Investing and partnering with conscious consumers, passionate educators, thought leaders and social entrepreneurs, Shahin Enayati has built a business to develop and improve products, services, and companies striving for excellence.
As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC San Diego, Enayati is passionate about building sustainable solutions and empowering excellence in work and life through business. His work with the Made Noble Inc start-up studio and the investment fund, Sustain Equity LLC, advances values for impact-oriented and purpose-driven solutions for our planet and its people by supporting products to better our future.
“Every day I ask myself, how can you serve society? How can you spend each and every day fulfilled and provide yourself to society in the best way possible?”
His focus on sustainability with its 3 pillars being economics, environment, and social impact, allows him to envision as well as contribute meaningfully to a better future. Now with his wife, two sons, and a daughter, he hopes to inspire others in finding the same harmony between purposeful work and family life. Read more on his entrepreneurial journey below.
Your mission at Made Noble is to connect, empower and build. In the current social and environmental climate, what are the best ways innovators can accomplish this?
I am always looking at the betterment of the world – not I, but we. I worked in the biotech and pharma industry in R&D in Toronto, Montreal, the Bay Area and in San Diego. I found myself leaning more toward my passion for business development. After climbing the corporate ladder in the Biotech industry, I decided to start working for myself.
It was the realization that business is the lifeblood of society that has kept me on this path of entrepreneurship. Since it is the lifeblood of society, we must see it not only as essential but also as a personal expression of ourselves. Business is personal. What you do to me, directly impacts me and my family and my kids and society. It’s a ripple effect.
To connect and empower the innovator, we need to look at the painkiller. What is the pain that the consumer or society is having and how can the innovator solve that pain point? We need to look at longevity and how to sustain the future – providing it with nutrition and vitamins to sustain itself.
“Business is personal. What you do to me, directly impacts me and my family and my kids and society. It’s a ripple effect.”
How do you value equity and inclusion in your mission and team – within the larger San Diego community?
My wife and I are passionate educators. Our three pillars of sustainability are rooted in community. Equity and inclusion is not a buzzword for me. Growing up in the Baháʼí faith, I was raised with the concept and principle of unity and diversity. Unity is absolutely critical for everything in life. One of our investments in the spirit of regenerative agriculture and building community exemplifies this.
Permaculture allows us to integrate different fruits and plants so they help each other. Monoculture doesn’t tap into the strength of diversity as nature does. In permaculture, we use practices that mimic the balance of nature allowing for the mix of plants to keep pests at bay. This lessens the need for pesticides. The mix of plants fixes different minerals into the soil requiring less manipulation and fertilization. Unity in diversity is necessary to survive both in the plant kingdom and in humanity.
We don’t want to do things just for the sake of money, it’s not just a trend, we are looking for where things are being sourced, how are they going to be packed, etc. We want to create products that affect your soul in a positive way.
You invest and partner with conscious consumers, passionate educators, thought leaders and social entrepreneurs. Are there any trends you see for the future of social entrepreneurism – domestically or abroad?
It’s not a trend, it’s a must have. If you speak to any millennial or young person, everybody is looking for how something was made, where it comes from and its impact on our world. The old school of business is gone, this is the new way of entrepreneurship driven by purpose. We have seen the rise of the conscious consumer. People are more aware than ever of the fragileness of society and we are optimistic that together the people of the world can solve any problem.
Describe and share one of the most valuable lessons gained from a mentor in your journey.
My parents instilled in me the value of excellence in work. It didn’t matter if we were cleaning the sink, we had to do it with excellence. That is fundamental to my being. Our home was always open and people were welcome to our table when we ate and a place to stay if they needed it.
Your work is worship, everything should be done with excellence. It’s my mantra. We want to impose those values on our kids and share our passion with others.
“The old school of business is gone, this is the new way of entrepreneurship driven by purpose.”
What interested in you sharing your passion as an Entrepreneur in Residence at UC San Diego?
UC San Diego is a phenomenal place – rich in so many cultures and educational opportunities. My wife completed her undergraduate work at UC San Diego. I love being involved with business and helping overcome obstacles and solve problems. Being involved with UCSD and this program gives me another meaningful way to be of service to entrepreneurs with ideas that will bring us all closer to a more fabulous future.
I have also been able to meet and network with great people and leaders in San Diego’s start-up ecosystem. Being a part of this community is an important part of my investment network and search for new opportunities. When we bring academic learning in connection with business know-how, capital and opportunities abound.
Humanity has to collaborate to better society. We are souls interacting with each other and together we are stronger and better.
Where do you believe San Diego is headed in the larger national innovation ecosystem? Any hopeful predictions for UC San Diego and the communities that you are part of?
I envision 100% exponential growth, with so many interdisciplinary facets of San Diego. There is no doubt that San Diego is poised to be an epicenter of biotechnology for sure in the next 5-10 years. It’s not just one ecosystem though, we see growth in several sectors. When you have a happy medium of so many things, it brings people together…plus the beaches and weather add a nice bonus!
America is one of the most amazing countries in the world, primarily in its ability to create. Creation comes from multi-cultural values coming together, hard work and ideas. San Diego epitomizes this.