5 minutes with... Gamyra Co-Founder Sara Khorasani

Gamyra Co-Founder, Sara Khorasani.

Gamyra Co-Founder, Sara Khorasani.

Founded by two Williams F1 engineers, Gamyra develops simulation, VR and AR technology for engaging and collaborative learning. With over 24,000 novice drivers already trained with their driving simulation technology, and with a multitude of other applications for their tech, Gamyra is set to revolutionise the way we learn. Meet Co-Founder and CTO, Sara Khorasani, as she talks about leadership, public speaking and what keeps her motivated.

How do you usually start your day?

Doing the task I love the most and I know is going to have the biggest impact on my business. That’s of course, unless something urgent comes up.

Any rules for meetings?

Have as few of them as possible.

How do you find inspiration?

Difficult question, but usually books for me. Books are the one way you can get into the brains of people you may never have the chance to meet in real life. If you grow up in the slums, you will probably never meet a CEO, so in order to be inspired by them, you have to get to know them through their biographies and autobiographies. This is an extreme example, but it’s true for most people. The easiest way to step into the world of people outside our circle of friends and family is through books.

Last eureka moment?

When I learnt about the emotional process called self-differentiation. In the context of leadership it is explained by Edwin Friedman as, “leadership is an emotional process of regulating one’s own anxiety”. Many presidents, CEOs, and leaders can project their anxiety onto the organisations they lead, or they internalise the anxiety of those around them. This doesn’t mean that leaders shouldn’t show vulnerability, quite the opposite, differentiation is the ability to be yourself fully but knowing where you end and the other begins.

Something you do every day

I spend a lot of time with my dog. He is such a great conversation starter and makes people let their guard down. If only I could take him to every business meeting.

Something you wish you did more of

Working on my public speaking and presentation skills. I choke when I get nervous and it is something I would love to overcome. A friend of mine recently recommended these events where you talk about completely random topics in front of a crowd of strangers. Frightening, but I have to try it!

Best decision you ever made

Immigrating to Australia. It was scary and lonely at first. But now, I just love Melbourne and feel so challenged, encouraged and supported in the startup community here.

How do you stay motivated?

By thinking about where I come from. My great grandfather was a pistachio farmer in a remote village in Iran. I don’t think he could have imagined where his great grand kids would be and what they would be doing. So I think about him, and my grandparents and my parents. And then I think about where I want my future kids to be.

One thing you’d change about your industry

Many view simulation and VR as just a game. I would love to change that perception. Gamification of education is a powerful tool to improve how we learn and retain knowledge. Having experiences that we can’t have in real life, because it’s too dangerous or not possible, stretches the mind.

What are you reading at the moment?

Do More Faster by Brad Feld and David Cohen.

When you lose momentum…

I look to my team. I love my team, and I’m impressed by them on a daily basis. So when we lose momentum, we build it together again.