Bridge 2014
High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran:
Opportunities and Challenges

September 6, 2014
UC Berkeley Wheeler Auditorium

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About the Event

For the first time, seasoned entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Iran will convene to explore the opportunities and challenges of high tech entrepreneurship in Iran and its impact on the country's ongoing economic development. Bridge 2014 will raise awareness about the critical need to build educational bridges and promote the culture of “Entrepreneurs without Borders”. The Bridge 2014 conference is predicated on the notion that the promotion of entrepreneurship, and innovation is the indispensable key to sustainable growth.

This gathering will be part of a global effort to draw attention to “High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran: Opportunities and Challenges.” This tagline represents the Bridge 2014 vision of calling upon change makers and thought leaders both in Silicon Valley and Iran. Conference participants will educate each other about the issues impacting high tech entrepreneurship in Iran, the prevailing conditions in the country that deviate from the “global innovation model,” and the steps that should be taken to reduce this gap. Bridge 2014 complies with sanctions and corresponding laws. This conference explores the role of high tech in economic development: where change is the catalyst and choice is unlimited.

The issues that will be explored in this educational conference include the status of civilian research and development spending, startup growth, protection of intellectual property rights, laws and regulations governing bankruptcy, the attraction of venture capital, cultural attitudes towards entrepreneurs; failure, existence of innovation clusters, the ease of starting businesses, and the availability and accessibility of mentors and role models. Special attention will also be given to how Tehran can thrive by becoming a regional entrepreneurial hotspot, and the role that the city’s diverse and cosmopolitan nature can play in fostering creative tensions and intellectual exchanges that are paramount for unleashing innovation.


University of California at Berkeley has long been a major hub for education and intellectual exchanges among various cultures and is the major sponsor of Bridge 2014. The beautiful Wheeler Auditorium, which can accommodate over 700 participants, is the venue for the event on September 6, 2014. This full day event provides ample face-to-face networking opportunities amount the entrepreneurs worldwide.

Early Bird tickets are available here till August 18th. Ticket prices are as following:

  First-come-first-serve Availability Standard Student
Early Bird  Until Aug 21, 2014 $100 $25
Regular Up to the event's day $140 $40

Bridge 2014 additionally provides free worldwide live interactive video streaming of the event for up to 5000 participants. Please register here to save your seat as this is provided on a first-come-first-serve basis.
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Tentative Agenda: Berkeley Wheeler Auditorium, September 6, 2014

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8:30 AM - 9:00 AM


Master of Ceremonies: Roya Soleimani , Communications Manager, Google (Confirmed)

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Opening Remarks: Robert Price, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley (Confirmed)

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

First Keynote: Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman and co-Founder, LinkedIn (Invited)

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Second Keynote: 'A Lifetime of High-Tech Entrepreneurship: Lessons Learned', Kamran Elahian , Chairman and co-founder, Global Catalyst Partners (Confirmed)

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Third Keynote: Maryam Rofougaran , Senior Vice President, Engineering, Broadcom (Confirmed)

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM


11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

First Panel: Rising Stars: Challenges in the Rearview Mirror

Narges Baniasadi , Founder and CEO, Bina Technologies (Confirmed)

Babak Parviz , , Amazon (Confirmed)

Dave McClure, Founding Partner, 500 Startups (Confirmed)

Fereydoun Ghassemzadeh , CEO, Afranet (Confirmed)

Mahmoud Nazzari , Founder & President, System Group Company (Confirmed)

Nazanin Danshvar , Founder, (Confirmed)

Shahab Javanmardi , CEO, Fanap Co. (Confirmed)

Moderator: Payman Arabshahi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington (Confirmed)

12:45 PM - 2:00 PM


2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Fourth Keynote: Behrooz Abdi , CEO, InvenSense (Confirmed)

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Fifth Keynote: Yahya Tabesh , Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Sharif University of Technology (Confirmed)

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Sixth Keynote: Massih Tayebi , CEO and Co-founder, Ubiqomm (Confirmed)

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM


4:00 PM - 5:15 PM

Second Panel: Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Chris Fabian, Senior Advisor on Innovation to the Executive Director, UNICEF (Confirmed)

Hamed Ghoddusi , Member of Board of Directors, International Association of Iranian Managers (Confirmed)

Kheirollah Hadidi , Professor, Urmia University (Confirmed)

Pejman Nozad , Founding Managing Partner, Pejman  Mar Ventures (Confirmed)

Reza Karami , CEO, Golsoft (Confirmed)

Robert  Shahrokh Babayi , Managing Partner, Vector IP Law Group (Confirmed)

Saeed Amidi , CEO, Partner, Plug and Play Tech Center, Venture (Confirmed)

Sharokh Sheibani , Co-Founder and Director, Micro Moj Company (Confirmed)

Moderator: Tony Perkins, Founder and Editor, AlwaysOn (Confirmed)

5:15PM - 6:30PM

Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship

Daniel Epstein, CEO, Unreasonable Group (Confirmed)

Ali Fotowat , Professor, Sharif University (Confirmed)

Mohsen Malayeri , EVP, Iran Entrepreneurship Association (IEA) (Confirmed)

Farshad Nowshadi , Business Mentor at Level39, Level39 (Confirmed)

Nasser Ali Saadat , CEO, Neda Rayaneh (Confirmed)

Amin Saberi , Associate Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford (Confirmed)

Carol Sands, Founder and Managing Member, The Angels' Forum (Confirmed)

AnnaLee Saxenian , Dean, Berkeley School of Information (Invited)

Moderator: Amir Zarkesh, Co-founder and EVP, iCelero (Confirmed)

6:30PM - 7:00PM

Closing Remarks: Dariush Zahedi , Director, Berkeley Program on Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East (Confirmed)



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