TUMO is about to turn 10! A perfect reason to track down some of our very first TUMOians who walked through our doors all those years ago. In this new series, we’ll check in with our alumni for a full report on what they’re up to these days. We’re kicking things off with Nare Gevorgyan.
Nare is a co-founder and chief design officer at Embry Tech, a startup that designs a system of smart insoles and an application that tracks and analyzes body weight and physical activity to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
As Nare tells it, “At Embry Tech we have gathered a dream team around us and broken into the US market. Just after we started with my husband Sargis, our nutritionist Liana and biomedical equipment expert Levon joined us from Boston as co-founders. Now, we have a team of 15! A year ago, Eva Gyulzadyan joined our team; ten years ago, she was my learning coach at TUMO!”
Embry Tech has already racked up several accolades with this dream team, pulled in investment, won at WCIT19, and represented Armenia at the Viva Tech expo in Paris. “I consider our major success to be raising weight management and activity tracking to a new level. Helping a person lead a healthier lifestyle alongside the long hours spent at the office.”
Forming this startup was no accident for Nare. She’s always been fascinated by the physics, ergonomics, color schemes, and psychology of product design.
“We’re essentially creating something that can help people improve their lives. It all started at TUMO where I would spend all day talking about product design. With Vasken Brutyan, one of my first workshop leaders there, we created the startup Ardēan, which TUMO spun off into an independent company. Our entire workshop team moved from the classroom to our new studio.”
Nare continues with passion, “Find. Draw. Create. Remix. This process resulted in scarves with Armenian patterns, household goods, and countless exhibitions. It’s terrific seeing Ardēan‘s products used by people across the globe.”
Before TUMO, all Nare had was a Pentium 3 that would barely run Photoshop CS2. And yet, she was still taking on freelance work. “With my dial-up internet connection, I was somehow able to study works on Yanko Design, which I consider the Louvre of product design.”
“I was quite active at TUMO, participating in everything, and when I married a year later, being 19 years old, my relatives would ask me, “Why do you need TUMO?” and I’d even earned the nickname of ‘the one married TUMOian.’ It never bothered me much. One of the best things about TUMO is what surrounds you.”
These were the auspicious beginnings of Nare’s product design career. And now you’ll find her featured on the Forbes list of women in tech – next to Marie Lou Papazian, TUMO’s CEO.
“There was a time when, while designing decorative pieces, I would listen to Hamasyan and Mansuryan on repeat. These products were displayed on TUMO’s first floor when one day I caught sight of Hamasyan and Mansuryan sitting in front of them. I don’t know why they were there, but I was in shock, my eyes teared up… and then I went back to work.”