Hi, I'm Sharzad.
Tech startup advisor
“I was born in Iran, made in Silicon Valley, and transformed in Oaxaca, and my home is in Lisboa. My work focuses on shifting perspective for meaningful human connection. I work in tech to scale solutions and collaborate with artists to create them.“
I always wanted to build large-scale meaningful connections. The kind of connection that makes you feel like being part of the family anywhere you go.
The first time I got to experience this feeling, was during my stay in Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca, Mexico. I got a glimpse of what it feels like to connect deeply with others regardless of our perceived differences. I am talking about differences such as where one is born, conditions, and beliefs that one is used to. I returned to Silicon valley after that Oaxaca staycation with a vision to build. In the first three years, this vision manifested into the building of two different tech platforms.
The mission for each project was to create a connection. But it was not easy. Iteration after iteration, I realized that the tools lacked spirit. They couldn't create meaningful human connections that scale.
Later, I found myself in Los Angeles designing immersive experiences as a hobby that quickly became a new job. I founded Bohoing as an experiential design agency for private outdoor events. I learned the key to creating transformational experiences through this venture. The key is to understand that we didn't create the experience. We only space as an opportunity for people to create it. As experience designers, we were responsible to create a space that made it easy to live inside that connection!
But then COVID happened.
I moved to Europe. I got confined in isolation in Spain’s lockdown for months. A cocoon that brought the struggles of a disconnected world to the surface. I observed this for me, my friends and family in Iran, in the USA, and multiple countries in Europe. Covid did not only create a void of social connections but it actually brought a spotlight onto many existing broken connections in our lives.
We humans need more spaces to connect. Spaces that go beyond the limitations that our buildings, borders, and restrictions allow. COVID highlighted the opportunity to leverage cities as our playground and use the existing space to build experiences that create meaningful human connections beyond time and space.
Imercita is a tool that turns cities into a playground for storytellers and experience designers. In this way, it is a portal to a world of experience designed to create a connection to the self, to others and to our environment.
Because good things happen only when we feel connected. When we feel belonged. Imagine a world where humans all feel belonged.
imercita becomes available to the public in June 2021 that begins like "Once upon a time in Lisboa.."
Sharzad works in tech to scale global citizenship through facilitating person-to-person diplomacy in creative ways. Immersive experiences are experiences designed to immerse the user in a real-time story. The entertaining essence of an experience creates a setting for creating shift in perspective of the user. With a focus on global citizenship, she works to create experiences that create a shift of perspective from our multi-cultutral differences into our similarities as humans. This higher vision in building human connection is to enhance our sense of community, belonging and oneness.
Sharzad grew up in Iran. Lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York city and Austin during her 8 years of living in the USA. Sharzad is the founder and CEO at Travel Tribe; an application that navigates travelers through a story-based tour in their destination. Recently, she has moved to Europe to launch this platform that facilitates city-wide immersive experiences. She also works as a mentor with Europe-based entrepreneurs in building tech startups in Lisbon.
Sharzad is also co-founder and Experience Designer at Bohoing. Bohoing offers on-demand beach picnic lounge. The picnic lounge setups are curated to represent the art and culture of various countries. Previously, Sharzad was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford University, where she directed the creation of a startup incubator organization program for peace entrepreneurs. Prior, she founded SF Design Lab to cultivate design thinking and product development through workshops while completing her MBA studies at San Francisco State University.
2013: Founder @ Design thinking lab at SF state MBA school
2014: MBA San Francisco State University
2015: Marketing Strategist @ Gonzberg Advertising Agency SF
2016: Marketing strategy consultant at SF based startups
2016: Co-Founder @ TravTribe
2017: Entrepreneur in Residence @ PIL in Stanford University
2017: Project lead for PIL incubator for Peace innovators at Stanford
2019: Co-founder and Creative Director @ Bohoing
2020: Founder and CEO @ Imercita
Previously Shar co-founded Bohoing an event experiential design company based in California that is focused on Bohemian lifestyle. Customers rent prepackaged beach picnic lounges or buy boho lifestyle pieces on the shop. Bohoing is actively serving San Diego and the great Los angeles area.
"Jerry McCann has been my dear friend since 2016, my business partner and mentor, who I look up to and seek advice from, for critical thinking and decisions as I navigate the world of business and global citizenship. Jerry keeps wisdom on peace building, borderless minded global citizenship and exploration of the world among all the other daily curiosities he pursues as a peace engineer."
I've practiced the teachings of Stoicism since 2016 through the meditations of Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. The stoic bot is my own creation for daily reminders on some of my favorite stoic philosophy teachings.
I consult Rumi since 2012. Despite his departure of the earth in 1273, he continues to guide me via his books and online chat in the digital age. The online chat was my own creation to have access to his advice even on my phone. Rumi keeps wisdom on living life in oneness with the love that we all are part of like drops of the ocean.
Taoism is a philosophical tradition of Chinese origin. I practice the Tao teachings through Lao Tzu who keeps wisdom on living in harmony with the Tao. Since 2019, I consult him daily via an online chat that is my own creation for daily access and consistent practice.