Pooya Kamvari, championing Changemakers
Delivering positive impact to the planet
Pooya is a Homerton alumnus who has given much of his time and energy to the College’s Changemakers programme. He’s a mentor and speaker, and is continuing to be heavily involved with the Changemaker Catalyst Fund.
Pooya is a social entrepreneur, and is interested in new ideas and innovation, particularly in climate technology and sustainability. He is the founder and CEO of HomeRun App, a platform that reduces traffic and CO2 from the school run, with the potential to save 100 million tonnes of CO2, across the OECD, in 10 years. He has already succeeded in working with hundred’s of schools across the UK, across both the private and public sectors, saving 28% of their school run CO2 emissions to date. Before HomeRun App he worked at Deutsche Bank for over 5 years, running transformation programmes across Global Technology and Operations.
“Although in many ways, achievements from my corporate background are much easier to quantify and simpler for people to understand, my proudest highlight is creating a sustainable business with HomeRun. The toughest challenges I’ve had to overcome have all come through my 5 years of experience as a social entrepreneur. Bootstrapping a startup requires levels of creative problem solving that can be as rewarding as they are challenging.”
Pooya has generously given a lot of time and energy to the Changemakers programme over the last year, after reconnecting with Homerton through an event for Santander Prize winners, hosted at the College. The wonderful alumni relations team introduced me to the ever-inspiring Soraya Jones, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Soraya suggested that due to Pooya’s career trajectory of graduating from Homerton, and founding a social and environmentally focused startup, he would be well placed to share his experiences with Changemakers hopefuls, as well as mentor a winning group. He has since given two talks at Changemakers events, and mentored UniArk, one of the fantastic winning groups from last year’s intake. He still retains a great relationship with UniArk as a member of their advisory board. This year, on top of mentoring another group, he will be hosting a session with all the winning groups to help them prepare for the showcase day presentation.
“I contribute to Changemakers precisely because I think it’s so valuable. Not only does it impart technical skills to students, enabling them to translate their ideas into commercially appealing ventures, or powerful and emotive not for profits, but more importantly, it opens new avenues of thinking.
Our society largely encourages participants to prioritise financial profitability and gain. Changemakers encourages an understanding of real-world economics, and the resilience and adaptability required in entrepreneurship, while encouraging passion for delivering positive impact to the planet.
I believe that the true value of Changemakers is not just to enable and encourage successful ventures from students, but to encourage socially responsible ways of thinking that enable all participants, including the mentors and volunteers, to become better ambassadors for society.
This programme is for those who have ambition and ideas but not necessarily the know-how because Changemakers is centred on learning. An idea is just the beginning, and only hard-work, application and adaptability will ever realise any of its potential.
Questioning your ideas, and yourself, are the healthy characteristics of people who are open to learning and improvement, and in my opinion, very preferable to overconfidence”.
Learn more about the Changemakers programme here.