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Meet Sayeed Mehrjerdian of iAccess Innovations in Buckhead

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sayeed Mehrjerdian.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
About three years ago, I saw on social media that one of my friend’s younger brother was working on a mobile app to allow people with mobility impairments to rate places on how accessible they were. I reached out to her and told her to let him know if he needed some help navigating the technology/development side of this endeavor that I would love to be involved.

In my profession as a product owner, it is my job to gather technical requirements, identify and investigate the viability of third party API’s as a data resource, weigh in on interface and design questions, and ensure that the product being delivered meets the expectations of the user. I felt that my experience in that field lent itself perfectly to what Brandon was doing and where he was going with iAccess. Brandon’s sister put us in touch, and we began having phone calls and meetings to get the project off the ground.

Over a brief period of time, we realized that we compliment each other well and that we had a lot in common as far as personal interests and professional drive so we decided to enter a formal co-founder relationship. We have gone through a long journey of learning and growing, and we feel like we are finally in a place to focus on this project and bring it to fruition.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The best and most fulfilling journeys are NEVER smooth. We have had some challenges early on with the partners we chose to work with. We are on our second iteration of this project due to the challenges from our first time around but so is the nature of developing a tool like this.

The original product we had developed was on a hybrid operating system implementation and this decision led to the product not meeting our rigorous standards for quality. We made the tough decision to start over, completely re-design the interface, and begin development of native iOS and Android versions. In addition to our set-backs with technology, we have learned so many valuable lessons about the startup world, raising money, forming the proper business entity, and choosing credible partners and advisers wisely.

I truly believe we went through these challenges for a reason and that these setbacks allowed us to re-brand, incorporate our business entity properly, iterate on our technology product and all of these milestones will lead to our eventual roll-out with the strongest product and business possible.

Please tell us about iAccess Innovations.
Our founder, Brandon Winfield, was paralyzed at 14 years of age and I believe it’s his vision that sets us apart. Brandon was faced with the decision to either let this dramatic incident slow him down and stop him from living the life he wanted to live or to take this setback and turn it into a set-up for an opportunity to triumph in the face of tragedy. Brandon chose the latter.

Brandon started a company, now known as iAccess, that is working on developing a crowd-sourcing app to allow users of all walks of life to review the accessibility of public and private venues and establishments based on how accessible they are. We want users to provide insight into the places they visit every day and share their experience with the next person interested in visiting that location.

Additionally, we want to work with employment search engines to help our users seek out accessible places to work and overcome the barriers to employment that our society has placed in front of them. As a company, we are proud to be developing a lifestyle application that will allow its users to be independent and empowered to live their best lives.

Prospective versions of the application will allow our users to interact and keep up with their friends, through a social feed. We also plan to develop strategic partnerships with ticket/hotel/travel companies, booking agencies and exciting brands to empower our community to seek new adventures, stress-free and book accessible accommodations and tickets straight through our application.

We want to establish a family of loyal users that curate and consume quality information from a trusted source. The ultimate goal of iAccess is to develop a platform that will assist in shining a light on accessibility flaws. We want to Revolutionize Accessibility!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from my childhood was the day I got my first skateboard. It opened a new world for me, and it became a major part of my life. My neighborhood friends and I rode our skateboards everywhere, the pool, the movies, each other’s houses, we were no longer dependent on being driven around.

Over time, the skateboard became a tool to master, we would spend hours learning new tricks, skating different spots always on the hunt for a new staircase or bench. From the age of 12 on my skateboard was always with me. By the time I got to college, I would ride it to class and loved exploring the campus with my wheeled companion.

Even today as an adult, I still ride a motorized long board around the city, and it is one of my favorite feelings to roll around, not being slowed down by traffic, and it is this feeling of freedom that we want to unlock with iAccess.

We want to give people the encouragement to leave their hospital beds and rehabilitation programs and jump right back into the world living life, making cherished memories, living independently as we all wish to live.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Muriel Vega, Jason Linton, Patrick Howe

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