Farhan Muhammad

ILM Founder & Visionary

His story

A leader in the Minneapolis/St. Paul business community, Farhan Muhammad was a passionate entrepreneur; founding ILM Professional Services, Inc. in 2002, the Minnesota Developers Conference (MDC) in 2006 and Fusion Room in 2010. Having traveled from Pakistan to the United States to further his education, Farhan received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 1997 and his Master of Science in Software Engineering three years later. Before his unexpected death in 2014, Farhan accomplished much in his professional career. He was recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal in 2011 for seeing ILM recognized as a Best Place To Work and one of the 50 fastest-growing private companies, as well as growing MDC into the largest event of its kind in the Upper Midwest.

History & Foundation

Early life

Farhan Muhammad grew up in Karachi, Pakistan with his parents and three brothers. Farhan’s parents had moved to the city after losing their home and belongings to riots. To escape the mass genocide, his parents escaped on foot and fled for a refugee camp. En route to the camp, his mother gave birth to her first child, with Farhan born a year later while they still lived in the camp. Despite the trying circumstances Farhan’s parents never gave up, and through hard work, were able to move the family of six to a 700-square foot house. Farhan’s childhood was filled with memories of a loving and caring family who valued above all providing a good education for their children. During this time in Karachi, Farhan developed a fascination for coding and computer science. To further his education and follow his passion, he moved to Minnesota as a teen to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato.

This was a pivotal time in his life as he not only received his undergraduate degree, but met and married his future business partner Luna Ahmed. Together they set down roots in the Twin Cities where Farhan went on to get his Master’s Degree at the University of Minnesota.

Founding ILM

By 2001, at only 27 years of age, Farhan had completed his master’s degree and was a published author and international speaker. Following Microsoft’s release of .NET in 2002, Farhan decided to pursue a new venture and founded his own business, ILM Professional Services.

Jokingly referred to by Farhan as his first child, ILM’s name was inspired by three of his passions: imagination, learning and mentorship. Under Farhan’s leadership, ILM quickly moved to the forefront of the Minneapolis/St. Paul tech industry where he gained a reputation as an advocate of industry best practices and as a facilitator for the sharing and exchanging of knowledge within the community.

Pursuing his passions

Following his lifelong interest in learning and education, Farhan founded the Minnesota Developers Conference in 2006 after feeling the void left when Microsoft had stopped hosting their own application conference the year before. Not one to rest on his laurels, he continued to grow MDC year by year and proceeded to foster education in the local community by starting the Twin Cities .NET User Group, which continues to meet monthly at the ILM office.

His legacy

Farhan’s sudden passing in March of 2014 has been felt by many but his legacy lives on through his wife and two children, friends and accomplishments. He is remembered fondly by those who knew him for his sense of humor, calm nature, culinary experimentations and devotion to his family. The world is not the same without him, but we are better off for having known him.