Aali Alizadeh, CEO, Giatec Scientific

2017 Forty Under 40 recipient
Aali Alizadeh

Age: 38

Birthplace: Qom, Iran

Company: Giatec offers Internet of Things solutions to the concrete industry.

Education: PhD in civil engineering, University of Ottawa (2009)

Charitable involvement: American Concrete Institute

Biggest biz achievement: Selling Giatec's first product and exporting it to the U.S.

Biggest obstacle: Being afraid of failure!

Biggest influence: My professor and mentor, the late Dr. Mehdi Ghalibafian. He was the most ethical, conscientious and hard-working person I have ever met. As a professional civil engineer, he was truly dedicated to improving people's lives and was a role model for not letting his personal interests get in the way of this.

Biggest lesson learned: It is only “sales” that matter! Startups can grow and develop products in their early days by relying on government grants or raising investment. But the business does not grow unless the founders shift their focus to generating revenue from scaleable sales to customers.

First job: Selling candies.

Advice I’d give the younger me: Take one thing at a time and don't worry about the future!

Favourite pastime: Photography

I’m currently reading: How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

Favourite movie: Inception

Favourite song: Persian songs by Mohammad-Reza Shajarian

Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators

Favourite local summer event: Canada Day

Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram

Twitter handle: @_Aali