Iranian-Americans in Silicon Valley are Getting More Powerful

Today marked another milestone for the Iranian-American tech community in Silicon Valley. Uber’s board of directors appointed Tehran-Born Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO after the controversies around its founder, Travis Kalanick. As Pejman Nozad eloquently puts, “The Persian Mafia in Tech gets $70B bigger!”.

Dara Khosrowshahi is not the only Iranian-American executive in tech. Many Iranian-Americans have founded, invested in, or reached the top ranks of some of the most prominent Silicon Valley companies. The close-knit community of Iranian-Americans and the high value of education in the Iranian culture and families is one of the reasons our community is getting more powerful day by day.

Shervin Pishevar on cover of the Forbes Magazine

Let’s take look at some of the most prominent founders, funders, and executives in tech of Iranian heritage.

  1. Dara Khosrowshahi: CEO of Uber. Ex-CEO of Expedia.

The list of successful Iranian-Americans in Silicon Valley is definitely much larger than the above and I have for sure missed some prominent names in this list. Also, I have not included some very prominent scientists like Dr. Firouz Naderi, Dr. Nader Engheta, etc. in this list or successful entrepreneurs who don’t work in Silicon Valley like the world-renowned Anousheh Ansari.

What I am very excited about is the next generation of Iranian-American entrepreneurs and the rising stars. To name a few I would list:

Falon Roz Fatemi: Founder/CEO of Node.io with $18M+ funding (Mark Cuban is an investor!). Previously youngest employee at Google.

Reza Zadeh: Founder of Matroid, a computer vision company. Adjunct Professor at Stanford.

Mahyar Salek & Mahdokht Masaeli: Founders of Deep Cell, a prenatal testing biotech company.

Arad Rostampour: Founder/CEO of ZenHealth (YC backed) and co-founder of SocialShielf acquired by Avira.

Saam Motamedi: Investor at Greylock Partners, previously founded Guru Labs.

Yasmin Razavi: Investor at Spark Capital, previously at Index Ventures and McKinsey.

Niki Pezeshki: Investor at Felicis Ventures backing iconic companies.

Parsa Saljoughian: Vice President at Institutional Venture Partners. Previously at SnapChat

Payam Banazadeh: Co-Founder/CEO at Capella Space, building space infrastructure, which has raised $12M

Ali Kashani,: Founder of Lux.io (AI in food company) acquired by PostMates and now an executive at PostMates.

Mehdi Samadi: Founder of Solvvy, an AI-based CRM company which was featured in WSJ, etc. and raised $4.5M.

Maryam Ziaei & Shadi Saberi: Founders of iSono Health, backed by Ycombinator

Ehsan Saeedi & Danial Ehyaie: Founders of Gate Labs, the smart lock company.

Soruosh Salehian: Co-Founder/CEO of Aeva. Aeva builds autonomous car technology that combines vision, depth an motion sensors in a single product

Ben Nader: Founder/CEO Butterfleye, a security solutions company with $4M+ in funding.

Sara Naseri: Founder of QuraSense (YCombinator backed). Previously founded BUCKY’o’’ZUN a sun protection technology.

Babak Elmieh: Founder/CEO of Nascent Objects acquired by Facebook.

Daniel Ahmadizadeh: A recent YCombinator backed company building a product for real estate agents which has raised over $3M in venture capital.

Padideh Kamali-Zare and Kaveh Vejdani: founded Darmiyan, a YC-backed software platform to detect Alzheimer’s disease.

Arman Jahangiri: Founder of ResultCare, a digital healthcare company.

Robert Ravanshenas: Senior associate at Maven Ventures.

Mahbod Moghadam: Founder of Everpedia, a next-gen encyclopedia. Previously founded Genius.

and the youngest one to join the club, the 15 years old!

Soroush Ghodsi: founder of Slik.ai (a lead generation company) who is the youngest founder ever to join Ycombinator!

I am happy to call many of these people my friends and mentors. Please follow me here on medium and on Linkedin for more posts about tech, startups, Iran’s startup scene and entrepreneurs.

Founder turned VC — Partner at DCVC. Author of "Super Founders". Spent 4 years collecting the largest dataset on startups. Order on Amazon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store