Share

Ali Ahmadi

EMBA 2015
Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer
AirZaar
“I liked Washington University’s reputation for entrepreneurship. The University was a great place to get the confidence and resources to start my own business.”

​“I liked Washington University’s reputation for entrepreneurship. I had taken the technical side of my career as far as I could, and I wanted to break that ceiling. I thought the university would be a great place to get the confidence and resources to start my own business.

Why he chose WashU’s Executive MBA program

Ahmadi already had been accepted by two top Chicago business schools when he researched WashU’s Executive MBA program.

“I liked Washington University’s reputation for entrepreneurship,” he says. “I had taken the technical side of my career as far as I could, and I wanted to break that ceiling. I thought the university would be a great place to get the confidence and resources to start my own business.

“As a former member of the US Navy, I also appreciated Olin’s tremendous support for military veterans and the university’s full participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program.”

Ahmadi’s tuition was fully funded through a combination of military benefits and WashU’s Yellow Ribbon Program contribution.

Impact of the program on his family

“I had a graduation gown made for my then two-week-old son and carried him with me when I walked the stage to receive my diploma. That’s how personal and emotional the program was to me and my family.”

The power of the Olin community

Ahmadi was president of the Executive MBA Student Entrepreneurs group. “I met the man who would become my ‘brother’ and company co-founder in Olin’s startup space. Our backgrounds collided, leading to collaboration on a data analytics software firm that serves the mining and construction tech world.”

Connections from the International Management Residency in China

“While we were in Shanghai, we listened to a panel of speakers from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the US Chamber of Commerce, who were helping Missouri-based companies do business in China. I reached out to these individuals as a resource when my firm was looking for strategic partnerships with Chinese companies.”

Ali Ahmadi

Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer, AirZaar

Previous Employment

Engineering Manager, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems
General Manager of Operations, Siemens Energy
Field Engineer — International Project — Nuclear, Fossil and Gas, Siemens Energy
UAV (Drone) Logistics Project Manager, US Department of Defense, US Navy
UAV (Drone) Flight Operator, US Navy

Background

Education: BS, Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; MS, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University