Milan Kordestani – An 18-Year-Old We All Can Learn From
At first sight, Milan doesn’t seem that different. He’s 18, goes to college and enjoys being an equestrian. But then you get to talk to him and that’s when you realize how an ordinary college kid is doing something extraordinary.
While Milan may be slightly more than “just ordinary” with all of his accomplishments, he is still only 18. Why am I emphasizing that? Well, because he’s already the CEO of three startup companies, Milan Farms, Guin Records, and Dormzi.
Who Is He? And How Did He Get Here?
Milan Kordestani is the son of Omid Kordestani, the current Executive Chairman at Twitter, and Bita Daryabari, the founder of Pars Equality Center and Unique Zan Foundation. Although his parents have big names, Milan hasn’t let that stop him from creating his own identity and his parents have supported him throughout. “My dad has always been helpful in giving me advice whenever I need it and supporting my ideas
— both my parents have. My dad always told me to find out what I love to do and do that to the best of my ability. Both of my parents are very supportive and they’ll always offer their honest feedback. And their advice is to follow my gut and passion, some of the greatest advice I’ve received.”
“My mother introduced me to animals at a very young age. When I think back on it, I realize how lucky I am. Now as I study university planning to devote my life to creating a more humane world for chickens, I realize, I am lucky to have had a mother who didn’t chastise me when I told her I wanted to build a chicken coop in our backyard. A mother who didn’t say no when I carried hundreds of pounds worth of soil through the house and to the planter boxes where I grew saffron. She supported me. And while I know it couldn’t have been easy for her to explain to our tech-savvy community in Silicon Valley that I wanted to be a farmer, she did. And she was proud of me.”
College and Business Together? Really?
Being an entrepreneur at such an early age, there’s a lot of challenges you face. Balancing work with school can be hard, and finding time for living that “ideal college life” may be even harder. But for Milan, it’s slightly different. “I’ve never been really into the party scene. In high school, I remember going to a few parties and thinking they weren’t that fun. But what I always enjoyed was music. In college, I still don’t go to parties as I’m substance free, but of course I enjoy college in other ways. One of my favorite things to do is go to concerts with friends and see live music, but more than that, I enjoy spending time with friends, having interesting conversations, hearing other students’ stories, etc. Life does get hectic between all the projects I’m working on outside of school and being a full-time student, but I’ve found that there’s plenty of time to get school work done, spend time with friends, and work on a few start-ups on the side,” Milan explains.
But What Does He Do? And Why?
Kordestani has a passion for not just agriculture, but transparency within the industry. “Milan Farms is more than an organic farm. I believe that transparency is really important in agriculture because it’s the only way to stay accountable for how you raise your animals or produce, and it’s the only way to keep up with changing demands. I throw around the word humane a lot and I understand how vague that term is, but to me, it’s a perfect word for where the agriculture industry needs to go. To me, it means treating animals with respect, not abusing them, and wanting animals to be raised well so that we’re consuming quality.”
He’s Also an Equestrian!
“I began riding when I was ten after I fell off of a horse at a ranch with my dad and sister. The three of us loved going to this ranch in Montana. We had trail ridden together often, but it wasn’t until the horse I was on took off and I fell, that I found an interest in the sport. The evening after I fell, I asked my dad if I could ride again the next day. He was so scared of it happening again that he said I couldn’t ride again until I took lessons. When we got home and he saw I was still interested in riding, he allowed me to take lessons at a local barn. I never stopped. I love riding, I love the American Saddlebred breed, and I hope to always have horses in my life.”
Nothing is impossible, all you need is hard work and dedication. And Milan is the perfect example for that.