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Iranian Youths Win Venture Cup

Monday, May 26, 2008

Iranian youths living in Sweden have won the first prize of Venture Cup out of 929 participating groups from various Swedish universities, higher education institutes, and companies.

Venture Cup is a business plan competition that helps students, researchers and others to take their business idea from concept to actual startup.

Six Iranian youths who have won the prize, were awarded with their prize through a magnificent ceremony at Stockholm City Hall (where Nobel prizes are also handed out). The ceremony was attended by mayor of Stockholm, representatives from big companies as well as other state officials.

The prize consists of 200,000 krona in cash as well as equivalent of 250,000 krona in cost-free services from McKenzie Company, which has been awarded to the company established by the Iranian youth.

Board members and founders of the company are as follows:

-    Pirouz Hassani-Zadeh, senior student and holder of master’s degree in computer engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and student of economics at University of Stockholm and a former employee of MTJ;

-    Siamak Aayani: holder of master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology and student of economics at University of Stockholm who has worked with Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Proctor and Gamble Company;

-    Omid Ashrafi: holder of master’s degree in electrical engineering from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), graduate of business administration from Stockholm School of Economics (Handelshögskolan), a cofounder of Elskling Company, and an expert of Newsec Corporate Finance Company;

-    Babak Rasoulzadeh: student of doctorate in robotics at Royal Institute of Technology; Babak is also guest researcher of NICTA industrial center of Australia;

-    Payam Ataei: student of an economics course at University of Stockholm and former head of economic student society of University of Stockholm;

-    Alireza Tavakkoli Toroqi: holder of doctorate in robotics from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and graduate of business administration from Stockholm School of Economics (Handelshögskolan).

Alireza had already won a one-million-krona budget in cooperation with robotics laboratory of Royal Institute of Technology for Iranian students for a period of three years. At present, five Iranian students have been given scholarships and are doing research under his supervision;

-    Heidar Maboudi: a student who has finished his master’s degree thesis at the company and will soon start his doctorate course through support of the company.

Omid, Babak, and Alireza are former members of board of directors and founders of society of Iranian students at University of Stockholm whose friendship took shape through membership of the society.

The young Iranian researchers have also won an innovation and technology award from Innovation and Technology Institute and will introduce their invention at an exhibition of innovations and technology, which will be held on May 8 at Kista Science City.

The company founded by the Iranian students has focused its activities on computerized vision as well as picture and video processing and has drawn attention of many media and investors including, STB Bank of Sweden and Google Company.

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