Our Tectorian of the Week is Aidin Tavakkol, co-founder of Victoria ecommerce startup LimeSpot.
Tavakkol represents all of Victoria’s latent potential as a place to launch and grow a technology company.
What has Tavakkol built here in Victoria?
Tavakkol and his team have launched LimeSpot, a personalized web experience that is intended to “bring the social back to social media.” For starters, LimeSpot’s technology creates a more efficient shopping experience by instantaneously displaying products that customers are most likely to buy.
A software engineer by trade, Tavakkol had already spent a decade helping build Iran’s second-largest software company before deciding to head to Victoria to do something new.
Tavakkol says achieving success back home, he felt his calling was to explore the world in order to accomplish something even bigger.
So, Tavakkol took a chance and joined his sister here in Victoria.
Like many Tectoria tech entrepreneurs, Tavakkol was attracted by Victoria’s great weather and a variety of high-powered, world-class university programs.
Tavakkol received his MBA this past spring from the Gustavson School of Business. At the same time he was completing his studies, he was busy building LimeSpot.
While studying at UVic, Tavakkol encouraged his friend and future LimeSpot co-founder Majid Ghaffari to join him.
At UVic networking event, the pair’s startup idea caught the eye of Paul Summerville, a business professor and mentor at the the Gustavson School of Business.
“I was giving a presentation, and I noticed Aidin standing off to one side,” says Summerville. “We talked, he explained his idea, and I was hooked.”
Like Tavakkol, Summerville, who has enjoyed a stellar career working in investment banking and has served as chief economist with two major multi-national financial institutions, is also a talented transplant who has chosen to call Tectoria home.
Soon after connecting with Tavakkol an Ghaffari, Summerville was on board as the third co-founder and LimeSpot was incorporated in April 2013.
Fast forward just over a year: LimeSpot today has 15 employees around the world and has successfully raised a healthy dose of seed financing from private investors locally, in the United States and the UK.
Tavakkol and his teammates at LimeSpot have used this time to apply their software engineering expertise to patent a powerful “personalization and recommendation engine” that is powered by an individual’s social network profile.
The end result is to provide a personalized web experience that provides highly relevant results and recommendations. Improving ecommerce and online shopping is an obvious match for LimeSpot’s technology.
And people are starting to take notice.
So far, Victoria-based LimeSpot has inked agreements with major ecommerce players including Shopify, PayPal, and Bigcommerce.
A lot has changed in the 18 months or so since and his co-founders launched LimeSpot.
Tavakkol and his team have raised enough equity to develop and launch their first commercial product offering. They have beefed up their in-house technology, have created a US subsidiary, and have established a global sales engine. LimeSpot has also hired a CEO, tech veteran Bob Bell.
In this whirlwind of activity, it’s easy to forget that when Aidin Tavakkol decided to do something big, he decided to do travel to Tectoria to do it.
We’re excited to see what LimeSpot does next.