This is the first post in a three-post series about the Co-Founders at Aimsio.
1. Give us a brief background on yourself.
I was born in Iran and migrated to Canada with my family in 1999 when I was 16. We landed in Vancouver and I couldn’t speak a word of English. I was put into a schoolboard ESL class for couple of months and then enrolled in high school at Carson Graham Secondary in North Vancouver. After I completed high school I was admitted to Simon Fraser University. A fun fact is that I also applied to Carlton University and got into the Aerospace program but decided to stay in Vancouver instead.
Eventually, my parents got job offers in Calgary so I moved with them and transferred to University of Calgary. I finished my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and then accepted into the Masters program. I was fascinated with biology, therefore, my research project was to build a multi-agent simulation of an E.coli bacterial cell in the human body. We even did a paper on the simulation (see here). I also got involved in the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition in 2009 (see here). We went to MIT and won gold in one category. I was involved in the mathematical modelling component of our project that aimed to develop differential and non-differential (membrane computing) models for predicting and evaluating the behaviour of our signaling system.
Besides obtaining my education at the University of Calgary, I also met my wonderful wife there as well. We met in 2009 and we were married in 2012. She is my travel buddy and we have been travelling together as often as we can since we've been together. We travel for our wedding anniversary in August and we also travel during the Christmas/New Year holiday so that we can ring in the New Year every year in a new city. So far we've driven through almost all of Canada and nearly every state in the USA. We've also done road trips in France, Spain, England, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Grenada (Caribbean). We also had really exceptional memories of Jamica, Cuba, Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan. We are planning on more exciting trips in the future to places like Morrocco and Greece. I love hearing about the travelling adventures of others and always apperciate travel tips! Travelling, whiskey, and a good cigar - these things always cheer me up!
We went to MIT and won gold in one category. I was involved in the mathematical modelling component of our project that aimed to develop differential and non-differential (membrane computing) models for predicting and evaluating the behaviour of our signaling system.
2. What does your typical day look like?
I normally wake up around 7 a.m., but try to avoid looking at my phone and email until 8 a.m. The first thing I do is check my meeting schedule. I typically attend a couple of meetings each day. The rest is doing some hands on work with our Sales and Operations. I normally go through about 60 emails a day and deal with time sensitive materials and deadline driven items.
I usually don’t bring lunch (even on days that I pack lunch, I forget to bring it), so I normally grab a quick bite from nearby places. I like to eat my lunch with the team because that's when fruitful conversations happen. I drink a lot of tea! I mean a lot! So you’ll see me filling the hot water pot throughout the day.
3. What is the most important, interesting or challenging thing you're working on right now?
Important: Sales strategy and execution for the coming year.
Interesting: Understanding our "Why"! I just finished reading Simon Sinek’s book titled Start With Your Why and it has been eye opening.
Challenging: Building the right culture and ecosystem for Aimsio to scale and grow. Making sure our values and goals are aligned and the team is engaged in our vision of making businesses reach their greatest potential by being more efficient and having their business run on Aimsio.
4. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The ability to solve real-world problems every day. There are tons of challenges that we face on daily basis and we don’t always know the right answer. I'm excited to come to work each day and collaborate alongside an amazing team. I'm often the dumbest person in the room and there's a tremendous amount of learning that happens every day. I am proud of our team, our culture and our company!
I'm excited every day to come to work and collaborate alongside an amazing team. I'm often the dumbest person in the room and there's a tremendous amount of learning that happens every day.
5. Where do you see the company in 5 years?
I see Aimsio becoming a major player in the Field Service Management space. We have an amazing product that is flexible and adapts to the unique needs of our customers in a scalable way. It is a huge challenge to build something that is configurable and yet scalable and I think this is where Aimsio is going to shine. I see us taking over the majority of the market and growing even faster than we already are.
6. What is your favourite thing about Aimsio?
The fact that we challenge each other every day and we don’t settle for the status quo. Our ability to look at a problem in a new light and come up with viable solutions is fantastic!
7. If you weren't a Co-Founder & CEO at Aimsio, what would you be doing?
I would probably be working at another startup. Before Aimsio, I almost moved to Australia to be part of a startup that did evolutionary simulation and modeling. I was also negotiating a position in a HealthTech startup. Honestly though, there is no where I'd rather be than at Aimsio and working alongside with such inspiring individuals.
8. What advice do you have for anyone starting their own company or thinking about starting their own company?
It takes 110% of your dedication and you need to have a thick skin. Don’t be discouraged by failure: fail fast, fail often and learn to quickly pivot. Focus on acquiring the best talent. Find capable and aligned co-founders. The one thing that will empower you to succeed is a capable team. We pivoted several times before settling on what we are doing today and the only reason we overcame our challenges was because we recognized it fast and acted on it with a capable team.