Biography: Mahmoud Heidarian - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Mahmoud Heidarian (December 12, 1978 –) earned three undergraduate degrees in business, engineering and computer science, but his eyes are on the skies these days as he seeks new investment opportunities within the emerging field of drone technology development. One of his main enterprises is representing a cartel of Canadian investors seeking to capitalize on drone delivery systems throughout the provinces and then the world.
Born in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada to Monica Lebeau Gerard and Omer Heidarian when Pierre Trudeau served as Canada’s Prime Minister, Mahmoud Heidarian has taken his parents’ eclectic roots to new heights as an entrepreneur, industrialist and consultant. He dislikes talking about his college past, preferring to offer insights into his expectations for the future.
Nevertheless, his roots run deep with diversity. His mother Monica is cousin to Marie-Therese Lebeau, owner of the Paris-based wig atelier known worldwide for hand-crafted hair pieces requiring highly-trained artisans to use crochet needles to individually weave and knot single hairs into wigs worn by celebrities and royalty. Monica’s path took a distinctly pedantic turn at McGill University and Queen's University; Rather than attend cosmetology school, she studied law and became one of Canada’s leading criminal defense attorneys.
Mahmoud Heidarian’s father, Omer Heidarian, was something of a renaissance man. He excelled at sports, setting league records while playing for the McGill football club. He belonged to the school sculling club, competing in three championships before injuring his leg playing hockey. Some say the only reason he wasn’t headed for a career in hockey--and ultimate induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame—was due to that injury.
Heidarian senior and Lebeau Gerard met on the campus of McGill University as undergraduates, marrying after their careers were established in 1970. Heidarian senior lived long enough to see his son Mahmoud Heidarian nominated for “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” honors granted by Canadian Entrepreneur, an organization showcasing Canadians demonstrating extraordinary innovation and creativity. His mother remains actively engaged in law and may sit for Parliament if her supporters have their say.
Mahmoud Heidarian met his creative and personality match in the person of Annika Andrietta Nobel; one of many generations of offspring descending from the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel (Alfred Nobel's Will). Her middle name, Andrietta, was Alfred’s wife’s name. Annika was also born in 1978 (November 16th) in London, Ontario.
After studying theater at York University, Nobel cut her teeth on myriad film and television productions, working on such properties as Slings and Arrows. She was nominated for a Genie Award and a BAFTA for her documentaries. Nobel talked about her “conversion” from commercial film making to ethnically responsible projects in interviews with media after launching her Vancouver-based movie production company. She dedicates her energies to producing contemporary documentary films on sustainability.
It was at the premier of her first independent production that she met Mahmoud Heidarian, proving opposites do attract. Heidarian and Nobel returned to his home city of Vancouver after marrying and remain a high-profile power couple profiled in many city lifestyle publications. Though their careers are diverse, they collaborate when it comes to supporting social issues.
In particular, they advocate on behalf of the city’s Adopt-a-School program and are outspoken supporters of maintaining a de-centralized school system in which public and private school practices and policies are set by each province.
The hardworking couple is rumored to have one of the city’s most remarkable personal wine cellars, though if you’re looking for Mahmoud Heidarian, you would more likely find him patronizing Brew-ha-ha, the microbrewery launched by a college friend and underwritten by Heidarian and other school chums, each of whom have as much interest in promoting small business start-ups as they have in developing technologies and ideas for the future.
For Mahmoud Heidarian, drone delivery innovation currently occupies his mind and thoughts 24/7. “My interest is in networked couriers; that’s where I’m putting my time, money and muscle,” Heidarian said after remarks made at Singularity University in 2011 where he lead a symposium dedicated to helping students learn the ins and outs of drone delivery dynamics.
That goal has never changed. Heidarian still lauds Andreas Raptopoulos, founder of Matternet, a company dedicated to drone deliveries of everything from materials to medicines controlled by ground stations that travel between cities.
Mahmoud Heidarian is a man of his times: articulate, well-educated, well-rounded and as keen to make money as he is to involve himself in just causes that elevate and foster the future of society. He continues to look for responsible organizations and opportunities to support and when he finds them, he is not shy about lending his name and money to them.
While the Heidarian bucket list may include children down the road, he is currently only willing to take responsibility for Canadian Eskimo Dog “Qimmiq” (Inuit for dog) and a pound mutt named “Sustainability.” She goes by the nickname Sussy.
“Sussy is Annika’s dog,” says Heidarian, “and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that she’s better behaved than Qimmiq. I think he takes after me.”