Prior to founding UVC, Ali was president of The Tech Garden, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of creating an entrepreneurial culture in Syracuse and the Central New York region. In addition to managing the Syracuse Technology Garden incubator, Ali managed a statewide network of experienced mentors. In 2008, Ali co-taught a course in technology entrepreneurship at Syracuse University, which has since grown into a year-long community-campus collaborative effort known as the Syracuse Student Startup Accelerator. Ali also had responsibility for launching the NYSERDA-funded Center for Clean Tech Entrepreneurship and SATOP, a NASA supported small business technology assistance program.
Ali moved to Syracuse from Washington, DC, where he was an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton charged with helping IRS Commissioners manage over $1 billion in technology modernization and workforce restructuring initiatives. Prior to this, he co-founded New Think (a mobile commerce services firm) and WritersPoint (an offshore technical writing company). Before beginning his career as an entrepreneur, Ali turned around large-scale software, telecommunications, and systems integration projects for Fortune 100 companies. He received his MBA in finance and operations management from Yale University’s School of Management, where he helped initiate a joint master’s degree program in industrial environmental management. Ali graduated from Princeton University with a degree in physics and a concentration in economics.