Great things happen when ambitious people explore ideas they care about
Katie Mishra is obsessed with storytelling — both in the classic “literature is narrative” way and the tech-forward “programming is an essential language” sense. As a teenager, she published three books and taught middle schoolers the design and logic engineering behind computer science.
Eeshan Tripathii started researching indoor air quality in middle school. He published his findings in the Journal of Architectural Engineering—which Advances in Engineering identified as “a key scientific article contributing to excellence in science and engineering research.”
Abu Qader was a sophomore in high school when he visited Afghanistan, where he was born and spent his early days before his family moved to the US. After seeing the gaps in the country’s healthcare system firsthand, he developed a low-cost mammography tumor detection platform.
Katie, Eeshan, and Abu grew up in different cities, go to different schools, and spend their time obsessing over different problems.
But they have a few things in common.
They think big. They do unexpected things. They’re relentless learners.
And they’re all part of our first cohort of Delta Fellows.
And we’re giving more than $1 million to our inaugural class of 16 (amazing) people to help them do just that.
We love programs that encourage students to start companies, but we don’t think there are enough programs that give them the chance to explore ideas. We chose our fellows because of who they are, what they’ve done, what they’re driven by — not because of a business plan.
It’s obvious that this class, and this generation in general, is energized more than ever to build better — not just fix things, but to take us somewhere new. They see new possibilities. They bring new tools and unconventional approaches to systematic problems. They see new ways of approaching everything from climate change to health care, education, and social justice issues.
Fellows will get the capital, mentorship and resources they need to tap into their curiosity and explore their ideas. This includes:
- Hands-on support from our co-founders, Baris and Armaan
- Mentorship from other founders, many of whom started their companies in college — including Henrique Dubugras (co-founder of Brex), Valentin Perez (co-founder of Monthly), and Maria Rioumine (co-founder of Agora).
- Learning sessions with leaders from our portfolio companies on things like building data infrastructure and hiring your first 5 employees.
- Monthly pitch and feedback sessions
- A Slack community and bi-weekly social (virtual) events
Beyond that, each fellow’s experience will be tailored to their personal goals — because we know each founder’s journey is unique. They each have different needs and face different challenges.
But to this group, challenges are opportunities.
And we can’t wait to see how they tackle them.
Meet the fellows:
- Jessica Pointing is a PhD student in Physics at the University of Oxford, specializing in quantum computing. She got her bachelor’s degree in Physics and Computer Science at Harvard as a John Harvard Scholar, and was a B.S. student at MIT and PhD student in Computer Science at Stanford as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. She was selected for Forbes 30 under 30 in Science and has interned as a researcher at KBR at NASA Ames Research Center, a software engineer at Google, a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, and a strategist at Morgan Stanley.
- Abu Qader is a Posse Scholar at Cornell University studying computer science. Previously, he worked at Cameo on the Strategy team and was the founder of an artificial intelligence medtech startup.
- Zsika Phillip is an MBA Candidate at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to Stanford, he spent 4 years doing Software Engineering and Product Management at Google, where he worked on mobile advertising platforms, Firebase Authentication, and YouTube TV for iOS. When not coding or searching for the next entrepreneurial adventure, Zsika enjoys playing/watching tennis, hiking, and reading adventure novels. He holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes.
- Katie Mishra has self-published three books — the first when she was ten years old. She majors in Computer Science at Stanford, and spent two summers as a software engineering intern. Given her dual passions, she aspires to create a startup at the intersection of tech and entertainment. She has also run a marathon, competed in Miss California USA, and presented space policy at the United Nations in Vienna.
- Eeshan Tripathii is an MIT sophomore who built a prototype for a low-cost ductless air filtration system and reverse engineered a $20,000 prosthetic glove into a $550 working prototype. As a Davidson Ambassador, he has spearheaded creating awareness about the severe negative health impacts of indoor air pollution, especially for children. He loves art, and an architectural design of his was displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
- Arjun Bhatnagar is one of the youngest venture capital partners, a senior software architect, product designer, and a serial innovator. He has been building products since he was 10 years old and his recognitions in technology and entrepreneurship stretch from his engineering of a prosthetic hand for a 3 year old child to building technology that goes as high as the Burj Khalifa. His passions extend to tinkering, education, and humanitarian efforts as he runs his own non-profit building schools around the world.
- Abhijay Bhatnagar is a lifelong creator and learner who has found success in both entrepreneurship and industry at a young age. From starting his first company before high school, to becoming the youngest engineer in the history of MITRE before college, to speaking around the country on healthcare data protocols, Abhijay has built invaluable experience in data security, machine learning, and systems design. He’s finishing his degrees in CS/Econ at UC Berkeley, and has co-founded a non-profit to support domestic violence survivors.
- Thayallan Srinathan was the winner of the CES 2019 Young Innovators to Watch Award and Not Impossible 2019 Award. He’s a proud University of Toronto Computer Science dropout. He also scaled http://readshit.com to 150k MAUs before shutting it down.
- Moiz Ahmed previously built and sold TabComplete. He was also the first engineer at WerkApp, where he helped the company scale to 40k users. He’s also a proud University of Toronto Computer Science dropout.
- Hussain Punjani built and sold his first small startup in high school, the first of three small exits he’s had. He also started Aion HQ, an incubator for student-led startups, where he helped co-build 4 companies — 2 of which were acquired this past year. Before also dropping out of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, he was an Investment Associate at Front Row Ventures.
- Sasha Reiss is a designer driven to find creative solutions to problems big or small. He is a senior at USC, where he is pursuing degrees in Business and Art History as a full-tuition Trustee Scholar. When he’s not pushing pixels, he is probably playing or watching basketball.
- Josh Andrews is a senior at UC Santa Barbara, pursuing a Computer Science degree. He started Carline with his brother and best friend after seeing firsthand the inefficiency in the ECE EdTech space. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games and coming up with fun, efficient solutions to common (or not so common) problems.
- Daniel Andrews is a Kleiner Perkins Fellow who graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. He has previously worked for companies like Brex, Slack, PayPal, DoNotPay, and KYTE.
- Max Miranda is a software engineer who is passionate about using his technical background to help create operational excellence. He graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Business & Computer Science. While attending Berkeley, he served as the Lead iOS Instructor for a Berkeley-based mobile app incubator and has since worked at LinkedIn as a developer for their mobile app.
If you’ve been adding up the numbers (and surely you have), you might’ve noticed they don’t add up to 16. A few fellows prefer to stay stealth for now.