Texas Tech University

Founder of Buclid, Sarah Kiani: The Entrepreneur’s Journey and Giving Back

Kathryn Dankesreiter, Innovation Hub Team

November 8, 2021

Faculty Ambassador, Sarah Kiani, shares her story on launching innovative medical education service.

A doctor. A teacher. An innovator. A mother. An Asian. A Muslim. A woman. Dr. Sarah Kiani has many labels and roles but one title she recently added was “entrepreneur”. 

Born in Pakistan, Dr. Kiani came to the United States to complete her residency at UT Southwestern before migrating to Midland to be with her husband who was completing his residency at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Her journey to become an entrepreneur began when she met Dr. Phil Sizer, an advocate and mentor for the Innovation Hub. “I was struggling at the time with where I belonged; I didn't quite fit with the clinicians, researchers or educators. He [Dr. Sizer] introduced me to the world of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

An Innovator.

“I knew I wanted to fix some problems I saw in the system… As a clinician educator, I saw the incredible potential in our students; as an innovator, I saw so many unexplored opportunities to change the way we deliver and assess medical education”. That was when Dr. Kiani first thought of Buclid. 

“I thought, if computer programs can be clever enough to converge the world into my mobile phone, certainly there had to be a way to improve medical education processes and systems.” Together with her cofounding members, Hassan Khalid and John Ciubuc, Kiani developed the “software as a service” company to improve medical education processes. 

Dr. Sizer encouraged the team to launch their idea through the Innovation Hub's Accelerator program. “Phil Sizer mentored me through the process. It helped to see that other physicians, like Dr. Jennifer Phy, had been through this journey.” In April 2021, Buclid was announced as a part of the fifth cohort Texas Tech Accelerator program. 

An Entrepreneur.

As part of the Accelerator program, Buclid is a prime example of teamwork and collaboration. “I feel like most of the time, John Ciubuc and I are only pretending to care about how much we profit. We are so invested in the impact and utility of what we are making. It helps to have a business savvy cofounder, Hassan Khalid, to help realign us about the practicality and importance of financial viability of our enterprise.”

“I feel every single unique opportunity I was blessed with and my cofounders were blessed with was meant to lead us to converge on this path. Where we leverage each other's strengths to develop something bigger than anything we could have conceived or delivered on our own.” 

The Buclid team has utilized their mentors and the program to develop a strong business model and service. When asked what advice their mentors shared, Kiani said, “I could write a book on this. The best advice they gave us was:

  1. Be ok with delivering 80% in the interest of getting things done.
  2. Be authentic. Know yourself and write down your purpose. 
  3. Know your audience.
  4. Customer discovery is the oxygen of entrepreneurship.”

A Teacher.

In addition to building her startup, Dr. Kiani is giving back to the entrepreneur community by incorporating the lessons she's learned through starting Buclid into her role as Faculty Ambassador at the TTUHSC. “It was only fitting I used that privilege to introduce my students to what Phil had introduced me to!”

In August, Dr. Kiani together with Dr. Nithin Venepally were awarded $2,500 to facilitate the creation of the Strategic Career Development course. The class leads medical residents through creating a personalized career development plan.

Dr. Kiani's passion for entrepreneurship and teaching led her to the Innovation Hub, where she's met and grown her community, and launched a tool to serve medical educators. Kiani is a prime example of diversity making an impact in our community.

“Every lecture, every mentor, every staff member is basically a steppingstone for us. Laid out beautifully through a river of lava! It is perfectly challenging and perfectly supportive at the same time.”