Saleema Vellani is an award-winning innovation strategist, a serial entrepreneur, a professor, and the author of the forthcoming book, Innovation Starts With ‘I’. At the age of 21, Saleema launched Brazil’s largest and #1 language school to finance an orphanage and social development programs. Shortly after, she co-founded and ran a leading online translation agency in Italy to help companies expand their digital presence globally, which was acquired in 2012. For over 12 years, Saleema has led economic development organizations, technology companies, and international finance institutions to the next stage of growth and innovation.
Currently, Saleema is the Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Strategist of Innovazing, a strategy consulting firm that helps organizations navigate digital transformation through co-creating innovation strategies centered in design thinking and agile processes. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University and an advisor to several startups and mission-driven organizations, including Net Impact, Startup Africa, Wonder Women Tech, PCDNetwork, SXSW, and the World Bank Youth-2-Youth Community.
Saleema holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development from McGill University and a Master’s degree in International Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian and has lived in Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Italy, and the USA. Born and raised in Canada, she is proud of her multicultural upbringing as a Toronto native with East African and Indian roots.