Against All Odds: From Iraq to Silicon Valley

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Five young entrepreneurs, hailing from as far as Baghdad, create Tivvi – a network for "us" - launching August 14th, 2014 -- as featured in the Huffington Post (

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Tivvi is a network that’s actually about collaborating with other people, rather than just posting selfies.

While Facebook and similar networks ambitiously pursue a goal of “connecting the world,” an increasing number of studies highlight their dangers. Addictive voyeurism renders users potentially more isolated and lonely, defeating the core purpose of “social” networking.

Five young entrepreneurs, hailing from as far as Baghdad, want to change that. “Tivvi is a network that’s actually about collaborating with other people rather than just posting selfies,” says founder Martin Hermez.

The concept of creating together and enabling meaningful interaction through mobile is near and dear to the founders’ hearts. Hermez, born in Iraq under the reign of Saddam Hussein, escaped Baghdad due to persecution of Christians in the early 2000’s. He arrived in the US with less than a month’s rent to begin a new life. Co-founder Ish Sahni, the son of Indian immigrants, befriended him immediately, and their friendship ultimately gave rise to Tivvi.

“We want to make social media truly social,” says Hermez. Tivvi aims to be the first network geared entirely towards collaboration. The core feature of Tivvi is the "tile," a collection of photos and videos created by two or more users. Users curate tiles, share them, and discover new tiles to contribute to across the network. Examples of current tiles include natural scenery, sports, fashion, cars, pranks, and events.

“Other networks force users into being one-dimensional,” says Sahni. “Tivvi allows people to express themselves better.” Creative freedom and self-expression are central to the founders’ philosophy, and already, the network is getting traction from musicians and artists of all stripes. “Tivvi makes the experience of sharing more lifelike - that means sharing certain things with certain people and not everything with your entire universe of friends.”

Unlike utilitarian photo-sharing apps, Tivvi is designed to be eye-catching, simple, and addictively fun. While made with a younger demographic in mind, it appeals to all ages and offers a unique way to share visual moments.

“Tivvi” is a collaborative network for photo and video sharing, founded by Martin Hermez, Ish Sahni, Kevin George, Shah Noor, and Prab Kumar. It launches August 14th for iOS, with Android versions later next year.

San Francisco, CA

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Kevin George
Tivvi Inc.
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Ishpi Sahni
Tivvi Inc.
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