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Velocity alumnus heads to Stanford for Ignite Programme

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Arash Tayebi, the CEO of Kara Technologies Ltd, is travelling to Stanford University, California, in January to spend two months at the Stanford Graduate School of Business programme “Stanford Ignite”, which helps innovators formulate, develop, and commercialise ideas.

He is the eighth Velocity alumni to be accepted into Stanford Ignite and joins an impressive line up of innovators and entrepreneurs coming out of the University of Auckland who have used the programme to acquire the business fundamentals that will help them to succeed in their entrepreneurial ventures. These Velocity alumni are: Daniel Xu, Jenny Xu, Christian Hirsch, Mark Finch, Logan Wait, Graeme Fielder, Shaun Tan and James Daniell.

Joining the University of Auckland as an international student from Iran, Arash completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering this year. His research was around wireless sensor networks.

Arash founded Kara Technologies with Sahar Izadi and Farmehr Farhour and the team won the social entrepreneurship category of the 2017 Velocity $100k Challenge, which enabled them to participate in the University of Auckland’s first incubator programme – VentureLab – this year.

“I never had any formal business training, except for the workshops we had in the Velocity programme and VentureLab. As our venture (Kara) is growing, I feel the need to expand my business knowledge with formal training so I can help my business grow fast and scale big,” Arash says.

“The Stanford Ignite Programme can provide me with a unique opportunity to rapidly increase my knowledge and experience in business development and scaling new ventures. By talking with Velocity alumni who did the programme, I’ve gained deeper knowledge of the programme and the most effective ways to spend my time in the Silicon Valley. I look forward to applying what I learn to my current venture.”

Kara Technologies aims to provide accessibility for the Deaf. The product uses AI and a hyper-realistic avatar (Niki) which translates audio and visual content into sign language, enabling deaf children to learn more effectively. Kara’s vision is to facilitate the accessibility of all forms of content for the Deaf around the globe. The company has successfully developed their MVP and are planning to pilot the product in two main Deaf Education Centres in New Zealand.

Asked about the value of the University of Auckland’s Velocity programme and how it has helped him, Arash says:

“Velocity is a very unique programme that teaches how to turn an idea into reality. In my opinion, the educational eco-system, which is created by the Velocity programme in the University of Auckland makes this university one of the most innovative and entrepreneur friendly universities in the world. As a social entrepreneur, entering into the Velocity programme was the best and the most practical way for me to learn how to plan and work towards a greater impact.”

Applying for the Stanford Ignite programme involved writing essays on personal and professional goals and interviews. He has been fortunate to receive support from Return on Science to fund his place in the programme.

“The tuition fee is supported by Return on Science and I would like to especially thank Graham Scown for facilitating the financial support. I also want to thank Wendy Kerr (Director, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) for her supporting reference letter; I would not have received the Stanford Ignite offer without her support.”

Visit the Kara website here: https://www.karaeducation.co.nz/

Update (Jan 2019): Due to Visa restrictions, Arash Tayebi was unable to attend the Stanford Ignite programme. He is proud to have been accepted into the programme and is now focusing his time and energy in the development of Kara Technologies. The team continues to make great strides with their venture, establishing new strategic partnerships as well as formal partnerships with Kelston and Van Asch Deaf Education Centres to develop a pilot program to sign five children books using Kara’s Niki avatar.

Arash Tayebi, the CEO of Kara Technologies Ltd

social media

Arash Tayebi, the CEO of Kara Technologies Ltd, is travelling to Stanford University, California, in January to spend two months at the Stanford Graduate School of Business programme “Stanford Ignite”, which helps innovators formulate, develop, and commercialise ideas.

He is the eighth Velocity alumni to be accepted into Stanford Ignite and joins an impressive line up of innovators and entrepreneurs coming out of the University of Auckland who have used the programme to acquire the business fundamentals that will help them to succeed in their entrepreneurial ventures. These Velocity alumni are: Daniel Xu, Jenny Xu, Christian Hirsch, Mark Finch, Logan Wait, Graeme Fielder, Shaun Tan and James Daniell.

Joining the University of Auckland as an international student from Iran, Arash completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering this year. His research was around wireless sensor networks.

Arash founded Kara Technologies with Sahar Izadi and Farmehr Farhour and the team won the social entrepreneurship category of the 2017 Velocity $100k Challenge, which enabled them to participate in the University of Auckland’s first incubator programme – VentureLab – this year.

“I never had any formal business training, except for the workshops we had in the Velocity programme and VentureLab. As our venture (Kara) is growing, I feel the need to expand my business knowledge with formal training so I can help my business grow fast and scale big,” Arash says.

“The Stanford Ignite Programme can provide me with a unique opportunity to rapidly increase my knowledge and experience in business development and scaling new ventures. By talking with Velocity alumni who did the programme, I’ve gained deeper knowledge of the programme and the most effective ways to spend my time in the Silicon Valley. I look forward to applying what I learn to my current venture.”

Kara Technologies aims to provide accessibility for the Deaf. The product uses AI and a hyper-realistic avatar (Niki) which translates audio and visual content into sign language, enabling deaf children to learn more effectively. Kara’s vision is to facilitate the accessibility of all forms of content for the Deaf around the globe. The company has successfully developed their MVP and are planning to pilot the product in two main Deaf Education Centres in New Zealand.

Asked about the value of the University of Auckland’s Velocity programme and how it has helped him, Arash says:

“Velocity is a very unique programme that teaches how to turn an idea into reality. In my opinion, the educational eco-system, which is created by the Velocity programme in the University of Auckland makes this university one of the most innovative and entrepreneur friendly universities in the world. As a social entrepreneur, entering into the Velocity programme was the best and the most practical way for me to learn how to plan and work towards a greater impact.”

Applying for the Stanford Ignite programme involved writing essays on personal and professional goals and interviews. He has been fortunate to receive support from Return on Science to fund his place in the programme.

“The tuition fee is supported by Return on Science and I would like to especially thank Graham Scown for facilitating the financial support. I also want to thank Wendy Kerr (Director, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) for her supporting reference letter; I would not have received the Stanford Ignite offer without her support.”

Visit the Kara website here: https://www.karaeducation.co.nz/

Update (Jan 2019): Due to Visa restrictions, Arash Tayebi was unable to attend the Stanford Ignite programme. He is proud to have been accepted into the programme and is now focusing his time and energy in the development of Kara Technologies. The team continues to make great strides with their venture, establishing new strategic partnerships as well as formal partnerships with Kelston and Van Asch Deaf Education Centres to develop a pilot program to sign five children books using Kara’s Niki avatar.

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