CEO AND CO-FOUNDER

Dr. Amir Zarkesh

Amir is the CEO and Co-founder of Polyup. Before Polyup, he co-founded Bluechip Systems and Crunch. Prior to that, he co-founded 3Plus1 Technology (acquired by a Private Equity), co-founded Transcendent Design (acquired by Mentor Graphics), and was a principal at Quad Design (acquired by Synopsys). Amir was the co-founder and the President of iBRIDGES a non-profit organization empowering young entrepreneurs. Amir received the Teaching Excellence Award for teaching Math and Physics at UCLA. Amir received his PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics, MS in EE, and MS in Physics at UCLA.

CHIEF LEARNING OFFICER AND CO-FOUNDER

Prof. Yahya Tabesh

In Yahya’s background we can see a visiting professor at Stanford University, a distinguished faculty of the Sharif University of Technology. He also served as the chairman of the department of Mathematical Sciences at Sharif for several years. Dr. Tabesh was also director of Math and Computer Olympiads in Iran. He won the Erdős international award in 2010 for his sustained and distinguished contribution to the enrichment of math education.

UX and Communications - Co-founder

Shaya Zarkesh

Shaya is currently a student at the University of Pennsylvania studying mathematics, computer science, and business in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology. Shaya has always an avid math student and co-founded Polyup in high school to spread his love for math to the world. Outside of class, Shaya enjoys playing table tennis and soccer, as well as dabbling in the performing arts.

Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder

Zohre Elahian

She is currently on the board of Partners for Sustainable Development (a local NGO in Palestine), Gooru learning, Gaza Sky Geeks and Iranian American women Foundation.

CTO

Josh Freeney

As CTO, Josh’s fingerprints can be found on every project at any stage of development. Before YETi, Josh worked on software and game development for the PC, web, mobile, and social media platforms. He spent several years as a faculty member teaching game development to university students, tech-reviewing Flash training books, and perfecting his game framework to push the limits of rapid cross platform development. Josh is a graduate of Full Sail’s Game Design and Development program, and he cut his teeth developing multiplayer web platforms.

Senior Programomancer

Don Goldin

A graduate of MIT, Don is a top notch game developer with many years of experience at Gameloft. He has worked on Midnight Pool 3, Ice Age Village, Cannon Rats, Zombiewood among others.

VP of Engineering

Alex Zakharenkov

Alex, in his role of V.P. of Engineering, is responsible for the development process and product engineering. With more than 30 years of experience in software engineering and a background in Applied Mathematics and Cybernetics, Alex has always had a passion for combining processes and applications to solve real-life problems. His engineering background includes working in various consulting roles with Federal, State government organizations, Fortune 500 companies, as well as startup experience. That breadth of expertise enables Alex to contribute to Polyup’s strategy development and to execute the business vision effectively.

Chief Design Officer

Ward Makielski

As a partner at YETi CGI, Ward Makielski plays a strong role in concept development and game design based on years of professional digital media experience. Ward has operated in many roles including Producer, Senior Game Designer, Artist, and Animator for 20+ software titles ranging from early Apple II graphic adventure games to the casual games market serving social media, web, and mobile platforms. From 1992-1996, Ward was a Game Designer for Sierra On-Line designing award-winning edutainment CD ROMs, and he was also an Artist/Animator on multiple titles. From 1996-1998, Ward filled many roles including Producer and Game Designer at Disney Interactive He is credited as the Overseas Animation Supervisor for the LEGO Bionicle computer-animated movie Mask of Light, which he worked on while living in Taiwan and working with Taipei-based CGCG. His client list includes Disney, Pixar, LEGO, EA, Mattel, Marvel, Cartoon Network, Universal, American Greetings, Mark Kistler, AOL, LeapFrog, Sierra On-Line (Vivendi-Universal), PAN Interactive, and MGA. Additionally, Ward was a faculty member and department chair at Ferris State University (Grand Rapids) in the Digital Animation and Game Design department. Ward is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a BFA in Industrial Design and an MBA from Ferris State University with a concentration in Innovation and Design Management. In 1996, he received a CODiE Award for his edutainment software design on The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain for Sierra On-Line.

Senior Programmer

Jason Carroll

Jason Carroll has played lead developer on a number of YETi projects. When acting in this capacity, as he did for Polyup, Jason generates the gaming systems utilized by the projects by designing intelligent code architectures that not only accomplish project objectives but allow others to scaffold into the project with simplicity. Jason also trains mentees in code and culture at the YETi office

Game Designer

Jeremy Johnston

Jeremy Johnston is a Game Designer with a decade of industry experience. Some of his more notable projects include his work for Sony Online Entertainment (now Daybreak Studios), through which he assisted in designing elements of Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures. Since 2011 he has specialized in mobile development, spending time as a lead designer on a number of successful mobile titles (Capital City, Spelltorn: Clash of Fates, and Dude Perfect). Since joining YETi, Jeremy has split his time between rapid Iterative Prototyping and classic Game Design, which lent itself to his work on Polyup where he wrote and designed many of the poly machines.

Community Leader

Casey Agena

Casey Agena is currently an education technology consultant for Haumana Ventures, LLC. His portfolio includes a number of K-12 School districts in the Bay Area as well as a few early stage Edtech companies. He is also an Instructional Technology consultant for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Previously, he was at Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his work included connecting EdTech entrepreneurs, educators, and researchers to integrate technology tools and solutions for education institutions. Before he and his wife decided to move to the Bay Area, he worked at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii for twelve years. There, he facilitated summer programs and professional development  in education technology and social entrepreneurship for local, regional and schools around the Pacific Rim. His passions include: Inquiry-based learning for “real world problems,” attacking the Digital Divide and his three children. He is a graduate of Purdue University (BA), Boston College (M Ed.) and University of Southern California (Ed. D).

Artist & Designer

Muhammad Qumboz

Through art and technology, Muhammad is designing and developing for web, video and AR experiences.

QA and Backend Lead

Jacob Gross

Jacob Gross is a backend programmer and automated test developer at YETi CGI.

Senior Developer

Dillon Walls

Dillon got into the business after achieving a B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering. Over his seven year tenure at YETi CGI, Dillon has earned credits on over thirty-eight distinct shipped products. A cornerstone of the programming team with a passion for gaming, Dillon is the guy working odd hours on odd tasks to ensure deadlines are met. He was also a third-chair trombonist in high school.

Business Development Manager

Sergi Bernal Sagué

Sergi is currently studying Engineering Physics at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona while also studying a degree in international Business Economics at the Univesity Pompeu Fabra. He Co-founded Elenytics when he was 17, a company that went through investment and developed an Indoor location solution for the healthcare market. He has also been painting for 12 years, which made him be interested in graphic design.

Content Developer

Julia Barrufet

Julia is studying Engineering Physics at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona. She has experience in teaching math and physics to Middle and High School students. She has also prepared educational material for a non-profit project called STEM-UP! to bring STEM education to Senegal and other African regions. She has been studying music since she was 5 years old and holds a certificate in Superior Music Studies.

Infrastructure Specialist

Robert Boorman

As the owner of Unified Professionals, Robert’s passion is Research & Development and Integration of Future Technologies for business. As a leader, Robert and his teams push their own understanding of analytics and mobile development, bridging the gap between business and technology. As an expert in engineering secure datacenters and cloud-based architectures, Robert and his teams develop secure web services for big data collection, basic to complex reporting, rapid prototype development, and automated testing. Robert currently holds an entrepreneurial/leadership role with the Rich Dad Operating Company, LLC. Additionally, he has worked for six years in Public Health and Bio-Terrorism Preparedness, which influenced his passion for business and security.

Project Manager

Jesse Cochrane

Jesse Cochrane is a Project Manager at YETi CGI.

Lead Art Design

Cari Mayle

Cari is a professor at her alma mater, offering instruction on Digital Animation and Game Design to her students. Cari’s expertise is diverse, including Sculpture, Painting, Modeling, Rigging, and Animation, and a host of other applications. Indeed, her invaluability to YETi lies in her capacity to navigate the pipeline of asset generation from end to end.

Robotics Engineer

Pay Estakhri

Obtained my Masters in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Heavy emphasis on robotic system design and control.