founder John Cameron. Talent Beyond Boundaries helps, as their website puts it, unlock skilled migration pathways for refugees. But John doesn’t come from an immigration law background - he was actually an innovator in the financial tech space first. John had an illustrious career building tech in the financial sector and launched, grew, and sold two companies before really shifting his energy into supporting the refugee crisis. Here’s what we’ll talk about:
John’s early life and why he got into computer science.
What it was like building one of the world’s first automated trading systems?
What motivated John to start CameronFIX and eventually sell it?
How John got into building a local wine/produce platform and eventually sold it
How John got involved with TBB and why he dove into solving refugee resettlement
How TBB works and what the organization is aiming to do
What John sees as the future of technology and immigration And more!
For More Information On Talent Beyond Boundaries:
Román Zelichenko & GMI Rocket ROCK!!
For anyone in the immigration & tech space, Roman’s weekly GMI Rocket interviews every Friday on LinkedIn & YouTube are an ESSENTIAL element of your tool kit. The interviews are always fabulous & interesting, not to mention the variety of folks Roman interviews in this space. You will learn so much even if you already know a lot! Tune in NOW! You will love this show!
Love Roman’s passion for immigration and tech! Especially appreciate his insight and the community he’s building with GMI Rocket. Roman’s podcast is an essential addition to the relocation conversation! Lindy
Excellent Legal tech podcast
I’ve enjoyed this podcast - immensely informative and inspiring. If you’re passionate about legal tech and immigration, this is the podcast to subscribe to!