Mohammad Akhlaghi
Credit: Lindsay Siu

Mohammad Akhlaghi, 29

Co-founder and CEO  

Life Story: Mohammad Akhlaghi has three birthdays, as he says is custom in his native Iran: the day he was born; the day six months previous his engineer father and dentistry professor mother moved his birthday to so he could start school a year early; and the day in the lunar year, which is based on the moon’s rotation rather than the sun’s. He shares the latter birthday with the prophet Mohammad, hence his name. “In none of those I’m 30,” Akhlaghi insists. “Not even on the moon.”

Akhlaghi came to Vancouver from Tehran after high school to attend SFU, where he earned a degree in electronics engineering with a minor in business. The latter compelled him to start three companies with varying degrees of success before co-founding Parkizio Technologies in 2016 with Ali Mohazab, who holds a PhD in theoretical mathematics from UBC. The company “brings parking into the 21st century” by linking parking lots to other infrastructure, like traffic lights, allowing planners to more effectively control the use of cars in cities.  

The Bottom Line: Parkizio has partnered with EasyPark in a bid to make Vancouver’s parking lots interconnected. Right now, all of its revenue—the company hit the high five figures for 2017, 60 percent of it profit—goes back into developing its technology. Parkizio’s two founders are its only current full-time employees.

What’s your favourite book?
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I don’t like books that are bullet points; I’m never going to remember that. Gladwell is a storyteller.

What’s your favourite podcast?
Planet Money.

A little-known fact about me is…
I play violin. I started when I was eight or nine, and it’s what keeps me calm. It’s peaceful.