The 26 Students Powering Entrepreneurship — Meet Dorm Room Fund’s New Partners

In November, we put out a call to join the Dorm Room Fund team. A few weeks later, we received 400+ applications — that’s nearly 2x as many applications as the year before!

While it was incredible to see the immense interest, it also made the selection process extremely difficult. This was the most highly qualified batch of applicants we’ve seen yet, and we wanted to ensure we reviewed every application diligently. To do that, we actually designed a new selection process (more to come on that in a future post), and spent more time than ever meeting and interviewing the applicants.

We are so pumped to announce the 26 new members of Dorm Room Fund family!

These students come from a variety of backgrounds — from operating startups to investing at VC firms to conducting cutting-edge research and building communities. They are all united by their passion for supporting their fellow students and helping entrepreneurs succeed.

We’re here to serve the best student-run companies across the nation. If you’re a student starting a company, please feel free to reach out. You can find everyone’s contact info

Bay Area

Catherina Xu

Catherina is a junior at Stanford University majoring in Computer Science (and a Bay Area native). She is co-President of Stanford Women in Computer Science and VP of Partnerships at Stanford Women in Business. In the past, Catherina has studied behavioral economics at Oxford and interned at YouTube as a software engineer. She’s incredibly excited to support women and students in tech, business, and entrepreneurship as a partner at DRF.

Erin Booth

Erin is in her first year at Stanford GSB where she came to pursue her interest in entrepreneurship and game-changing companies. Prior to returning to her home state of California, she studied government at Georgetown in DC and worked part-time at LivingSocial, where she developed her passion for building businesses. After school she moved to NYC where she ran supply growth at hospitality startup onefinestay (acquired by AccorHotels in 2016) for four years.

Farbod Nowzad

Farbod is from Menlo Park, California and is currently a Sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Computer Science. He is a Director of Cal’s student-run startup incubator, Free Ventures, and enjoys working closely with teams in order to develop their ideas from abstract to concrete. Prior to joining DRF, Farbod did software development at startups such as EagerPanda and Branch Metrics. He is a huge Warriors fan and likes to spend his free time playing basketball and reading books.

Jamie Macfarlane

Jamie is a first year MBA student at Stanford Business School. He previously worked as a political consultant for communications firm WPP. He ran election campaigns across the world, serving as chief speechwriter to the Prime Minister of Kosovo during his historic 2014 election victory, advisor to the Prime Minister of Croatia, and digital lead for the Cambodian opposition. He also built one of WPP’s first advertising agencies in Myanmar. Jamie is originally from the UK and holds a BA in History from Oxford University.

Jeff Oldenburg

Jeff is a first year MBA student at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where he is a Berkeley Chapter InSITE Fellow and a member of Haas Venture Fellows. Prior to Haas, Jeff spent 10 years working in fixed income sales and trading in New York and Chicago. Most recently, he ran institutional interest rate sales for RBS in the Midwest. Jeff is passionate about building new businesses, and is studying entrepreneurship and venture capital at Haas. Jeff holds a BA in Economics and Geography from Middlebury College.

Josh Tobin

Josh Tobin isa second-year PhD student at UC Berkeley and Research Scientist at OpenAI working on applying techniques from deep learning to problems in robotics. Prior to Berkeley and OpenAI, Josh was a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company in New York, where he worked with companies across industries on problems related to strategy, organization design and management, and operations. Josh holds a BA in Mathematics from Columbia University


Athena Kan

Athena Kan is a sophomore at Harvard studying computer science. She’s passionate about the intersections between technology, transportation, health care, and government. She’s currently helping Boston build its open data hub, building tech to make VA cemeteries more accessible, and spreading tech for social good movement Coding it Forward. She’s also extremely excited to be working on Uber’s autonomous vehicle team this summer. For fun, she competes on Harvard’s curling team, designs swag for her school’s dorm, and thinks about trying stand-up comedy.

Bryan Giudicelli

Bryan is an MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management focusing on Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Prior to coming to MIT and DRF, Bryan sourced and executed investments for Copley Equity Partners a Boston-based family office VC/PE firm. Bryan was also a consultant with Deloitte, focusing on Growth Strategy and Innovation. Prior to becoming an adult, Bryan graduated with honors from Dartmouth College, where he was a varsity soccer player. Bryan is particularly excited about the future of work (distributed liquid workforces, not the robot stuff) and the potential of autonomous machines (the robot stuff). Bryan skis in the winter and hangs out on the beach in the summer, both while listening to music or audiobooks. He loves Boston but home will always be San Francisco.

Isabelle Phelps

Isabelle is a first-year MBA student at MIT Sloan School of Management. Prior to business school, she worked in business planning, operations and marketing strategy at Yahoo and eBay Enterprise, and received her BA from Williams College. Isabelle is an active skier, a competitive horseback rider and loves hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

Mikal Khoso

Mikal is a junior at Northeastern university studying economics and philosophy and writes extensively on the intersection between politics, economics, philosophy and entrepreneurship. Prior to Dorm Room Fund Mikal was COO of Scout, a 42-person student-led design studio at Northeastern, and part of the New Ventures team at Northeastern where he was helping advance edtech. Currently an associate at Underscore VC he is focused on finding and building Boston’s next big company. Meanwhile at Dorm Room Fund, Mikal is committed to paving the road for the next generation of student entrepreneurs.

Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz

Nathaniel co-founded General Biotechnologies to identify and develop exciting discoveries in the life sciences, starting with an adjuvant therapy for metastatic cancer. His thesis at Harvard Medical School investigates strategies to delay mammalian aging. As an investment partner, Nathaniel hopes to add high-potential biotech startups to the Dorm Room Fund portfolio.

Phoebe Peronto

As an investor and former Googler, Phoebe loves to help founders build moonshot ideas. Before joining Dorm Room Fund and attending Harvard Business School, she worked at Google Ventures on both their marketing and investing teams. Phoebe is enamored by founders, the environments in which they operate, how they think, and how they execute. She started her career at a Rocket Internet startup in Dubai, UAE. With young founders and a vision to fundamentally impact the presence of ecommerce in the region, she got first-hand exposure to the founder mindset. She followed this by joining Google’s Developer Marketing team, thinking critically about what drives Google’s international developer community to build and innovate. In her spare time, Phoebe trains for triathlons, does too many crosswords, and loves to eat good food (recommendations welcome!).

Zoe Lu

Living on the edge between fiction and reality, Zoe is excited to explore the intersection of technology, art, science, and education. Currently a full-time Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science student at MIT, she is also a part-time entrepreneur, writer, pianist, runner, and pâtissier. Originally from Shanghai, China, she now resides in a hippie vegan co-op and would love to hear about any wacky ideas people have.

New York

Lilly Wyden

Lilly is a first year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to graduate school, she spent several years in the Bay Area at Instagram and Bessemer Venture Partners. In her spare time, she loves NBA basketball, politics, and biographies. Lilly graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mike Annunziata

Mike is an MBA student at Cornell’s SC Johnson Graduate School of Management and a senior PE and VC analyst at the Cornell Investment Office. He is an entrepreneur at heart and is currently working on a startup using Cornell food science technology to help reduce global food waste. In his spare time, Mike is teaching himself to code.

Nashilu Mouen-Makoua

A displaced South Londoner, Nashilu is currently pursuing her MBA at NYU Stern, focusing on alternative early stage investment models. By day, Nashilu leads Stern’s venture capital community as co-president of the Venture Capital & Private Equity Club, advises early stage startups as an InSITE Fellow, and tracks emerging trends in New York’s startup ecosystem as a Future Angel with the New York Angels. By night, she burns the midnight oil developing an alternative income sharing fund to invest in high-potential Africa-based entrepreneurs. An avid poetry slammer, she can usually be found spending her evenings somewhere between a poem and a term sheet.

Sara Sakowitz

Sara studies Psychology and German Literature at Columbia, where she is the President of the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs and leads a team of 5,000+ general body members. She founded a science education company, Blue Moon Box, for which she has been featured on Good Morning America, profiled in the Huffington Post, and named to the Crains NY Business’ 20 Under 20 and the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s 10 Under 20. Sara was the youngest-ever first-prize winner of Columbia University’s Venture Competition. In her free time, Sara likes learning languages and studying decision making.

Udit Jain

Udit Jain is a junior at Yale double majoring in Computer Science and Statistics. He’s interested in data science and machine learning and their research applications. He likes spending time reading, running and thinking.


David Ongchoco

David is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Cognitive Science and Computer Science. He previously started an international nonprofit organization called YouthHack, and served as the Head of Marketing for Dorm Room Fund’s platform team in 2016. On the side, David enjoys blogging and writing about the stories of startups and entrepreneurs all over the world through his columns in the Huffington Post and Inc. Magazine.

Matt Klein

Matt is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund and is currently pursuing his MBA at The Wharton School. Prior to Wharton, Matt worked at Marlin Equity Partners where he analyzed investments and monitored portfolio company performance across the technology and software industries. In his spare time, he enjoys college football (especially the USC Trojans), snowboarding, surfing and drone photography (@kleindroneshots). Matt graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, with a B.S. in Business Administration.

Nick Kim

Nick is an MBA student at The Wharton School. Prior to Wharton, he served as general manager of the Home Try-On program at Warby Parker, where he was responsible for driving growth and profitability in e-commerce. At Penn, Nick is working on a consumer services startup and pursuing a certificate from the Integrated Product Design school. He enjoys playing on the Wharton hockey team and watching the LA Kings. Nick is a CFA Charterholder and graduated with a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He loves Philadelphia, but home will always be Santa Monica, CA.

Priya Banerjee

Priya is currently pursuing her MBA at Wharton. Prior to Wharton, Priya worked at Sequoia Capital’s India office and focused on venture investments in healthcare and consumer startups. Priya started her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, after graduating from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Computer Engineering. In her free time, she loves hiking and exploring the outdoors.

Trent Buenzli

Trent is currently a junior at Wharton studying Finance, Entrepreneurial Management, and Operations. Last summer, he spent his time building out a new venture for Atomic Labs in San Francisco, as well as working as a Product Manager at Ever. Additionally, he worked as an Associate Consultant for the Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship. In his free time, Trent enjoys skiing in Lake Tahoe, traveling, and watching USC football.

Yonathan Dejene

Yoni is a sophomore at Penn studying Computer Science, Management and Statistics in the Jerome Fisher Program. Prior to joining DRF, Yoni helped student entrepreneurs grow their startups as a member of the M&T Innovation Fund. Before Penn, Yoni founded and scaled a venture-backed startup in the fintech space and a non-profit for young African entrepreneurs.


Haris Memon

Haris is a sophomore at Brown, and he joined DRF this year as Head of Marketing. Over the years he’s been a part of multiple bootstrapped & venture-backed startups, and his longest stint was 2 years doing Growth & BD for the influencer marketing agency BrandSlip. At BrandSlip, Haris pitched campaigns to marketing executives at brands like Under Armour, Philips, and Paramount Pictures at the age of 17 (and onwards). Through his growth agency Nova Growth, he consults and advises different startups on growth and marketing — most of this involves running growth operations at and Aloft Home. When not suffering from last place in his fantasy league, Haris is refreshing his Twitter feed in hopes of a spontaneous Kanye West or Lupe Fiasco album.

Are you a student working on the next game-changing startup? We’d love to hear more from you! You can reach us on Twitter or get in touch here.