Kamran ElahianCo-Founder and Chairman, Global Catalyst Partners
Born in Tehran, Iran, Kamran Elahian immigrated to the US in 1972. He received his BS in Computer Science, BS in Mathematics, and ME in Computer Graphics from the University of Utah by the age of 22. In addition, Kamran studied Integrated Circuit (chip) design at Stanford University's Honors Program while working as a design automation software engineer at Hewlett-Packard (HP).
As an entrepreneur, Kamran has co-founded 10 companies; three of them failed (e.g., Momenta), six of them produced a total market cap of over $8B (e.g., Cirrus Logic). As a VC, Kamran co-founded Global Catalyst Partners with investments in the US, Japan, China, India, and Israel.
Underlying Kamran's global vision is the conviction that modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can be instrumental in dissolving barriers between nations. This vision is reflected in Schools-Online, a nonprofit he co-founded in 1996 to connect the world, one school at a time (6,400 schools in 36 countries were provided with computers and access to the Internet) and merged with Relief International in 2003; the Global Catalyst Foundation, co-founded in 2000 to improve lives through the effective application of ICT; and UN-GAID, a United Nations global forum that promotes ICT in developing countries, for which Kamran served as co-chairman (2009-2011).
Inspired by the indomitable, peace-loving Mahatma Gandhi, Kamran has developed his own brand of philanthropy: one that makes the most of modern technological innovations, such as mobile communications and the Internet, to bridge the social and political differences among people, which he has coined as iGANDHI™.