Fast 15: Kanat Bektemirov

by Nancy Peevy ([email protected]) 1,814 views 

Class of 2021 Kanat Bektemirov Chief Technology Officer SupplyPike

When he was 15, Kanat Bektemirov’s family immigrated to Fayetteville from Uzbekistan for his father’s job at the University of Arkansas.

Because he loved programming and meeting people’s needs, while attending Fayetteville High School, Bektemirov created an app to help students navigate the UA campus.

During his time studying computer science at UA, he interned at Amazon and Google. As a junior, after winning the ARK Challenge, he co-founded HumanLink, an app to match care-seekers with caregivers.

In 2015, Bektemirov graduated summa cum laude as the top computer science undergraduate. Google and Amazon offered him lucrative positions, but he chose to stay in Northwest Arkansas because of the local startup culture.

“In Arkansas, we’re trying to increase the number of founders and startups, so there’s a lot of support in the startup ecosystem,” he said. “I like that environment where, when you’re building something, there are people who are willing to connect with you.”

In 2016, Bektemirov helped start CaseStack’s R&D division, which became SupplyPike in 2018. He was the engineering manager and then sales development team director, bringing in 60% of new revenue. Bektemirov is now responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s growth and technology vision. SupplyPike grew 300% in revenue in 2019 and 500% in revenue in 2020.

Bektemirov hopes to take the company to a “successful exit” of selling or going public within five years.

“I’ve experienced what it’s like to work at big companies,” he said. “I’ve experienced how to start small companies. But what I haven’t experienced is starting something very small to exiting big time. If we can get there, I can say I have been part of everything. Once you have that experience, you have all the tools, all the connections, to build another company.”

Bektemirov is also helping develop a Zoom app launched in May for all 300 million Zoom users.

In addition to English, Bektemirov speaks Kazak, Russian and Uzbek. His passion is helping students at the UA and in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan train for interviews and receive offers from big tech companies. The internship program he created at SupplyPike has hosted more than 60 interns.

In his spare time, he mentors within the startup and tech ecosystem, spends time with family and friends and enjoys sports and meditation.