From Iranian Immigrant to Engineering Entrepreneur, with Sepi Saidi

Sepi Saidi immigrated to this country as a female, in the south, in a male-dominated field (engineering), coming from one of the most polarizing countries in the world.  She shouldn’t have had a chance. And yet, this May she’ll celebrate 20 years at her company SEPI, Inc – a company that now has over 200 employees in 7 locations. Find out how she did it and what her giveback is.


Donald Thompson: Welcome to the Donald Thompson Podcast. I have with me a good friend of mine, Sepi Saidi, of Sepi Engineering. Sepi, welcome to the show.

Sepi Saidi: Thank you, Donald. I’m looking forward to having a conversation with you.

Donald Thompson: Me as well.

Sepi Saidi: It’s so good to be here.

Donald Thompson: Yeah, it is. It has been a long time, a long time coming. One of the things that I would love to do is give you some space just to introduce yourself to our audience and share a little bit about you, about your family, about what drove you to become an entrepreneur, some things to kind of set the stage and then we’ll talk as friends.

Sepi Saidi: Okay. Wonderful. So you can stop me because sometimes I start and then like I’ve been talking for 30 minutes.

Donald Thompson: Alright.

Sepi Saidi: I’m originally from Tehran, Iran and I came to Raleigh straight from Tehran. I mean, straight from Tehran, and that’s almost four decades ago. I was a teenager when I came to Raleigh and this was prior to the Islamic revolution. And when I came to Raleigh, I’m the youngest of three, I have an older brother and sister, and the reason I came here, which is something everybody wants to know. “Why Raleigh, North Carolina? Everywhere United States, why Raleigh?

Full Episode Transcript

The Donald Thompson Podcast is hosted by Walk West CEO, mentor, investor, and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Donald Thompson.

Music for this episode provided by Jensen Reed from his song, “You Can’t Stop Me”.

The Donald Thompson Podcast is edited and produced by Earfluence. For more on how to engage your community or build your personal brand through podcasting, visit

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