Hi, I am R.A. Farrokhnia
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I am a practitioner and believer in notion of putting ideas, theories, and research findings into practice. I immensely enjoy building things from the ground-up and solving complex problems alongside my team, in particular those issues few thought could be solved. Like most entrepreneurs, I am always resource-constrained, and yet I have always seen such challenge as an opportunity to continuously push our inventive and creative thinking and not be bound by limitations. And there is no substitute for the joy that ensues once we crack seemingly insurmountable obstacles using nothing but our minds.

Tech + Data

Part of my research and corporate work evolves around leveraging data analytics and optimization models to identify opportunities for not only cost savings and top-line growth, but also for new ventures that would scale data solutions across multiple platforms. We deploy Machine Learning and AI, among other tools, and ensure that the analytics engines lead to actionable outcomes. In other words, we build engines to help identify the proverbial needle in the haystack, and not just produce more hay! After all, we recognize that data does not equal the truth, and that if you torture your data long enough, they would confess to anything.


Leveraging my professional experience in the buyside world, I am actively engaged with tier-1 firms in a variety of capacities, including human capital, talent training, deal- and technology due-diligence, and innovation-driven growth opportunities. I also dedicate efforts to the belief that the next generation of Private Equity and Venture Capital professionals will need to not only be well-versed in finance, but also in understanding the paradigm shift that occurs once a deal is consummated and growth and cost-optimization initiatives will need to be implemented in short order. Understanding the impact of tech and creative thinking in such settings is crucial, and I work with junior and senior professionals alike to develop applicable techniques and methodologies to achieve such goals.

New Ventures

I am passionate about contributing to the startup ecosystem in New York and beyond. As faculty and an entrepreneur, I am very fortunate in interacting with and mentoring some of the smartest and most entrepreneurial minds at Columbia and New York. I enjoy connecting rising entrepreneurs with some of the best venture capital investors and corporate partners, in particular early-stage ventures with heavy engineering and technology components. Through my DevLab, we also nurture, launch, and support startups, both internally and through academia, in particular those in New York. Of note are our corporate partnerships to accelerate entrepreneurial growth and cross-pollinate ideas across industries.


I am the Founder and Executive Director of a new (and really cool) graduate program at Columbia. Together with my designer, we are hard at work building the curriculum and related initiatives (including our advisory- and young alumni boards). As such, we are in stealth mode at the moment.

Stay tuned as we will share more details in the upcoming months.

Academia →