Catalysts, have no easily identifiable edge, but they are highly motivated and have skills that can unlock others’ potential.
Peyman Pouryekta was born in Tehran, Iran in 1982. The story of his family's beginning is more akin to a film script. Before his first birthday his immediate family fled Iran, and after a year long journey the young family settled in Essen Huttrop, Germany where his parents raised him and his sister on the 8th floor of a social housing highrise.
When Peyman was five his aunt came to live with his family to study and she introduced him to the music of Elvis Presley, and Micheal Jackson. His life long love affair with music began. Though Peyman has, and continues to explore different musical subcultures he has always been most attracted to HipHop culture and music.
Like many refugee children Peyman and his sister had to grow up quickly and from the time they spoke German fluently they helped their parents with important letters and general German administration. As soon as he could Peyman helped out in the tiny supermarket of his father, and later he worked after school at an open air market as well doing archival work for a local business.
Peyman’s parents had a huge influence on his values, including his curiosity and sense of achievement through hard work. Growing up they accompanied him to various sport clubs and music lessons. Peyman thrived playing on both a football and table tennis team, he also skateboarded for years. His parents realized his interest in technology at an early age. After receiving an electric-kit in elementary school he used it to build a radio. Soon after they bought him a Commodore 64C which he loved to use playing the classic video games. By high school the family had a i386 computer with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1. He learned how to use the operating system as well as Norton Commander, to copy floppy-disks, and install various programs.
All the while Peyman struggled in school, it didn't hold his interest the way sports, mathematics (the only subject he excelled in), computers, TV or music did. Though Peyman struggled he attended good schools throughout his early education. He was one of the few non-white students in the school with his foreign roots, black hair, dark eyes and big nose. None the less Peyman established friendships back then, many of which are maintained until today. The parents of his friends and colleagues held important business or political positions in the city and their homes, where Peyman often spent time were worlds away from his humble family flat. From a young age Peyman understood that his experience of Persian culture through his immediate and extended family and his experience of German culture through friendships were invaluable. Coming to know two vastly different cultures and socio-economic spheres intimately gave him valuable advantages in perspective, communication, understanding, empathy and creativity.
His lack of interest in school meant he did not receive a proper high school graduation like the rest of his friends. To study at university he needed to do an extra mile, Peyman worked as an electrician and received a vocational baccalaureate. Shortly after he began to study Electrical Engineering at the university, but here again all that theory couldn’t hold his attention and he stopped the study after a few semesters. He decided to apply for an apprenticeship as an IT specialist. He applied for 65 positions and was rejected 65 times. Once he was invited by a corporation for an interview and full day assessment of his technical skills. They rejected him and told him next time he should not wear his necklace, a beaded prayer / meditation strand, a gift from his uncle. Though Peyman is not religious nor did he grow up with religion he understood the obvious prejudice this tiny keepsake elicited.
Finally in 2005 he found an apprenticeship position and his career began. Not as an IT specialist as he had wished but as a Media Designer. His three bosses from this first company were a blessing, they were tech and IT crazy and assured him he would in fact learn software development alongside media design. They believed in Peyman and gave him a strong foundation for his future. Ahead of times in 2006, his bosses were already busy with agile methods like scrum and kanban. The team was a cross-functional team highly skilled professionals with expertise in software development, user interface design, project management and client and business communication. Peyman’s performance in this environment was outstanding and he abridged his apprenticeship and finished early. One of the things he took from this early career experience was the realization that the success of the team and each individual in it is based on a proper environment and people who believe in each other. Towards the end of his apprenticeship he studied parallel on the weekends Media and Web Computer Science and later Management. He went on to work with this great team for the following seven years, developing a quantity of software projects in different industries and graduated with a Master of Arts in Management parallel.
As a next step in his career, at age 30 Peyman moved to Berlin. With his knowledge in design, software development, project management and his business knowledge he was already an allrounder and was ready to be placed in a majority of positions. But people tend to think in boxes, and professional titles tend to have a lot of weight on an individual’s career path. Peyman knew this, and the idea of being boxed in was never for him. Therefore he pushed for his further development toward a title that best represented him and his expertise. In 2015 he joined an AI company as one of the first employees, and helped to grow the company from the ground up earning the title of Director of Engineering along the way, when he left the company had offices in New York, London and Berlin and counted about ninety employees.
In all of the positions he’s held since, Peyman hired highly skilled and motivated people, implemented cross-functional teams, agile concepts and built environments where the teams could grow. Non-stop learning and the value of personal growth are key components of Peyman’s character, and often means doing the difficult work of confronting shortcomings and structural issues within a company or at an individual level. For him achieving a goal simply means that he will have increased room to grow and move forward.
Since 2015 Peyman has worked with venture capital firms, with startups as an advisor and in C-Level positions. Currently Peyman continues in this direction, and invest his energy in personalities and ventures.