Inside the Mind of an Inspirational Achiever - Fireside Chat with Ali Tehrani (Zymeworks)

Friday, February 23, 2018, 2:30 – 5:00 AM UTC

Ali is one of these founders with an unprecedented drive to achieve his goals. With no business background, he built and is now leading one of the next great biotech companies in Canada, Zymeworks (ZYME). Zymeworks created an innovative platform to develop new biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Listen to Ali's story and his inspiring journey and motivating words for entrepreneurs!

About this event

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 Tehrani, President, CEO, and Co-founder of Zymeworks (ZYME), is one these persons.

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!

Check out what happened



Friday, February 23, 2018
2:30 AM – 5:00 AM UTC


2:30 AMNetworking with Snacks & Drinks
3:00 PMIntroductions
3:30 PMFireside Chat with Ali
4:30 PMMake New Friends!


  • Henry Soo


    Startup Grind Vancouver Director

  • Melodie Von

    Startup Grind Vancouver Digital Team

  • Eileen Xing

    Startup Grind Vancouver Digital Team