Reza Ghiabi is an opportunity maker.
He is an entrepreneur and a responsible optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together.
Reza Ghiabi is an opportunity maker. He is an entrepreneur and a responsible optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. He discovered remarkable patterns and platforms to spread culture, community, and capital for innovation. Described as “a passionate entrepreneur with strategic intellect” and “a pillar of the start-up community in Iran”, Reza and the organizations he founded, are partnering with trusted leaders to create opportunities of having fulfilling jobs for everyone, starting from Iran.
Reza earned a Bachelor’s degree (BA) in Industrial Engineering from Azad University while he was self-studying Cultural Anthropology. He also holds an MBA of Information Technology from Industrial Management Institute. Later he attended IAE Lyon School of Management with the intention of studying Doctorate of Business Administration but left university to focus on his work. As a trained ethnographer, Reza is fascinated by the world of possibilities and the fact that "work" is a trial and error tool to help us learn about the world as well as deepest parts of our minds. He has devoted a significant part of his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations to create opportunities.
Prior to founding his first venture —the OPPMAKR Institute, and since 2005, Ghiabi worked as an individual business consultant at private sector companies, government entities, and international organizations headquartered in Tehran. At that time, he developed initiation plans and business models for new departments of organizations like UNDP, Iran-France and Iran-Netherlands Friendship Associations, Iran Center for eCommerce Development and Falcon Advising. In 2009, with the first waves of Iran startup ecosystem, Ghiabi started to get involved with tech startups to help them with strategy. Taking a deeper look into what causes startups to grow, Reza focused on empowering the culture of innovation. Since 2014, he may be best known for organizing TEDxTehran, a local, independently organized event licensed by TED that brings hundreds of thought leaders, innovators, and doers, from across different disciplines, to embrace “Ideas Worth Spreading” in the heart of Tehran.
Lessons learned from organizing TEDxTehran have made Reza a professional community builder which lead to founding Vira Institute in 2016 to curate events and communities in scale. Ghiabi’s unconventional and innovative views on business and entrepreneurship, have attracted local and international attention and have earned him connections with an array of leaders enabling him to create his private fund —Ghasedak Ventures in 2017. During the past years, Reza had the opportunity to work with various organizations like UNRIC, SABB, RSP Group, Qatar Airways, Knauf, IrToya, Franchise Middle East, Samsung, Iran's Science & Technology Vice-Presidency and Barkat Ventures.
Reza shares his views with all who listen. He speaks at startup events and large conventions. Besides his regular contribution to Idea Magazine and MITM conference at Industrial Management Institute, he has spoken at TEDxCannes and CreativeMornings/Tehran as well as innovation-related events. Additionally, Reza has written and commented for the local and international press, including Inc, Entrepreneur, TEDBlog, Al Jazeera, AFP, Tehran Times, Financial Tribune, TechRasa, Tejarat-e Farda, Tadbir Magazine and Iran's national TV. Ghiabi is active on social media and can be found as "oppmakr" on most of the platforms. He writes his own blog on ghiabi.com.
With a vision to change the way businesses think, act and operate, Ghiabi is a member of a Liechtenstein based think tank known as the HUS institute and is an editorial board member of Idea Magazine in Tehran. He is also active in the arts and the not-for-profit world. He lives in Tehran.