CEO, "Science Guy"
Bilal Qizilbash wears many hats. As a scientist and managing partner of MiraKale Labs, Bilal has taken his research on the cancer-fighting properties of kale and worked to turn that knowledge into an actionable product through the EasyKale™ brand.
As a scientist and entrepreneur, Bilal is focused on finding solutions in nature to health and lifestyle challenges facing us as humans. EasyKale™ is the direct result of that work, with the goal of reaching as many people as possible with the benefits of kale.
Bilal has presented lectures on leadership, innovation, and his team's cancer breakthrough at numerous conferences, most notably at the Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale University attended by over 3,000 people.
Bilal holds U.S. Patent #9919016: "Product and method of deploying kale derivatives for anti-cancer effects."
Along with his scientific research and his current studies toward an M.B.A., Bilal Qizilbash is a social entrepreneur; one of his passions is feeding the hungry, something he does weekly in his adopted home town of Jackson, Mississippi, through his non-profit organization, the Draw a Smile Foundation. The R U Hungry program feeds the hungry every Friday at 6 p.m. in downtown Jackson as well as in Brooklyn, New York on Sundays.
In fact, the Jackson arts council and visitors center recently produced a video documentary on Bilal available on Vimeo:
Bilal is a 2017 El Hibri National Peace Prize nominee and received a 2017 Young Influential honor from BOOM Jackson magazine and a 2018 Young Professional On the Rise award from the Young Gifted and Empowered Awards in Jackson, Miss. He was also nominated for the 2016 CNN Hero of the Year award.
Other honors include: 2017 Leader of Community Change Award; 2017 Timothy Award; 2016 Ansar Award; a "Most Intriguing Person of 2015" from Jackson Free Press; 2015 Top Five Presentations at the 79th Annual MAS Meeting; 2015 Basic/Clinical Science Graduate Prize, Third Place Award; 2015 Ansar Award; E3 Mentor Award; 2014 Foman and Nina Musselwhite Prize in Graduate Research, First Place Award; Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s Triple “C” Award (Character, Commitment, and Courage); National Honor Roll; Who’s Who National Honor Roll; Sigma Beta Honor Society.
COO, "Strategy and Operations Guy"
Richard A. Sun, CFA, is the founder and owner of Sun & Co. and has been involved in 30 startups and early-stage companies as an advisor, investor, executive, founder or member of the board of directors.
He is Co-Founder and Head of Jackson for Mississippi Coding Academies and Entrepreneur in Residence at Innovate Mississippi; he is on its Board and Executive Committee and has been Chair and on the Investment Committee of its Seed Funds.
From 1972 to 1992, he was an investment banker with Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche Bank), Goldman Sachs, First Boston (now Credit Suisse) and UBS (once Swiss Bank Corporation).
From 1994 to 2001, he was a director with a private equity investor with Emerging Markets Partnership, a $6 billion firm backed by AIG, the World Bank and the Government of Singapore. He has arranged, advised on or made over $11 billion of private debt and equity investments.
Rich earned a BA from Princeton University with High Honors and an MBA in finance and international business from New York University. He is Entrepreneur in Residence at Innovate Mississippi; he is on its Board and Executive Committee and has been Chair and on the Investment Committee of its Seed Funds.
CMO, "Sales and Marketing Guy"
Todd Stauffer is the co-founder, publisher and president of Jackson Free Press, Inc., an award-winning media company based in Jackson, Mississippi, and the principal in its subsidiary, JFP Digital Services, a web design and digital marketing firm.
Todd is the author or co-author of more than three-dozen books on computing and the Internet, an award-winning magazine writer and a former television and radio host.
Todd is chairman of TeamJXN, Inc, a non-profit organization designed to promote and encourage progress in the city of Jackson in the form of small businesses, new urban infill development and business incubation and entrepreneurship. TeamJXN runs the Coalesce Coworking space, through which Todd is a sponsor and organizer for 1 Million Cups Jackson.
Todd graduated with honors from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in Management Information Systems.