About us


Bert is short for Albert, as in Albert Einstein. We believe that everyone possesses genius and that they can make as big a difference in the world as Albert Einstein did. It just takes the right set of resources, timing and environment to let it out. We also believe that students are the most creative segment of society, but a typical student’s education does not give them much real world experience or training. We are here to complement students’ formal education.

Ultimately our aim is to let out everyone’s “Bert” or genius. By offering resources for manufacturing, musical production and software programming, we hope to let people’s imaginations run wild, one genius at a time.

Guiding philosophy

  • Anyone can have a great idea, regardless of their age, wealth, education, occupation, position and status.
  • The basic principles of creativity are generating an idea, the desire to make it real, pursuing a process and finding the right tools to make it happen. Bertie provides the process and tools.
  • We do not decide on what is a good idea and what is a bad idea. Under the right conditions, every idea may be an expression of genius.

The team

Sameer Karim – Sameer loves hacking at stuff just to see what he can make, because if he doesn't do that he gets bored. He grew up in sunny Los Angeles, where he enjoyed the palm trees and beaches. He was even a surfer for a little while -- though that only lasted for one summer and he was pretty bad at it. He spent his undergrad years at Carnegie Mellon University and loved the amazing people there. He was also astonished to find that he really liked Pittsburgh, despite the cold. Many years later he attended UCLA Anderson's Fully-Employed MBA program, and he has the pleasure of staying very involved with the program even after graduation. He's been living in China on-and-off since 2001, and has spent a total of nearly six years "in country". He even met his wife while living in Beijing in 2003, so he has a piece of China with him wherever he goes.

Josefina Shen – Josie is a wannabe engineer and farmer. She spent much of her childhood in San Francisco, surrounded by the ocean, clean air, natural beauty and lots of crunchy people. After spending some very cold winters in New York attending college at Columbia University, she headed west to Los Angeles, where she attended business school at UCLA. After earning an MBA, she headed due west again and landed on the shores of Hong Kong. Although she loved the food, Hong Kong’s tropical climate and crazy typhoons proved to be a bit too much, so she moved to Shanghai, where she met Sameer at a hotpot dinner. Today, she bravely tries to feed her family from her 12-storey high balcony vegetable garden and composts every discarded fruit peel and vegetable that comes from her kitchen. Josie also works in the finance industry, raising money for growing companies with lots of potential. Someday, she may write a book about her westward travels, her adventures in China and the history of her very large extended family.