Komal Ahmad

Founder and President of Copia

Komal Ahmad
  • Founder and President of Copia, Komal has built proprietary tech to intelligently reduce food waste and end hunger across North America
  • Twice named to Forbes “30 Under 30,” one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” one of Entrepreneur’s “Most Powerful Women in the World," and one of Marie Claire’s ”Most Powerful & Impactful People in Business”
  • Recipient of the prestigious Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award
  • Inspires audiences with her unlikely and captivating story of innovating and building a transformative company to solve global hunger - proving that “impossible is nothing”

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The reasonable woman adapts herself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to herself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable woman. Komal Ahmad is an unreasonable woman intelligently Solving the World's Dumbest Problemä – world hunger.

As founder and president of Copia, Ahmad solved the complex logistics associated with the redistribution of highly-perishable excess food from businesses, commercial kitchens, and events to nonprofits in need. A for-profit surplus food waste management company, Copia’s advanced and proprietary technology dramatically reduces food waste and ends hunger across North America. Ahmad has led the organization in successfully diverting more than 3.5M pounds of food from landfill (enough to completely fill 40+ NFL stadiums), feeding more than 4 million people all while providing businesses and nonprofits with over $21M in savings. Copia is distinguished as 1 of the top 3 startups run by women in the U.S. and 1 of the top 8 startups graduating out of Y Combinator.

A creative innovator and exemplary business leader, Ahmad inspires people across the globe with her dynamic vision and ability to transform the world through the power of food. In speeches, she shares how her relentless pursuit of accomplishing what others believe is “impossible” has led to her lifelong commitment to public service. Be it in the executive board room of a Fortune 100, at a university commencement, or addressing the United Nations, Ahmad captivates audiences of all sizes with her engaging and relatable speaking style, and reveals how she's innovated and built a transformative company to solve world hunger. An immigrant and sole female founder, she uses her unlikely and fascinating story of working to solve global hunger to inspire groups to embrace a culture of innovation and creativity, make unsolvable problems solvable, see the beauty in failure, cultivate change, and uncover the untapped potential within all of us.

Among numerous accolades for her work, Ahmad has been named the University of California's “30 Under 30” Global Food Changemaker and awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year. She has also been named by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the ‘Most Powerful Women in the World,’ recognized by Marie Claire as one of the ‘Most Powerful & Impactful People in Business,’ highlighted by Fast Company as one of the ‘Most Creative People in Business, listed by InStyle among the ‘Top 50 Most Badass Women in the World,’ and appointed by Toyota as their ‘Mother of Invention.’ She has made the coveted Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list twice and was also honored with the prestigious Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award.

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Speaker Video

Game Changers – Kia X Copia

Copia on VOX

Interview with Copia CEO Komal Ahmad I KQED Newsroom

United Nations Keynote - Komal Ahmad - COPIA's Founder & CEO

How Komal Ahmad is fighting hunger with an app

Komal Ahmad: Using Technology to Solve the World's Problems

Using Technology, Creativity, and Innovation to Change the World for a Better Tomorrow. Komal Ahmad believes hunger isn’t a scarcity problem; it’s a logistics problem. In an uplifting and inspirational presentation, Ahmad shares stories and images including the impact she has made by creating Copia – a for-profit sustainable food waste company that leverages technology to solve world hunger. Ahmad demonstrates how her company is using mobile technology, data and analytics, and a sophisticated algorithm to dramatically reduce food waste and solve hunger, while motivating others to cultivate change. Her innovative model creates jobs and opportunities, while transforming lives. And her story and takeaways prove that a culture of innovation and creativity not only leads to personal and organizational success, but also a better tomorrow for all.  

The Woman that Proves ‘Impossible is Nothing.’ For centuries, solving world hunger felt like more a pipe dream than a genuine ambition. Not anymore. Komal Ahmad's not playing Miss Universe here; she’s using major leaps in technology to make this once-unsolvable problem solvable, getting the food we all waste to the people who need it the most. She doesn’t have a dream; she has a plan. One that has provided nearly 4 million meals to those who need it most across the US. of food and counting. Leave behind your skepticism and see how you can make hunger history.

The Beauty of Failure. Every Silicon Valley startup has its Founder’s story – highlighting the rosy bits of a company’s development from conception to execution. But as Komal Ahmad points out, the hardships faced when getting from the beginning to the end of that story are what truly define one’s success. Using her own journey as an example – from Berkley grad, to being fired from her entry-level job, to tackling world hunger as the successful, solo-female founder and president of Copia – Ahmad demonstrates the beauty in failure and how it takes the ugly moments and embracing your pitfalls to create meaningful change.

Data + Women. Komal Ahmad, Forbes 30 Under 30 and Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award recipient, shares how technology and analytics can end world hunger. As an immigrant, solo-female founder, Komal’s story inspires the untapped potential within all of us.

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