Meet Rogayeh Tabrizi, Founder & CEO of Theory+Practice.
2022 Start-Up Award Finalist
Rogayeh Tabrizi is a tech leader helping Fortune 100 companies connect with their customers to create delight and value. She studied her masters in Experimental Particle Physics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and worked on the ATLAS Detector at CERN. Rogayeh earned her Ph.D. in Economics, focusing her thesis on social and economic networks and game theory as a more effective way to engender positive change in the world. Seeing the need for large enterprises to understand their data to connect with their customers in a meaningful and personalized way, she founded Theory+Practice, a company deploying AI tools in retail and finance to create intelligent customer engagements which drive value.
My first job ever was… I was the editor of the science magazine at my university doing language translation for different articles from publications such as the American Journal of Physics and other leading science journals.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I didn’t decide to become an entrepreneur for a specific reason — it just happened (which is another story). That said, at a certain point I realized that being a creator has the potential to make a large positive impact. There is nothing better than being able to be at the source of creating new things that open up opportunities for serving others.
Theory+Practice was born from the desire to connect theory and practice, and to bridge the gap between academia and the world of business.
My proudest accomplishment is… how a very culturally, intellectually, and professionally diverse group of people have come together and learned the languages of each other and our clients with humility and curiosity. By doing this, Theory+Practice is unlocking incredible potential, creating tangible value, and tackling seemingly impossible problems — and to me, this is one of our greatest achievements.
My biggest setback was… that nothing in my education had prepared me to talk to non-technical people. I did my master’s degree while working at CERN in particle physics in Geneva, and then earned my Ph.D. in economics. By the time I finished my Ph.D. and started working as a Data Scientist Specialist, I realized how difficult communication can be for people with a technical background.
It takes hard work and humility to truly learn a very different language: the language of business. But this is an essential requirement if we want to translate our technical skills to create value for the organization and truly connect Theory and Practice!
I overcame it by… simply practicing, coupled with a strong desire and commitment to get better every day! However, it is always important for me to remember that overcoming setbacks doesn’t happen overnight. I’m a strong believer in learning through experience and experimentation. I am also lucky to have incredible mentors who’ve been instrumental in helping me bridge my knowledge gaps in the business world and have helped guide me to where I am today.
If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… something that is near and dear to my heart is my practice of painting and drawing.
My best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… believe in yourself with a commitment to get better every day. And believe in your own team, partners, and clients. It is all about people and investing in them is crucial. Also, think about questions first; don’t spend a ton of resources not knowing what you want to do. Then experiment, experiment, experiment! Results are best when a talented team takes the time to focus, start small, and experiment.
The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… taking better care of yourself. And finding time to pause throughout the day. Sometimes our most profound insight and problem solving happens when we can go for a walk or take a moment to find stillness and reflect.
Success to me means… focusing on tasks that create impact combined with continuing to get better every day at what I do.
I stay inspired by… striving to surround myself with people who are masters at what they do. What it takes to master a craft is what inspires me.
My next step is… to keep putting one foot in front of the other and carry on forward.