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Expert Centre

Biography

Innovation, the kind that helps solve real societal problems, supports economic growth and sustains the environment, drives the work of Hamid Akbari, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology. With an entrepreneurial mindset, his multidisciplinary research agenda blends technology and engineering with business, strategy and commercialization. His latest invention is helping thousands of drivers save time and money through a unique carpooling app called Blancride. The platform matches passengers with drivers who share the same travel needs and works through smartphones including iPhones and Androids as a customized message board. Before setting out on a route, the app automatically balances the costs between each passenger and driver, offering an affordable and environmentally friendly commuter option that helps curb fuel, insurance and maintenance costs with fewer vehicles on the road. So far, the existing platform supports 10,000 carpooling users including passengers and drivers. Dr. Akbari’s latest research focuses on the commercialization and expansion of his technology platform to power the technology used by major enterprises and logistics companies that require delivery and more efficient transportation in Canada or the United States. A self-starter and expert in international management with a focus on emerging markets, Dr. Akbari has formed multiple, software development and investment-based companies while completing graduate studies. He brings entrepreneurial expertise in building telecom platforms to improve process efficiencies. He also gained extensive industry experience as a manager and consultant with several international firms. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and his Master of Business Administration both at Sharif University of Technology in Iran. With an aptitude for business, he ranked in the top one per cent in Iran’s national MBA entrance exam, and ranked 2nd in his graduating class. He completed his Doctorate in Strategic Management at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto in 2012. On the community front, Dr. Akbari has served as Director of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of Promoting Economic Action and Community Health (PEACH), a not-for-profit, Toronto-based organization that provides transformative, youth-centred, social and educational programs for marginalized youth and their families.

Expertise


Finalist, Academy of International Business Dissertation Award

June 1, 2013

Dr. Akbari received numerous accolades for his dissertation Internationalization and Performance of Emerging Market Firms: Institutional Embeddedness in Advanced Economies. A finalist for the Peter J. Buckley and Mark Casson Academy of International Business Dissertation Award in 2013, his paper based on his dissertation was also a finalist for the Academy of Management GWU-CIBER Best Paper on Emerging Markets Award in the same year.

Schulich School of Business, York University

2012
PhD - Strategic Management

Sharif University of Technology

2004
MBA - Business Administration
Ranked 2nd in the graduating class of 2004, and 27th among 10,000 applicants (Top 1%) in Iran’s national MBA entrance exam (2002).

Sharif University of Technology

2001
BSc - Industrial Engineering
Ranked 98th among 500,000 applicants (Top 0.1%) in Iran’s national university entrance exam (1995)
  • Market Readiness Award

    $125000  | January 1, 2016

    Awarded by: Ontario Centres of Excellence
    This research grant support the commercialization of Dr. Akbari’s innovative platform to improve transportation efficiency among transit and delivery companies including Metrolinx, Purolator and Canada Post.

Involvement


  • Media appearances

    UOIT's Dr. Hamid Akbari creates innovative carpooling app for commuters
    UOIT News online

    December 15, 2014

    Fuel and insurance costs, parking fees, vehicle upkeep, traffic congestion, weather conditions and sheer time spent on the road. No matter how you slice it, commuting by car in the GTA tests every driver’s patience. And it certainly takes a toll on the pocketbook. One way motorists can get around the financial roadblock of commuting is to share costs by setting up a carpool. But even getting a carpool off the ground can be a trying task: how do you find people who are going where you are? How do you know where to meet someone? What if schedules change?

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