Announcing InSITE NYC’s Class of 2020!

InSITE Fellows
InSITE Fellows
Published in
14 min readMar 2, 2019


Fellows on InSITE NY Trek 2019 visiting NYC’s NEA HQ

InSITE Fellows are selected from top graduate schools (Columbia, NYU, Harvard, MIT, Stanford) and, over the course of a two year fellowship, help founders and VC firms identify and solve strategic challenges and pave the way to accelerate growth. To date, InSITE companies have raised more than $750 million of disclosed funding and enjoyed numerous successful exits.

At the InSITE NYC chapter, the Fall and Spring semester efforts led by our recruiting team brought in 47 incredible new fellows across NYU, Cornell Tech, and Columbia, representing programs in law, medicine, business, computer science, and specialized tech MBA programs. This year, we expanded into the new Tech MBA program at NYU Stern.

We’re excited to introduce this year’s new fellows, who will continue to power InSITE’s role at the center of NYC’s startup & VC ecosystem:

Amy Ho is a first-year MBA student and boomerang alum at NYU Stern, where she is focused on bringing together better food solutions and capital. Amy is currently an MBA fellow at BFY Capital (a subsidiary of Working Lab Capital), a venture debt approach for truly “better for you” consumer companies. Prior to Stern, Amy was a strategy consultant at EY advising CPG and retail clients on enterprise transformation, growth strategy, and innovation. A natural food enthusiast, Amy completed coursework on sustainable food and society at Tufts University’s Friedman School and Cornell University. When on campus, Amy also enjoys organizing events with luxury, food tech, hospitality, and wine & spirits partners. Follow Amy @amyclover_18

Ashley Torres Prior to business school, Ashley completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University where she did orthopedic and materials science research. She is looking for opportunities in venture capital in the health and bio tech space.

Ashwin Advani Prior to business school, Ashwin spent two years as Chief Growth Officer of a tech start-up in India, building operational structures and strategic corporate partnerships of an e-commerce platform. Before that, Ashwin served in the AIF William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India with a public health NGO working on women and children’s health in the slums of Mumbai. Ashwin spent the first five years of his career as a management consultant in Washington DC.

Bharath Satheesh is a first-year Connective Media (Info Sci.) student at Cornell Tech focussing on the study of Human Computer Interaction within Computer Science. Prior to Cornell Tech, he worked in Hardware Engineering at Apple after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley (#GOBEARS). Bharath looks forward to tackling problems in the Smarter cities space after his Masters degree and hopes to function in a product role.

Catherine Clark is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to CBS, Catherine worked in buying to at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman before joining consumer technology start-up Finery. In addition to InSITE, Catherine is involved in the Retail & Luxury Goods Club and Venture Capital Club. She has a B.A. in Art History and Communication Studies from Northwestern University.

Chris Harper is a currently an MBA candidate and Venture Fellow at Columbia Business School. He previously worked at Luminary Labs, an NYC-based innovation consultancy, helping Fortune 500 companies and government agencies invest in innovative technologies. Prior to that he modeled trading risk at Goldman Sachs after graduating from Yale, where he majored in History. Follow Chris @cvharps

Christian Lai Prior to business school, Christian was a member of the business development team at CircleUp, an investment platform for innovative consumer brands. His focus was on supply-side growth, and he worked closely with the data science, product and marketing teams. Christian is fascinated by changing consumer trends and technology, something that many Insite companies are addressing as we speak. Before CircleUp, Christian was an investment banker at Houlihan Lokey covering media and telecom companies and a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Claire Biernacki is a first-year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. This past summer, she interned with JMK Consumer, a consumer-focused growth equity fund that invests up to $10mm in early-stage companies. Before business school, Claire was an investment associate with Pomona Capital, a private equity secondaries fund with $10 billion in assets under management. Prior to that, she worked in the Leveraged Finance Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a double major in Business Administration and French.

Dale Um is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Before the MBA, Dale was Product Director at Picasso Labs.

Ethan Kessinger is part of NYU Stern’s inaugural Tech MBA program, where he is specializing in Product Management and Change Management. He has a B.A. in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford University and was most recently a Product Manager at Crowdpac.

Gerard Connolly is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. He received his undergraduate degree in history and systems engineering from the United States Military academy at West Point. Upon graduation, he commissioned as a Cavalry Officer in the U.S. Army where he commanded in combat at the Platoon and Company levels. He ended his time in service after 6 years in the Army and worked as a Management Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton at the Pentagon, advising the Secretary of the Air Force on global Real Estate holdings. He then moved to California where he worked as a Project Manager at Facebook and was tasked with leading the development of Facebook and Instagram’s global hate speech prevalence metric. Following his time at Facebook, he moved to New York City to begin his MBA at Columbia where he intends to work in the start-up industry.

Idan Elmelech is a first year at Columbia Business School. Prior to Columbia, he was a strategy consultant in L.E.K. Consulting’s life science and private equity practices where he spent over two years working across the firm’s Los Angeles, London and San Francisco offices. Prior to L.E.K., Idan was a research analyst in the African Department of the International Monetary Fund where he conducted macroeconomic research and helped advise East African governments on their economic policy.

Isabella Chen is a second year law student at NYU School of Law. Before law school, Isabella worked in the Global Compliance Division at Goldman Sachs. At NYU Law, Isabella is the Professional Events Chair of NYU’s Social Enterprise & Startup Law Group, and the Professional Outreach Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. Isabella graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Public and International Affairs.

Ishan Virk is a first-year Master’s student at Cornell Tech focusing on computer science applications in Healthcare. He has previously worked as an engineer and as a product manager at large cap companies like Microsoft and SAP and also startups backed by top tier VCs in the bay area. He is currently looking to pursue strategy/product oppurtunities at growth stage companies.

Jim Campbell is a 2019 MBA candidate at Cornell Tech. In addition to InSITE, Jim serves as a Fund Manager for the Big Red Ventures, Cornell’s student run venture fund. Prior to his MBA, Jim founded an ecommerce company, ran product management at a Series A SaaS startup, and was a product manager at Wayfair. Jim is interested in helping founders find product/market fit and accelerating growth at startups. Jim holds a BS from Boston College.

Kathleen Collins is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Before the MBA, Kathleen invested with Industry Ventures in San Francisco, CA.

Kelsey Collins is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to CBS, Kelsey spent 4 years at a growth-stage edtech company where she held several roles including beta management, product marketing and product management. She has a B.A. in International Politics & Economics from Middlebury College.

Mahssa Mostajabi is a first-year MBA student at NYU Stern focusing on product management and sustainable business. Prior to Stern, she earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and worked as a product manager in InsureTech and as a customer experience lead for a marketing analytics startup. With her MBA, Mahssa hopes to continue her career in product management focusing on beauty, consumer products, and big tech.

Manraj Parmar is a first-year MBA student at NYU Stern who is passionate about leveraging techonology and innovative business models to improve healthcare. He has an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering and served as a combat medic in the U.S. Army National Guard. He also has a medical degree (M.D.) and did orthopedic surgery residency for two years before leaving to start an electronic medical record implementation consultancy.

Matthew Markezin-Press is a Tech MBA student at NYU Stern.

Mei Shen Mei is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to CBS, Mei worked at Keystone Strategy as a Senior Associate in the San Francisco office. Most of Mei’s work was with big technology clients such as Amazon and Microsoft for strategy and economic consulting. Mei also had two years of entreprenuership experience starting an education technology company. Mei is passionate about technology and education.

Michael Averbook is a first-year MBA student at NYU Stern where he is focusing on entrepreneurship, technology, private equity and venture capital. Prior to coming to Stern for his MBA, Michael was a management consultant for EY and Accenture, helping companies in many different industries to optimize their cash flows and improve their operations. Michael received an undergraduate B.B.A. from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein most recently did product management and marketing for tech startups. Before that, he founded a political consulting agency which was acquired by a larger international firm specializing in digital strategy for campaigns and nonprofit organizations. Follow Michael @msrpotus

Miguel Vaquerizo Miguel is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to CBS, Miguel worked as an Associate at Boston Consulting Group in the Madrid office. Miguel experience was mostly in the consumer and industrial goods practice areas, with several projects ranging from pricing and operational improvements to business development. Miguel is also an aerospace engineer from the Technical University of Madrid.

Mohit Narula Mohit is a first year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. He graduated as an electronics engineer and has interests in tech, entrepreneurship and strategy. He has also tried his hands at a hospitality-tech startup in the past. Before joining business school, he led regional business operations for India’s biggest CPG organization. He is also a co-founder of an NGO in India which impacts female health and education.

Nathan Pilkenton Nathan is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to CBS, Nathan worked at McKinsey, first as a Business Analyst in the Charlotte office and later as an Engagement Manager in Houston. Most of his work was focused on B2B marketing and sales. Nathan graduated from Davidson College with a BA in Economics, and is originally from Portland, Oregon.

Neal Rooney is a 2L at NYU School of Law. Before law school, Neal worked at an early-stage education technology startup in Silicon Valley. In addition to InSITE, Neal is Partnerships Chair for the NYU InnoVention Society, co-organizer of the NYU SuperHacks hackathon, InnoVention Startup Competition, and the NYU Entrepreneurs Festival. Outside of NYU, Neal is a legal intern for Gray Legal and a STEM teacher for Vision Education and Media. Neal spent last summer interning for McCarter & English’s Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Companies practice group and will join Gunderson Dettmer this coming summer. Follow Neal @neal_rooney

Nirmal Kagolanu is a one-year Tech MBA student at NYU Stern. Before the MBA, Nirmal spent 7 years in the quantitative analytics space at multiple financial institutions.

Priya Sharma is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to business school, she worked in strategy at a global education publishing company where she helped the company design and implement initatives to help it transform as a leader of the digital publishing market. She has also worked in consulting across the automotive and healthcare industries, and graduated from Columbia with a BSc in Operations Research Engineering.

Raghu Menon is a first-year MBA student at NYU Stern focusing on strategy and finance. Prior to Stern, Raghu worked in education management for five years. Raghu started his career with Teach for America and then created analytical tools for teachers and administrators at public and charter schools. Raghu also has experience consulting non-profit organizations, helping launch new lines of business in the food and coding education space. Raghu graduated from the University of Arizona with degrees in applied mathematics and economics.

Riazul Islam is a first-year MBA student at NYU Stern. Prior to coming to Stern for his MBA, Riaz worked as an internal strategy consultant for an IT research organization and as a management consultant focused on quantitative market research for pharmaceutical companies. In addition to his role as an InSITE Fellow, he is the alternate Stern Senato and a board member of Stern Technology Association, Entertainment Media & Sports Association, and Stern Policy Forum. Riaz also received his undergraduate degree from NYU Stern with a BS in Economics (Theory) and Finance.

Rishub Solan worked within the healthcare and life sciences industries for the past 6+ years spanning roles in management consulting, corporate strategy, M&A, and product management. Now at NYU Stern’s full-time MBA program, Rishub aims to help impactful businesses and entrepreneurs solve the most difficult problems within a variety of industries spanning agriculture, consumer, energy, financial services, healthcare, and tech. Rishub is a graduate of Boston University, double majoring in Economics and Business Administration.

Roger Larach is a first-year MBA student at NYU Stern, specializing in FinTech and Quantitative Finance. Prior to Stern, Roger spent 5 years in investment banking, working on retail, renewable energy, and infrastructure mergers & acquisitions in Latin America. Additionally, he is the Co-Founder of Mentors4U Honduras, a non-profit initiative that mentors high achieving college students in Honduras through the Design Thinking methodology. In addition to InSITE, Roger is involved in the Latin America Business Association and the FinTech Association at Stern. Roger has a B.S. in Economics and Finance from Boston College. Follow Roger @rogerlarach

Samantha Brown is a Tech MBA at NYU Stern, where she is focusing on early-stage venture capital and technical product management. She serves as an AVP on the boards of Stern’s ESA and Adam Smith Society and is an InSITE Fellow. Raised in Louisville, KY, Sam comes to Stern with a background in Economics and Public Policy from The University of Chicago. Before Stern, Sam worked for high-growth health tech startups, Zenefits and Clover Health.

Sarah Heath is a fourth year Neuroscience PhD student at Columbia, where she is studying the neural circuits that encode color vision. She has worked as a team lead in an early-stage tech startup, and has served as the project manager at a biotech accelerator. She is currently a fellow at Columbia Technology Ventures and a Future New York Angel.

Sarah Zweifach is an MD/MBA student at NYU and has 5+ years of experience in growing and marketing digital health solutions. She is currently an InSITE fellow and works part-time for a machine learning spinoff out of Johns Hopkins, focused in early detection of sepsis. Sarah has worked across the digital health ecosystem at Rock Health, McKesson, and Zephyr Health. She currently serves on the board of two health tech companies — Lightning Bolt and NODE Health, and is committed to creating an inclusive digital medicine ecosystem that fosters relationships between physicians, entrepreneurs, and industry. Follow Sarah @sarah_zweifach.

Sara Yun is a one-year MBA candidate and a Forté Fellow at Johnson Cornell Tech. She holds a BS in Hotel Administration with a minor in French Studies from Cornell University. After undergrad, she spent one year working in Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory practice. Prior to her MBA, Sara founded YuniApps, a technology startup focused on creating and developing Phoodieur, a restaurant discovery mobile app that leveraged photo-based menus to visually communicate dining experiences. As Chief Executive Officer of YuniApps, Sara was responsible for fundraising and maintaining investor relations, managing the technical and design implementation for all products, and executing the company’s digital marketing and distribution strategy. At Cornell Tech, Sara is focused on entrepreneurship, startups, and venture capital. She is currently a Fund Manager at Big Red Ventures and an InSITE Fellow. Post-graduation, Sara is interested in pursuing her own venture.

Seth Girsky is a first-year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. Before the MBA, Seth was in Equity Research at Citi.

Shrey Gupta is an MBA ’20 student at Columbia Business School. Previously, Shrey spent 4 years at OYO, a multi-billion dollar hosptitality tech startup, from seed stage through to Series E in Operations, New Market Entry, Product Growth and Public Policy roles. Shrey also worked on the Indian Prime Minister Modi’s election campaign staff and at Bain & Company’s India office. He has an undergraduate degree in Business from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi and intends to work in the venture ecosystem as a builder of and investor in startups.

Skyler Erickson is a Computer Science Master’s Student at Cornell Tech. He has a background in international development (Fulbright) and technology consulting (PwC). He is currently looking to pursue opportunities in the health tech space

Soham Khanna is a first-year MBA student at Stern and has spent his career in strategy, operations, and investing roles. Trained as a civil engineer at the Delhi College of Engineering, he has worked at EY and EY-Parthenon where he focused on strategy and due diligence projects. He has bootstrapped a business division at Jumbotail, an e-commerce startup. He has also worked at CX Partners, an Indian mid market focused private equity fund and is excited about InSITE’s ability to help startups solve critical business problems.

Sophie (Miao yan) Song is an InSITE Fellow who helps New York-based start-ups with strategic, go-to-market, and industry research issues. She is also a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Sophie had previously worked at the Royal Bank of Canada and the Government of Canada, helping to transform and implement the liquidity risk methodology for the stress testing programs. Sophie holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto, she is also a CFA charterholder and a CPA (Canada).

Stephen Roland is a first-year MBA student at NYU Stern focusing on entrepreneurship, technology and venture capital. Prior to Stern, Stephen spent his time in operating roles at early stage startups in New York City, Atlanta and San Francisco. His experience primarily lies in business development but he has also worked on a variety of projects ranging from market sizing and constructing go-to-market strategies, to fundraising and building teams.

Syafiq Abd Wahab has a background in primary scientific research and strategy consulting. As a global scholar for PreScouter he has helped mid to large-sized companies explore alternative product development and new market strategies. He is a Career Development Officer for the Tri-Institutional Consulting Club where he established a consulting service for startups at Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and Rockefeller University. For his doctoral studies he is investigating the mechanism of chromatin replication and its role in maintaining genomic integrity with implications in cancer development. He has multiple peer-reviewed publications in top scientific research journals and is looking for opportunities in life sciences, healthcare, and management consulting. In his free time he enjoys running, baking, music, and gymnastics. Follow Fiq @syafiqabdwahab

Veronica Birdsall is a fourth-year PhD student in Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University, where she studies the cell biological mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease. She is also a Senior Fellow at Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV), a role that involves assessing the commercial potential of technologies coming out of Columbia labs and helping to oversee the CTV Fellows program. She has a B.A. in Neuroscience and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Wesleyan University.

Zhengyuan (Matt) Yu is a first-year MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to the MBA, Matt was an Associate at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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