Bridge 2014
High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran: 
Opportunities and Challenges

September 6, 2014
UC Berkeley Wheeler Auditorium

پل ۲۰۱۴
فرصت‌ها و چالش‌ها برای کارآفرینی تکنولوژی در ایران
شنبه ۶ سپتامبر - دانشگاه کالیفرنیا برکلی
Speakers and Videos Bridge 2014 Playlist Bridge Conversations About Donations and Sponsors Press

About the Event

For the first time, seasoned entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Iran convened, in a sold out event in UC Berkeley Wheeler Auditorium, on September 6th 2014, to explore the opportunities and challenges of high tech entrepreneurship in Iran and its impact on the country's ongoing economic development. Bridge 2014 raised awareness about the critical need to build educational bridges and promote the culture of “Entrepreneurs without Borders”. The Bridge 2014 conference was predicated on the notion that the promotion of entrepreneurship, and innovation is the indispensable key to sustainable growth.

This gathering is 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 educated 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 explored the role of high tech in economic development: where change is the catalyst and choice is unlimited.

The issues that was explored in this educational conference included 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 was also 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.

Bridge 2014 Speakers and Videos

Roya Soleimani, Communications Manager, Google
Introduction, Welcome, Acknowledgments
Robert Price, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research,
UC Berkeley
Introduction, Welcome, Acknowledgments
Jack Citrin , Director, Institute of Governmental Studies,
UC Berkeley
Introduction, Welcome, Acknowledgments
Behrooz Abdi, 
CEO, 
InvenSense
Building the Future, One Bridge at a Time
Kamran Elahian,
Chairman and co-founder,
Global Catalyst Partners
iGANDHI: Be the High Tech Agent of Change You Wish to See in the World
Mojdeh Eskandari,
Licensee and Curator,
TEDxKish
First Panel: Rising Stars: Challenges in the Rearview Mirror
Dr. Payman Arabshahi,
Associate Professor of EE, University of Washington
First Panel: Rising Stars: Challenges in the Rearview Mirror
Yasi Baiani,
Manager, Innovative Products, athenahealth
First Panel: Rising Stars: Challenges in the Rearview Mirror
Mahmoud Nazzari,
Founder & President,
System Group Company
Initiating and Sustaining Innovative IT Companies in Iran: Overcoming Challenges
Tony Perkins,
Founder and Editor,
AlwaysOn
Second Panel: Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Saeed Amidi, 
CEO, Partner, Plug and Play Tech Center, Venture
Second Panel: Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Robert Shahrokh Babayi, Managing Partner,
Vector IP Law Group
Second Panel: Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Dr. Hamed Ghoddusi, 
Member of Board of Directors, Int. Assoc. of Iranian Managers
Second Panel: Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Pejman Nozad,
Founding Managing Partner, Pejman Mar Ventures
Second Panel: Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Dr. Shahrokh Sheybani,
Co-Founder and Director,
Micro Moj Company
Initiating and Sustaining Innovative IT Companies in Iran: Overcoming Challenges
Dr. Yahya Tabesh, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Sharif University of Technology
Fostering High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran
Dr. Massih Tayebi,
Chairman,
Bridgewest Business Group
Transitioning into Productivity
Dr. Amir Zarkesh,
Co-founder and Executive VP,
iCelero
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Daniel Epstein,
CEO,
Unreasonable Group
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Dr. Ali Fotowat, 
Professor at Dept. of EE, 
Sharif University
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Mohsen Malayeri,
EVP, Iran Entrepreneurship Association (IEA)
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Farshad Nowshadi,
Business Mentor,
Level39
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Tony Perkins,
Founder and Editor,
AlwaysOn
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Dr. Amin Saberi, 
Assoc. Prof. of Management Science & Engineering, Stanford
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Carol Sands,
Founder and Managing Member, The Angels' Forum
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Fereydoun Taslimi,
Founder and CTO,
RapidFire Tools
Third Panel: Mentorship: A Pillar of Entrepreneurship
Babak Pahlavan
Global Head of Products, Director - Google Analytics
A Recommendation List for Entreprunures
Dr. Dariush Zahedi, Dir., UCB Program on Entrepreneurship Develeopment in Middle East
Closing Remarks

Venue

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, was the venue for the event on September 6, 2014 and was SOLD OUT!. This full day event provided ample face-to-face networking opportunities amount the entrepreneurs worldwide.

Bridge 2014 additionally provided free worldwide live video streaming of the event. About 800 people participated online.
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