Our People

Kamran Elahian

Chairman and Founder

Chairman and Founder, Global Innovation Catalyst, LLC; Chairman, Advisory Board, Global Venture Alliance; Global Innovation Advisor, 500 Startups; Founding Mentor, Unreasonable Institute; Founding Board Advisor, Harbour.Space University; Advisory Member, Seedstars World; Advisory Member, UNICEF Innovation Fund

As an Innovation Catalyst, Kamran advises various governments on the needed transition from fossil based economies to sustainable innovation economies.

He also serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Global Venture Alliance; a Global Innovation Economy Advisor to 500 Startups; a Founding Mentor of Unreasonable Institute and a Founding Board Advisor to Harbour.Space University.

As a global high-tech entrepreneur, he co-founded ten 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 U.S., Japan, China, India, Israel and Singapore.

Underlying his vision for global philanthropy is the conviction that modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can be instrumental in dissolving barriers between nations and bridging the social and political differences among people. This vision was reflected in Schools-Online, a nonprofit he co-founded in 1996 to connect the world, one school at a time (6400 schools in 36 countries were provided with computers and access to the Internet) and merged with Relief International in 2003; 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 where he served as CoChairman (2009-2011).

Parham Holakouee

Principal, Head of Operations

Parham Holakouee is Principal and Head of Operations at Global Innovation Catalyst, LLC where he advises governments on transitioning their economies away from fossil fuel dependence and towards innovation-focused economic growth. The advisory engagements focus on developing innovation ecosystems that drive entrepreneurship and job creation.

Parham’s driving mission is to educate and inspire young minds to pursue the careers and entrepreneurial ventures they are passionate about, and to advise governments on crafting the enabling policy framework to bring their ideas to fruition.

He received his B.A. from UCLA, MBA from UCLA Anderson, J.D. from Columbia Law School, M.S. from UC Berkeley, and his Ph.D. at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. Parham previously worked as a corporate transactional attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Parham has taught courses in a wide range of areas including business strategy, entrepreneurship, macroeconomics, and the application of microeconomic principles to business decisions. Parham’s research integrates his doctoral training in economics with his experience and education in law and business. His scholarship applies economic theory and econometrics to analyze: (1) crafting policy to stimulate entrepreneurship and venture capital investment; (2) the strategic decisions of new ventures; and (3) laws and institutions aimed at broadening new venture investment while deterring fraud.

Pedram Mokrian

Innovation Catalyst

Pedram is driven by re-imagining how digital technologies will help address the challenges of global urbanization. He is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University and a Lecturer at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley where he teaches and advises entrepreneurs and global 1000 companies alike on the topics of entrepreneurship, business model disruption, and technology innovation strategy. He was previously a Principal at Mayfield, one of Silicon Valley’s most storied venture capital firms, where he was part of the investment team with over $3.5B assets under management.

Pedram is a founding Partner of the Ratio Academy, New Line Ventures, and an Entrepreneur in Residence at General Electric. In his various roles, he focuses on accelerating the development of new venture efforts, seeking out entrepreneurs who are equally passionate around the applications of machine intelligence, connected systems, data analytics, and the internet of things (IOT). He serves as a mentor or advisor to a number of start-ups, innovation incubators, including the Texas Medical Center Innovation Center and Innovation Labs, and serves on the advisory board of Phillips66. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Stanford and had a brief and exciting stint in the Commodities Trading Group at Credit Suisse.

Farzin Shakib

Innovation Catalyst

Farzin received his Ph.D. in 1990 in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He specialized in Computational Fluid Dynamics, specifically numerical and mathematical modeling and high-performance computing.

After a year of post-doctoral research at NASA Ames Research Center, along with his Stanford advisor and three other colleagues, he co-founded Centric Engineering Systems to develop engineering analysis software and later sold the company to Ansys Inc. In 1994, Farzin founded and served as CEO of ACUSIM Software, a company which conducted research in and developed the world-class Computational Fluid Dynamics software, AcuSolve, which has revolutionized how sectors such as the automotive and energy industry performed rapid fluid dynamics analysis in their design cycles. In 2011, Farzin sold ACUSIM to Altair Engineering where, as VP of CFD Technology, he further worked to develop AcuSolve’s capabilities. After Altair, Farzin founded Optize Inc. to explore business and product development in data analytics and optimization. In 2018, he joined the Global Innovation Catalyst team to help promote innovation and entrepreneurship around the world.