SmartZip, AIM Computer Training, The Training Alternative
Advisor to following companies - HarQen, Silikids, DreamBank, CareerApple, Class Junky
Saman Dias truly embodies the American entrepreneurial spirit. Upon exposure to the nascent, fragmented San Francisco Bay Area computer training industry in the late 1980s, Saman realized the opportunity for potential growth. In 1992, Saman founded AIM Computer Training, focusing on the lucrative large-scale business training market segment. Through determination, hard work and the successful implementation of a unique business plan, AIM Computer Training became one of the most respected and leading training companies in the Bay Area. Along the way, Saman pioneered numerous innovative business practices, fostered a healthy work environment for her employees and created the AIM Computer Training Global Strategic Alliance to expand AIM Computer Training’s operations around the globe. Her multimillion dollar global training company, which serviced the needs for Fortune 1000 companies, was acquired in 2004.
In 2006, Saman joined NorthPoint Financial Group as Executive Vice President. She built and managed the company’s business development program and its corporate training program. In 2008 she aided in forming a successful e-business concept for delivering analytics and investment ratings for residential real estate. A year later, the Venture funded company was spun off as SmartZip Inc. Saman’s experience also includes successfully leading fundraising, recruiting, public relations and social media efforts.
Currently, Saman is the Founder and Managing Partner of SKD LaunchPad, a full service boutique talent acquisition firm headquartered in the East San Francisco Bay Area, where she enlists both innovative and proven solutions to identify and procure top talent to meet client specific needs, while providing an opportunity for candidates to achieve their career goals. The SKD LanchPad family of companies also helps ambitious business owners find ways to grow their business by securring Advisors, Board Members, and Executive Team Members who collectively focus to develop and refine business strategy and processes.
Drawing on 20 years of success in business, Saman holds Board positions with many startup companies. Having experienced the challenges—and joys—of launching new business’, she gets great satisfaction from helping entrepreneurs navigate the venture capital world, raise funding, market their businesses, and develop growth strategies.
She is also an Advisor for Astia, an innovative global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster the full participation of women in entrepreneurship and as accelerators of high-growth companies fueling innovation and driving economic growth. She is an advisor to Plug and Play Tech Center and US Market Access entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley incubators that assist local and international entrepreneurs expand their venture in the U.S. and gain exposure to venture capitalists.
In 2010 Saman was a featured NCWIT Entrepreneurial Hero in a series of magazine-style audio interviews highlighting women entrepreneurs, whose ideas and products are changing the way we think, work, play, and communicate. In 2010 Saman was also featured in Diversity Woman Magazine’s article “Power Entrepreneur: Saman Dias from Sri Lanka to Silicon Valley”. Diversity Woman is the only magazine on the market designed exclusively to help smart, savvy women of all races, cultures, and backgrounds achieve their career and business goals. Each issue is brimming with insights from women business leaders and other experts who speak from real world experience, offering sage advice, information, and inspiration.
Saman received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Saman received Working Woman Magazine's Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for General Excellence and Innovative Solutions in 2000 and it’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Customer Service in 2001. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award chose Saman as a nominee and finalist in 1998. She also received the 1998 National Association of Women Business Owners Adopt–A–Business award and was honored for the East Bay Business Times Women Distinction Award for General Excellence. Saman was featured by San Francisco Business Times, Contra Costa Times and USA Today. Her company, AIM Computer Training, was named as San Francisco Business Times Top 100 Women-Owned Company for six consecutive years and San Francisco Business Times Fastest Growing Privately Held Company for three consecutive years.
Board member, Contra Costa County Workforce Development Council 2002 - 2004
Board member, Girls Scouts of the San Francisco Bay Area 2000 - 2005
Board member, East Bay chapter of Women in Technology, Inc. 2001 - 2003
Invent your Future, Santa Clara CA (2010)
Hawaii Venture summit, Honolulu, HI (2010)
National Association of Women Business Owners Leaders Circle, San Francisco, CA (2006)
Bank of the West Tennis, Stanford, CA, (2006)
Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Conference, Monterey, CA, (2003)
World Affairs Council of Northern California, International Women’s Day Conference- Women in Power Making Change, San Francisco, CA (2003)
Women in Technology, Walnut Creek, CA, (2003)
Girl Scouts of the San Francisco Bay Area, Diversity Conference, San Francisco, CA (2002)
Contact Information: Saman Dias -- [email protected] -- Cell – 925-765-3592