Kansas City native Arash Ferdowsi (far left) may have a unique career path and success in the tech industry, but he still shares one thing in common with many in his hometown: he’s a huge Kansas City Chiefs fans. And a frustrated one, too, the Kansas City Star noted in its Saturday feature story on Ferdowsi.
Now in San Francisco, Ferdowsi is the co-founder and CTO of Dropbox. The path that got him there, Star reporter Eric Adler shared, started in his Kansas City childhood home with his interest in computers.
“He was always interested in how they worked,” his mother, Tammy Ferdowsi, told the Star. “I think he was 9 or 10 when he put his own computer together. We ordered the pieces for him and he assembled the hard drive.”
After graduating first in his class at Blue Valley Northwest, he left Kansas City to attend MIT, the school of his dreams, according to the Star. In 2007, he met fellow MIT student Drew Houston (above, near left) through a mutual friend, Kyle Vogt, another Kansas City native and tech entrepreneur. When Houston shared his idea for Dropbox with Ferdowsi, the two clicked.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Ferdowsi said. “Drew calls it a shotgun marriage. We only spent like five hours together before we decided to do Dropbox.”
The next year, Ferdowsi left MIT to pursue his startup full-time.
For the full story of Ferdowsi’s path to entrepreneurship, including an episode that takes place on a Dance Dance Revolution machine in a Kansas City arcade, check out the Star: “Meet the richest area native you’ve probably never heard of.”
To hear the story of Ferdowsi and Houston’s meeting from the other side, check out video below from Standford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner.