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.

CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TEENAGE OFFICER

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.

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.

Board Member, CO-Founder, Chief Social Impact officer

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.

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.

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

Experience Creator

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.

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.

Architecture and Integration

Alex Zakharenkov

Alex specializes in cloud and on-premise applications architecture and data integration and analytics (iOS, web services, workflow/business logic, SQL/NoSQL/REST/JSON/XML, etc… Insert buzz words here). After a long stint in IT, he now works fulltime as the owner of Smartaz, where he spends much of his time assessing ideas for scalability and viability, leading a highly agile team of reliable partners that write code, produce original graphic art, and deliver website design and hardware/networking support for complex projects.

Robotics Engineer

Pay Estakhri

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

Robotics Architect

Dr. Babak Behzad

Babak Behzad is a software engineer at Altiscale, where he leads Big Data services performance engineering. Altiscale has been acquired by SAP in September of 2017. Prior to joining Altiscale, Babak earned his PhD degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working on High-Performance Computing. Babak won Kenichi Miura Award in 2014, which honors graduate students for outstanding accomplishments in High-Performance Computing.

Art Director

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.

Cloud Programmer

Nick Wade

QA Manager

Justin Handley

Justin developed his QA chops at 2K Games before coming to YETi and managing the QA process for literally all YETi operations. Ensuring the polished quality of final products through the management of a QA team, Justin employs a testing and report system that betters himself, those around him, and all the work done in between.

Website Developer

Narendra Tiwari

Narendra Tiwari is a Web Developer with 9 years of experience in developing wide range of websites based on PHP, MySql, WordPress, HTML5, CSS, JS and Photoshop for graphics editing as well.

Backend Developer

Jacob Gross

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

Project Manager

Jesse Cochrane

Jesse Cochrane is a Project Manager at YETi CGI.

K-12 Strategy and Partnerships

Tim Watrous

Tim Watrous has over 20 years of Education and Technology Infrastructure industry experience working for some of the largest software and hardware providers, such as Scholastic and Smart Technologies. For 7 years he worked in K-12 Strategy and Partnerships with Cisco Systems Inc. In 2015 Tim founded the Education Innovation Alliance, a non-profit innovation and technology certification initiative which helps education leaders guide their districts through digital transformation. In addition to expanding EIA nationally he has consulted on digital strategy and partnerships for both iSchool initiative and AVID.  Tim is passionate about supporting education in leveraging technology to help districts with their ultimate goal of developing productive citizens and future leaders.

Project Manager & Social Media Marketing Lead

Sheeva Rostami

Sheeva graduated from San Jose State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. Shortly after graduating she found her passion in Social Media Marketing and is currently pursuing a Marketing Certification from UC Berkeley. Her top notch organizational skills have also made it possible for her to become Polyup’s Project Manager for Non-Development.

Education Technology Consultant

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).

Intern

Lucas Makdessi

Lucas Makdessi is currently double majoring in computer science and mathematics at Diablo Valley College. His interests in robotics and game design led him to Polyup.

Operations and Social Analyst

Kimia Ghodoosian

Kimia is a student at UC Berkeley where she is studying Cognitive Science. Previously, she worked on measuring the impact of gamified advertising on customer brand awareness.

Educational Resources”

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.

Education and Writing Consultant and Editor

Norah Sarsour

Norah Sarsour is currently the director of a college persistence and retention program and is an avid advocate for first generation college youth, while also consulting educational publishers, non profits, businesses, and authors. This follows seven years of international experience in NGO management, international relations, communications, capacity development, training of professionals,  grant writing and monitoring and evaluation in predominantly spaces of education. A former high school teacher and head of department, Norah specializes in the inside and out considerations of education development initiatives and was a consultant to three of the largest counties in California. She has designed and spearheaded longitudinal studies to inform program strategy and has designed trainings for educators in Arizona, California, New Jersey, and internationally in Palestine, Jordan, China, India, Lebanon, Nigeria and more. Norah serves Polyup as a consultant to content, writing, and implementation. As a hobby, Norah edits biographies, fictions, and poetry for rising authors and has edited over a dozen published books as the credited editor.

Director of Software Engineering

Jerry Simonian

Action!…  I’ve been developing for the web for longer than I can remember, from the days of C CGI, to DB driven PHP, to SPAs with Angular and React.   I’ve been around the block as employee, contractor, cofounder, you name it.  What I love is architectural design for apps that matter, collaborating with the team, and finding the groove to keep the trains running on time.  And doing that at Polyup makes it all even more a joy.  …Cut, and that’s a wrap!

Junior Developer at YETI

Shane Myers

Shane Myers is a starting developer that has worked alongside various other YETI teams on multiple projects and does well in team settings. His past work has had a focus on virtual reality implementation and mobile development. Shane’s role in Polyup is to tune up and polish the project while endlessly seeking to improve the existing code.

Senior Developer at YETI

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.

Artist & Designer

Muhammad Qumboz

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