The new Pear Fellows have completed the first stage of our training program, and they are already imbuing our team with energy and fresh ideas.
The Pear Fellows program is an early-stage VC apprenticeship. Fellows work directly with Pear’s investment partners to discover founders, make investment decisions, and support startups. 49% of our portfolio founders were students when we first invested and they were often introduced to us by Fellows.
Fellows alumni have founded fast growing companies, such as Isaac Madan (CEO of Nightfall) and John Keck (CEO of Macro). Many alumni have become successful VCs, such as Nicole Quinn (General Partner at Lightspeed) and many more at top funds including DFJ Growth, DST Global, DCM, Industry Ventures, March Capital Partners, and Sequoia Capital. Our firm has also hired four alumni in full-time roles!
We select Fellows to optimize for diversity of thought as well as a shared purpose of supporting early-stage founders. We interviewed many hundreds of applicants from across the US and selected 28 new students through a rigorous process. We’re delighted to introduce them to you too!
If you are a student working on a startup, we encourage you to reach out to a Fellow and apply to Pear $25K Competition.
If your university does not have a Fellow, or if you are no longer a student, we still encourage you to engage with Pear. The Fellows program size is limited to ensure that each Fellow receives focused attention from the Pear partners, however we also seek to partner with founders from all backgrounds.
Fellows of 2021
Peter Rutkowski is a senior at Columbia studying financial economics. He has worked across several strategy and investment roles, including in tech & product strategy at Citi Ventures, investor relations at Insight Partners, long/short equities at Point72, and deals strategy at Strategy&. Peter is passionate about promoting equity within the US healthcare space.
Anvita Dekhane previously worked with Sequoia Capital India and at BCG. Hailing from a small town in India, she graduated from IIT Bombay with a degree in metallurgical engineering, and is now a HBS MBA. Anvita hosts a podcast called Women in Venture Capital, plays Badminton, and loves traveling.
Carlton Burrell worked at growth equity fund FTV Capital, where he served as an enterprise technology investor and assisted with the firm’s investment in Egress Software. Outside of work, he can be found trying out new recipes, listening to music on Spotify, or binging the latest Netflix series. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in industrial and labor relations, and is now a MBA student at HBS. Carlton was raised in Compton, CA and is passionate about supporting more diversity within financial services and the VC community.
Jothi Ramaswamy is a sophomore at Harvard studying computer science. She is currently on a leave of absence and is interning as a software engineer at Apple. She loves empowering women in STEAM and started an organization, ThinkSTEAM, to teach girls about STEAM. She also enjoys running and exploring.
Lizzie Matusov is a former engineer (Red Hat) and PM (Invitae), and loves talking about building products and strong cultures. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in molecular biology, and is now a MS/MBA student at HBS. She enjoys photography, music, plants and NYT crossword puzzles.
Matthew Kiflu is a sophomore at Harvard and originally from Minneapolis. He has previously worked in real estate private equity, investment banking, and venture capital. He’s most intrigued by solving problems in consumer tech, real estate, and agtech.
Raunak Kasera is currently taking a one year deferral from Harvard Business School. He is a product manager at Microsoft building dual-screen phones and tablets. Prior to joining Pear, Raunak worked with brilliant teams at Baidu Ventures to invest in AI and RPA startups. He also developed software at Amazon and Salesforce. He enjoys playing basketball and watching YouTube for hours.
Rashveena Rajaram is a first-year MBA student at Harvard. Previously, she worked in Investment Banking Capital Markets in New York and London and focused on the fintech and retail spaces. Rashveena was born and raised in Mauritius and graduated from Hamilton with a degree in economics, and is now a MBA student at HBS. She co-runs the Women in Venture Capital podcast and enjoys road trips and mystery novels.
Sayak Maity is a junior at Harvard studying computer science and statistics. He has previously worked at MIT CSAIL and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. At Harvard, Sayak is a director at Harvard Ventures, where he runs a startup incubator and hosts workshops for students on how to build startups. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, photography, and trying new cuisines.
Christopher Leiter was a co-founder of Guardtime Health, a pharma data science R&D platform built on Guardtime’s KSI Blockchain technology. He is also a co-founder of Series Q, supporting LGBTQ entrepreneurs, and is on the advisory board of Gaingels, investing in diverse founders. He is now at MIT as a MBA student and Sloan Fellow. Chris enjoys traveling, cycling, sailing, and hiking.
Jess Mulvihill worked as a venture LP at Invesco Private Capital, focusing on early-stage fund investing as well as investments in Series A & Series B stage companies. Before joining Invesco, Jess was an associate at Level Equity, a growth equity fund based in New York. Jess graduated from University of Pennsylvania (magna cum laude) with a degree in cognitive science and is now a MBA student at MIT.
Pourmehr Sarram is a MBA student at Northwestern. Prior to Kellogg, he led the consumer growth team for Uber Eats in Latin America based out of Mexico City. Prior to Uber Eats, he was a founding team member of Zinc Platform, an insurance distribution company, where he led the growth. He’s lived in three countries and enjoys surfing, cooking group dinners, playing poker, and reading about cognitive psychology.
Sarah Du is a senior at Princeton studying politics and computer science. She has worked at Sierra Ventures and Drop, a leading rewards loyalty startup. Currently, Sarah is a founding partner of Prospect Student Ventures, Princeton’s first venture capital club and fund. Outside of school, she loves dancing, playing basketball, and listening to podcasts on tech policy, philosophy, and social psychology.
Alex Southmayd previously worked at Lyft, where he led driver acquisition for the New England market and built partnerships with large automotive clients. Before that, he taught English for two years as a Teach For America corps member. Alex completed his undergrad at Amherst and earned his Masters in education at BU, and is now a Stanford MBA student. He is interested in mobility and marketplaces, and gets particularly excited about ideas that reshape how people live their daily lives.
Ana Clara Martins is a senior at Stanford studying political science and management. She has interned at BTG Pactual as an Investment Banking Analyst and at the NYC Economic Development Corporation.Ana is also a founding member of Brazil at Silicon Valley, a not-for-profit conference that has raised $1.2M to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship in Brazil. She is originally from Brazil and enjoys film photography, documentaries, playing guitar, and discovering new corners of the world.
David Yin was previously a general manager at fintech unicorn Wecash, fast growth tech fellow at McKinsey and writer at Forbes. He also started a media platform and expanded it to 100+ schools. David graduated from Yale with a degree in economics and is now a Stanford MBA student. His interests include fintech, edtech & future of work, backpacking and US-China relations.
Durga Jayaraman worked at Twilio in technology sales. Durga graduated from Middlebury with a degree in psychology and is now a Stanford MBA student. She is broadly interested in SaaS, EdTech, and Telehealth (mental health) and enjoys music, photography, and eating/drinking new things.
Jack Laszlo worked in private equity investing at The Carlyle Group, where he focused on investments in enterprise software and business services. Jack began his career as an investment banking analyst at Evercore, advising on M&A transactions in the media and information sectors. He graduated with a degree in economics from Wharton, and is currently a Stanford MBA.
Jo Zhu previously led product teams at Pear portfolio company DoorDash, as well as Uber. Jo also co-founded Stryve, a YC W20 startup. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in business, and is now a Stanford MBA & Masters of Education student.
JP Reilly is a senior at Stanford studying computer science with a focus on AI. Previously, he interned as a software engineer at a Pear portfolio startup. Outside of work and school, he plays competitive volleyball, representing the USA in multiple international competitions and playing for the Stanford Cardinal. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, spending time with friends and family, podcasts, physics, classic cars, and serving as a mentor for young Type-1 Diabetics.
Mike Wu is a PhD student at Stanford working on AI models that can be cheaply trained without supervision. In the past, he has worked at Facebook Research and was part of an ML startup. These days, he likes thinking about applications of AI in forecasting and anomaly detection and playing tennis. Mike graduated from Yale with a degree in computer science.
Akshay Patel is a sophomore at Berkeley studying electrical engineering, computer science and business. Prior to Berkeley, Akshay had his own venture aimed at solving the security issues related to food delivery to public schools from external vendors. This past summer Akshay interned at 1910 Genetics and is heavily interested in the biotech industry. He is always looking to meet new people and converse about topics ranging from AL/ML to the best places to eat around town.
Anika Bagga is a junior at Berkeley majoring in computer science and data science. On campus, she is involved in several tech and entrepreneurship communities. She has interned in software teams at Google, T-Mobile, and early stage companies. Anika enjoys doing yoga, trying new items at Trader Joe’s, and dabbling in product design.
University of Pennsylvania
Ally McCloskey previously served as the Chief of Staff for the Global Technology Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships team at JPMorgan Chase & Co, after spending time in both Corporate & Investment Bank and Consumer Bank fintech incubation and strategic partnerships roles. Ally graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in economics, and is now a MBA student at Wharton. She enjoys traveling, snowboarding, Peloton’ing, and fundraising for St. Jude.
Brian Alter is a first-year MBA at Wharton. He began his career in NYC doing investment banking, where he advised tech, media, and telecom companies on M&A and capital raises. After banking, Brian worked in Finance & Strategy at Artsy, a global online art marketplace. He graduated from Vanderbilt with a degree in economics and is at Wharton now. Outside of work, Brian enjoys standup comedy and tennis.
Jung Lee led the new products and partnerships function at RubiconMD, and also worked in various operations and strategy roles at Collective Health. Jung graduated from UPenn with a degree in health & societies, and is back again to study an MBA at Wharton. He is originally from Colorado, and in his free time enjoys cooking Korean food, watching movies, and exploring new cities.
Patrick Lundgren is pursuing a PhD in immunology at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, he co-founded NanoXCell Therapeutics with an ambitious vision to reinvent the way that we engineer cells for therapeutic purposes using a proprietary non-viral nanoinjection platform. A native Swede, he represented Sweden at the International Biology Olympiad in high school. Patrick graduated from Cambridge with a degree in biology and earned his Masters in immunology at Oxford.
Varun Ramakrishnan is a senior in the M&T program at Penn pursuing undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Finance, as well as a Master’s in Robotics. Originally from the Bay Area, he has worked in various software roles at startups and large companies. This past summer, he was at General Atlantic as a part of their technology investing team. Outside of school, he loves watching basketball, staying active, and playing with his goldendoodle named Sid!
Pear partners with entrepreneurs from day zero to build category-defining companies. Our team has founded 8 companies and invested early in startups now worth over $80 Billion. We use this knowledge to provide founders with hands-on support in product, growth, recruiting, and fundraising. We have been fortunate to partner early with companies valued at $1B+ such as DoorDash, Gusto, Branch, and Guardant Health. 49% of our portfolio founders were students when we first invested.
We typically provide $100K to $3M to lead preseed and seed rounds of US and Latam companies across all sectors. We also host an exclusive Accelerator program for 15 teams and Pear $25K Competition.
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