Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Winners Announced
Maryam Sadeghi came to Canada from Iran to get her PhD in computing science in medical image analysis at Simon Fraser University, an area of study combining technology and medicine. When she received a scholarship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in dermatology, it led her on a path to becoming the co-founder and CEO of MetaOptima Technology in Vancouver in 2012.
“In my post-doctoral program, there was an opportunity to work for a company and I had the $30,000 scholarship to put toward this position,” says Sadeghi. But when she tried to negotiate a better salary, she was shut down. “Even with all my education, training, expertise, hard work and the scholarship money, I was told that post-docs are just not paid well in Canada. I mentioned that I may start my own business then. The CEO said that I don’t have the capital as a new grad to start a business. That conversation ignited this fire inside me to prove that I know what I’m talking about.”
She decided to start her company that night, convincing her husband, Majid Razmara, to join her, and started taking online courses to teach herself the business side of her work.
“That decision I made was a game changer,” says Sadeghi, who was also director of the Digital Health Hub (Innovation Boulevard) from 2013 to 2015.
As new entrepreneurs, they commercialized two technologies, MoleScope dermoscope and DermEngine platform, to aid with a better diagnosis and treatment decisions for skin cancer and other skin, hair and nail diseases. Recently, her company was listed as a “Ready to Rocket” business in the area of digital health.
“We have a unique ecosystem in Canada to set the stage for your success. If you are good at what you do and you work hard, you will be successful!”
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