This article was originally written for Gladeo's #CareerHighlights series and was published on April 23, 2016
Ariel Sultan is the entrepreneur behind Food Guru, a marketing and video production company that focuses on the culinary arts.
Ariel grew up in the San Francisco-Marin County, California with her parents and younger brother. As a student, Ariel was an athlete, balancing school with sports. She attended New York University, where she earned a degree in film. Ariel balanced her college life with internships at Discovery Channel, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and BBDO. Today, she currently lives in San Francisco, where she runs Food Guru.
Ariel started Food Guru after seeing an opening in online marketing and video in the food industry, which inspired her to become an entrepreneur. She has been developing her company and food channel for roughly three years, focusing on “food and beverage businesses supporting them in their marketing mostly online.” Her goal is to build an online community so that she can better reach her clients, as well connect foodies to these innovative food brands. Ariel has directed and produced over 100 videos, which are available on Food Guru’s YouTube channel. These videos feature an original cooking web-series called Cooking Guru, food business stories, recipes, how-tos, and other creative shorts.
To be in her position, Ariel shares that one must also consider film as a major, and also try to make connections by going into internships. One needs a lot of perseverance and determination to be in her industry because it is always changing. Sultan advises young people going on a similar path “to be open-minded, implement critical feedback, and constantly keep creating opportunities by networking with people around you." Additionally, she advises inspiring entrepreneurs to "find a mentor, practice what you are good at, create a portfolio, and publish your best work. By collaborating with others on projects, you will have the best possible product because you are capitalizing on a variety of skill sets from other talented people.”
Last fall, Ariel was invited to attend the 2015 JA NorCal Business Hall of Fame, where she met our Gladeo League Program Director, Joseph Fortuno. Ariel hosted a panel with Joseph Fortuno and the new members of Herban Movement, his previous student start-up. Joseph says,
"I was so inspired by Ariel. The day we met, I was nervous because I was about to go in front of 100-something established entrepreneurs for a panel. But talking to Ariel made me feel less nervous and more inspired. As a high school student, I wanted to be in the film industry, and it continues to be a passion that I wish to explore, so as a young entrepreneur and an amateur videographer, I was able to connect to Ariel! My first panel discussion would not have been the same without her as the moderator!"