There are people who have this drive and passion to achieve their high-set goals. People with a personality investors want to put their money on, no matter what they're trying to achieve.
Ali is has been super successful as a company leader, in business development and building a great biotech company. But he's not your classical CEO with an MBA or diverse corporate background. This makes his journey and personality skills much more interesting, though. Ali started his career as graduate student in science at UBC working in a microbiology lab. But he wasn't prepared for a career in academia; he wanted to do something different. Having been following the emerging science of immunotherapy, Ali had a disruptive idea, that turned the heads of three angel investors. Without any IP, Ali was able to raise $40,000 for the inception of Zymeworks. The investors put money down on personality alone.
From then on, Ali took the steps to build a highly competitive biopharmaceutical company, that rode on the boom wave in the early 2000's, endured the crash at the end of the decade, has now partnered with more pharmaceutical companies than any other Canadian platform technology-based businesses, and went public in June 2017 raising $85 million in its IPO. His vision and drive led Ali to acquire business and strategy-planning talent that gave birth to one of the next great biotech companies in Canada growing into a global competitor. Their strategic partnership and collaboration deals with pharma giants such as GSK, Lilly, and Johnson&Johnson currently totals $US 5.5 billion. And more importantly, these developments will lead to novel therapeutics that can save millions of people suffering from cancer.
Ali can paint a realistic picture for entrepreneurs and striving founders. He's outspoken and inspiring.
What makes a great entrepreneur? Which natural skills must you have and which ones can you obtain during the company building process? And how do you convince investors to fund you based on your character?
Listen to this & more at our fireside chat with Ali Tehrani!
President & CEO
Ali co-founded Zymeworks, a leading biotherapeutic company in Canada, in 2003 while he was a graduate student at UBC. Since then, he made his vision come true with drive and passion for solving a therapeutic need. Ali is highly respected figure in the Canadian biotech sector, inspires students, and investors and onto saving millions of lives with his talent.
Dr. Tehrani is one of our co-founders and currently serves as our President & Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Tehrani has served as a member of our board of directors since the Company’s inception in September 2003. He has been an integral part of many of our corporate achievements including raising seed and angel financing and overseeing our technical operations and patent filings. Dr. Tehrani holds both Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, and has a Doctoral degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia. While completing his Ph.D. degree he co-founded the Student Biotechnology Network, for which he received the UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2002. Dr. Tehrani has served as a Board Director for the Student Biotechnology Network and LifeSciences British Columbia, on the MITACS Industrial Advisory Board, and BIOTECanada’s Industrial and Environmental Committee. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Creatus Biosciences Inc. and CQDM and a Council Member on British Columbia’s Premier’s Technology Council.
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