From Student to "Series A" Startup

Halfway through my Business Administration degree at UNIC, I recognised my interest in startups and small businesses. I soon realised that the University provides a tremendous amount of resources and support in this area. Soon after, I began my startup journey by attending relevant seminars, and by taking part in a number of competitions and projects, all with the unwavering support of my professors.

I next realised that having a professional team could push my knowledge to the next level. So, I went on a mission to find like-minded students to join me on this journey. I found many on campus and we formed a formidable team. We achieved much success in worldwide competitions, under the banner of the University of Nicosia. We were among the top ten innovation teams in the world at the Microsoft Imagine Cup, also taking first place for the “Facebook Creativity Award.” We’ve been awarded the top spot in other well-known student competitions. These were all an excellent start to the journey.

After a few years, we decided to accelerate our efforts and take things to the next level with our first startup idea. At that point, I recognised that having an MBA in Management could help me to better understand the market, team coordination, and the right management techniques to apply to this effort. It was just as I thought: the UNIC MBA equipped me with tremendous knowledge and prepared me for the real business at hand.

I’ve achieved some wonderful successes and suffered some disappointing failures at the same time like most entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, I regard them all as useful experiences along the way. In keeping it up and fine-tuning things, we managed to take one of our startup ideas to the next level, into the investment phase. I’m excited to be stepping into this very promising phase with the team, which is none other than putting to the best use our “Series A” Funding in the near future!

Of course, UNIC was fully supportive all the way. I would like to thank its amazing professors for the great opportunities and support. I believe my UNIC experience plays a huge role in my day-to-day startup life. I know that more startups will spring from UNIC, because of what it provides and how it embraces the startup philosophy. This truly feels like a new era for startups!

Pooya Charmarai Tohidi, Co-founder and CEO, Sockseed
Business Administration (BBA), Class of 2008
Business Administration – Concentration in Management (MBA), Class of 2012