Shahrouz Varshabi: Founder and CEO of Designity and a former taxi driver, now disrupting the creative industry globally

Shahrouz Varshabi, a driven entrepreneur from Iran-Tehran, has made his mark in the bustling city of New York. With a passion for innovation and a resourceful mindset, he founded Designity, a collaborative creative platform revolutionizing the entrepreneurial landscape for creatives. By connecting businesses with top-tier US-based creatives and creative directors, Designity empowers the creative community, removes intermediaries, and facilitates meaningful collaborations. Varshabi’s mission to shake up the creative industry and his relentless pursuit of integrating cutting-edge technologies like NFT and blockchain into Designity redefine entrepreneurship for creatives.

Varshabi had an unconventional journey that led to its creation. Originally a taxi driver in Iran, he held a graphic design degree and even pursued a Master’s degree in Design in New York City. However, finding themselves unemployed, he recognized the injustices within the creative industry that often left talented designers struggling to find work.

In the early days of his college career, he embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that would shape his future. On his early twenty, he established his own publishing company in Iran, recognizing the lack of engaging educational tools for children in the market. With a vision to make learning enjoyable, Varshabi devised two iconic characters—a pen and an eraser, representing creation and correction—which would later soar in popularity beyond his wildest dreams.

Starting with a single book, his company rapidly expanded its reach, venturing into 32 diverse educational categories such as math, science, and vocabulary within three years. As the publishing venture flourished, new opportunities presented themselves. After completing his bachelor’s degree in graphic design, his publishing company was acquired on the day of his graduation.

Having tasted the world of entrepreneurship, Varshabi yearned for more. He aspired to create something grander and more influential to unlock his full potential. Above all, he knew that to grow, he needed to be in the right environment—and that place was not Iran but the United States of America.

During his early 20s, Varshabi won numerous prizes in the fields of design such as first place in olympic graphic design in Tehran, Iran. Notably, he participated in designing some of the elements of IBN Battuta Mall in Dubai, UAE.

As a result of his earlier success, Varshabi was recognized as an extraordinary talent by the US government due to his design skills, which granted him permission to stay in the United States of America to pursue his American Dream and build Designity.

Varshabi had a notable speech in NYC NFT 2023 around NFT and its benefits for the creative community. He also was engaged in one of Adweek’s events Sponsored by Typeform to talk about the importance of humanity in customer experience.

Designity: Empowering Creativity and Businesses

Varshabi’s brainchild is a subscription-based collaborative creative platform that offers businesses a transformative approach to design solutions. Recognizing the challenges businesses face in creating compelling visual content, Designity provides access to a curated pool of highly skilled and experienced US-based creatives who perform under a creative director supervision. The platform goes beyond being a mere matchmaking service, as it introduces a dedicated Creative Director for each project to ensure quality control and alignment with the client’s brand and objectives.

Initially, Designity emerged as an innovative online platform that connects design students with businesses, offering design students invaluable real-world experience. The initial challenge arose when Shahrouz graduated from Parsons The New School with a Master Degree in Design and Technology but struggled to get a job due to lack of real-world experience and connections.

After about one year operation, the visionary behind Designity realized companies want more than just student work. To improve the quality of the deliverable he invited experienced creative directors to supervise and mentor these emerging creatives. By doing so, he ensured that Designity’s projects would deliver the same caliber of quality and professionalism found in prestigious Madison Avenue agencies, all while keeping costs at a fraction of the traditional rates.

By integrating technology, Designity streamlines the creative process, making it more efficient and cost-effective for businesses. The platform addresses the common pain points experienced by creatives as well, such as the need for steady income as freelancers and limited support and collaboration during projects. With Designity, creatives can benefit from a structured and collaborative model that nurtures their talent, fosters growth, and provides a platform for meaningful partnerships.

Businesses subscribe to Designity and are assigned a dedicated Creative Director as the primary point of contact. This highly skilled professional collaborates with the client, brainstorming ideas, creating realistic timelines, and, most importantly, curating the perfect team of creatives from Designity’s verified US-based network. The Creative Director is also crucial in managing and maintaining quality assurance throughout the project.

This visionary entrepreneur has created a win-win situation through his platform, empowering budding designers seeking real-world experience and businesses seeking top-tier creative solutions. By addressing the inequalities within the creative industry, Designity paves the way for a more inclusive and accessible landscape where talent and affordability coexist harmoniously.

The Entrepreneurial Vision of Shahrouz Varshabi

Shahrouz Varshabi’s entrepreneurial journey is characterized by his determination to defy the odds and build extraordinary products with limited resources. As an immigrant entrepreneur, he brings a unique perspective and an unwavering drive to make a difference in the creative industry. Varshabi’s vision for Designity goes beyond being a platform; it is a movement that empowers creatives and establishes a new paradigm for entrepreneurship.

Varshabi’s relentless pursuit of innovation is evident in his integration of cutting-edge technologies like NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) and blockchain into Designity. By harnessing these technologies, he propels the platform into Web 3.0, offering enhanced capabilities and opportunities for creatives and businesses. This forward-thinking approach positions Designity at the forefront of the industry and opens up new possibilities for collaboration, ownership, and the monetization of creative assets.

The Impact of Designity on Entrepreneurship for Creatives 

The impact of Designity is reshaping the creative industry, introducing a disruptive model that offers top-notch work at significantly more affordable rates than traditional agencies or in-house design teams. By bridging the gap between talented emerging creatives and businesses in need of high-quality design work, Designity is revolutionizing the way creative projects are executed.

Designity’s emergence in the entrepreneurial landscape has significant implications for creatives seeking a sustainable and fulfilling career. By removing middlemen and facilitating direct collaborations, the platform empowers creatives to take charge of their projects, establish meaningful connections, and showcase their skills to a broader audience. Designity provides creatives with a stable income stream, a supportive ecosystem, and the opportunity to work with reputable brands and businesses.

It fosters an environment that nurtures creativity, encourages collaboration, and values the contributions of every individual involved in the creative process. By embracing a collaborative model, entrepreneurs like Varshabi are reshaping the traditional hierarchy and fostering a culture of mutual benefit and respect.

Shahrouz Varshabi’s entrepreneurial journey with Designity showcases the transformative power of incorporating creativity into entrepreneurship. Through his platform, Varshabi has revolutionized how businesses approach design solutions while empowering creatives to thrive in an industry often marked by challenges and uncertainty. Designity’s collaborative model and Varshabi’s visionary leadership exemplify a new era of entrepreneurship that celebrates creativity, fosters innovation, and opens up boundless opportunities for businesses and creatives alike. As Designity continues to grow and evolve, Varshabi’s passion for empowering the creative community will undoubtedly impact the entrepreneurial landscape.

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