Recognized as a global thought leader in the startup ecosystem, Reza offers more than 15 years experience in emerging technology, which he brings to AlleyWatch as CEO and Founder. Through the course of his career, Reza has had the privilege of working to drive businesses from conception to eventual exit by deploying the acumen gained in his previous roles. His latest professional endeavors have allowed him to work very closely with thriving global technology and startup ecosystem.
Reza is also the founder of New York Startup Lab, which brings technology and knowledge based solutions to the entrepreneurial community with a specific focus on early stage companies. He began his career as securities trader on Wall Street.
Reza is often a featured international speaker, moderator, and judge at numerous events on technology and global entrepreneurship and was a featured presenter at the first Facebook Developer Garage in NYC. Both Reza and the companies he has been involved with have received accolades and recognition from prominent organizations including the fbFund. Reza was recently recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in NYC Tech by TechWeek and is a 2015 NYC Venture Fellow, a world-class, year-long fellowship program designed to help high-potential entrepreneurs scale their ventures.
Reza holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Georgetown University and completed his bachelors in Economics at the University at Albany. Reza has also completed certification programs in Private Equity and Venture Capital at Oxford University as well as International Business at New York University.
What do you do best?
Synthesize large amounts of information and build an execution plan around it. I’ve head the privilege of working in a variety of different industries across a number of verticals through my career. There have been a number of common themes but in the majority of instances these ventures all tended to be data focused. I have built an ability to make data driven decisions by evaluating the factors of where the business is presently and where it needs to go, while keeping mindful of the steps needed to execute both at a mechanical and management level. Often the data or metrics may not seem apparent and need to be unlocked.
What makes you the best?
Tenacity. One of my bosses earlier in my career emphasized that knowledge and capital will come and go through the course of one’s life but time is a commodity that no one is getting back. These words resonated with me and have been a guiding force for my professional and personal activities. As a result, I bring a strong level of conviction, intensity, and tenacity to any venture that I get involved with the hopes to not only do things better and more efficiently but also faster in order to capture or define a market.
How will you stay the best?
To continue evolving. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a number of “AHA” moments that have significant impacted the trajectory of my life. In order to react and respond to these moments and survive the day-to-day rigor of building businesses, it’s critical that I maintain an open mind, be mindful of lifestyle choices, and yearn to learn every day. I strive to maintain a dynamic mindset that evolves as situations dictate while maintaining a firm foundation of experiences that shape my decisions and activities.
What are your aspirations: business & personal?
Personal: It is very important for me to build a lifestyle that caters to my entrepreneurial ambitions while keeping cognizant of my personal life and set a path that feeds my thirst for knowledge.
Business: At a professional level, I’d like to focus more on building solutions that impact a large number of people.
What fascinates you?
Currently, I am really fascinated by the convergence of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing. I think the anthropology of communication in a written form is going to change dramatically over the near future with lasting implications.
“Smart people speak from experience; smarter people with experience don’t speak.”
My father. His immigrant story has always been a tremendous source of inspiration and pride for me.
New York in the spring and fall, Thailand in the winter, and Mallorca in the summer. Any beach with powdered sand and close to the Equator also works!
Shoes – I wear them on most days. Sidewalks – I use them on most days. Food – I eat on most days. Air conditioning – on days like today.
Meditation - I can’t get enough of it. As a sleep deprived New Yorker and an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to let your health and relaxation suffer. Meditating has brought me back into a more balanced state and my energy levels have shot through the roof. Travel. As much as I love the city, travelling is extremely important to me as every trip yields a collection of varied life experiences that always provide a unique perspective when I return. I firmly believe that without travel, stagnation in the thought process seeps in.