When asked about his most important career move, Saber Miresmailli is unequivocal.
“My biggest career step was migrating to Canada,” said the Tehran-born entrepreneur who immigrated to this country in 2003 to study plant science as a graduate student at the University of British Columbia. By 2009 he’d completed his PhD in chemical ecology at the school, and in 2005 he became a Canadian citizen.
“The proudest moment of my life was when I pledged my allegiance to this wonderful country that I now happily call home,” he said. “I give most of the credit for my success to Canada and Canadians who invested their trust in me and provided an environment where a dreamer like me could thrive and grow and become the person who I am today.”
Miresmailli is the founder and chief executive officer of Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc., a member of the provincial Minister’s AgriFood Advisory Committee and a member of the United Nations Climate Technology Centre & Network. Ecoation is a North Vancouver company that uses artificial intelligence to help monitor crop stress. It works with growers of high-value crops, with a focus on the earliest possible detection of pests, diseases and deficiencies that affect crop value.
Miresmailli’s work and life are governed by a set of five rules that he developed and which are posted at his office. The first three are related to success (do your best; never give up; and maximize every opportunity) and the last two deal with his company’s industry specifically. Miresmailli said it’s important to honour food and food producers, and also strive to make the world a better place through one’s work.
One thing Miresmailli doesn’t focus on is regret. Asked if he could go back and change anything about his career path, he’s once again straight to the point.
“Nothing,” he replied. “I would not be here without going through my life journey. My past is full of mistakes. I am not perfect. I paid high prices for some of those mistakes, but I also learned lots of valuable lessons.”
Where you live now:
Highest level of education:
PhD (plant signalling and behaviour); post-doctoral studies on bio-energy crops
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Currently listening to:
“Te extraño” by Diego El Cigala
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up:
Profession you would most like to try:
Toughest business or professional decision:
Deciding that I didn’t want to purse a tenure-track academic career path anymore
Advice you would give the younger you:
Go easy on the instant noodle!
What’s left to do:
Pay it forward
Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit http://www.biv.com/events/40under40