Iranian-Americans are taking the US tech industry by storm. The recent appointment of Dara Khosrowshahi as the CEO of Uber is just tip of the ice berg, a force that is shaping the future of Silicon Valley.
Many Iranian-Americans can be seen leading the top technology companies in the Silicon Valley, holding a considerable influence in the tech world. You might ask, what separates them from the rest of the techies in the industry? The answer is very simple, it is their love for education.
Science and technology have been a part of the Iranian-Americans, something they have taken from their culture from back home. The strong science and tech education system in Iran coupled with the connection of universities between both countries have paved the way for many young individuals to move forward in the US tech industry.
It’s not just the Iranians whose parents made it to America to create a future for themselves, but the graduates of Iranian universities have also been making waves in the Silicon Valley.
According to VentureBeat’s data, around 924 graduates of Iranian universities are employed by the 12 largest US technology by market capitalization, which is quite an extraordinary number.
Ali Tahmaseb, an entrepreneur has created a list of prominent founders, funders, and executives of Iranian Heritage in Silicon Valley which is quite an eye opener. A few popular names include; Pierre Omidyar, Founder of eBay, Arash Ferdowsi, co-founder/CTO of Dropbox, Bob Miner, co-founder of Oracle, Sean Rad, Founder of Tinder, Keyvon Beykpour, Co-Founder/CEO of Periscope which was later acquired by Twitter etc.
The rise of Iranians to power in the US tech industry is not a surprising fact as their focus on education, especially studying maths and science coupled with their values of placing family and friends first has enabled them to grow and prosper as a community.
Iran as a country has made quite some advances in science and technology despite the widely placed international sanctions on various areas of research. The country, in its recent years, has witnessed world’s fastest growth in the scientific output.
A Look Back at The History
The Persian history is filled with scientific and mathematical wonders. Muhammad Ibn Musa-al-Kharazmi, the 9th-century mathematician created the Logarithm table, developed algebra and contributed towards expanding upon Persian and Indian arithmetic systems.
According to some historians, the hospital system can also be credited to Persia. Academy of Gundishapur, the most important medical center in the 6th and 7th century and the first teaching hospital was based in Modern Day Iran.
Another big name linked with the Persian history is AL-Biruni, the famous mathematician, and astronomer who wrote more than 100 books, all containing his extensive research to find the hidden realities of the universe.
Now, many names can be found in the history of Persia that in some way have contributed to the world through learning about Maths and Science. Moving on to the recent events, Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician became the first woman to achieve a Fields Medal (the highest honor in mathematics) in 2014.
The Iranian-Americans have founded various tech companies, many of which were acquired by the major players due to their innovative products. Today some big names like Google, eBay etc. would not be here if not for the Iranian community in America.
so we can rightly say that the placement of Dara Khosrowshahi as the CEO of Uber will only be surprising to those who have not been looking at the tech industry closely to see the dynamic shift especially in terms of talent.