Artavazd Mehrabyan (MSCIS ‘03): 
Increasing Talent in Armenia Through AUA Open Centers of Excellence

Artavazd Mehrabyan (MSCIS ‘03) is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Picsart, one of the world’s leading photo and video editing applications. Artavazd graduated from the American University of Armenian (AUA) in 2003 obtaining his Master of Science degree from the University’s
Computer and Information Science program. After graduating and prior to founding Picsart, Artavazd gained much experience in the industry working at tech-based companies like Sourcio and Lycos Europe.

As one of AUA’s most successful alumni, Artavazd discussed with us why he decided to become an AUA ChangeMaker and to positively influence student change agents and help usher in innovative solutions to complex challenges taking hold in Armenia. 

How did your time at AUA affect your successes and direction in life?

At AUA, I discovered the value of learning as well as my passion for software engineering and problem-solving. But the biggest gain from AUA was the talented people I met there, who later became my colleagues, friends and company [Picsart] co-founders.

Please tell us what motivated you to support the AUA ChangeMakers campaign. 

In a way, AUA helped me discover my talents so I want to help make AUA more accessible to people as I believe everyone has the ability to uncover their own talents. 

As a ChangeMaker, what impact do you hope to have on the next generation of AUA Change Agents?

I hope to see more success stories and role models coming out of AUA and to see the University make a global impact and put Armenia and AUA on the map in terms of Open Centers of Excellence. 

What role do you foresee this generation playing in the development of AUA and Armenia?

The speed by which the world evolves creates more and more opportunities. If my generation was showing that nothing is impossible by showcasing ad hoc successes, then my expectations for this emerging generation would be to institutionalize it by creating a brand of success associated with Armenia and AUA.

What impact will the Open Centers of Excellence have in Armenia, the region, and the world? 

The Open Centers of Excellence embody applied experimentation and innovation where successful ones will spin off. By investing back into Open Centers of Excellence, a virtuous cycle will be created that will impact Armenia, the region, and the world.

What is your vision for change in Armenia?

The world’s complexity increases exponentially, which requires more talented people to make a global impact. There is no easy formula to increase this talent, but having in mind that the power of talent density is more than just an absolute number, it is important to create an environment where talented people can gather and work closely. Thus, it is crucial to invest more in modern education, science, research, etc.,  to reveal more talent in people and increase talent density which will eventually result in new wins and positive changes in Armenia.


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