Combining superlative AI research with Berkeley’s next unicorn

How UC Berkeley graduate Harrison Shaw is helping cultivate the next generation of engineering leaders

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Shelton AI has created the world’s first complete private markets operating system that utilizes artificial intelligence to reshape the approach to private markets investing. This year, Shelton AI teamed up with the Berkeley Master of Engineering (MEng) program to advise two capstone projects, which are central to the Berkeley MEng experience. Here, we had the opportunity to dive deeper into this partnership as well as the value of the capstone experience as told by Shelton AI Chief of Staff, Lucas Allen.

left to right: Lucas Allen (Shelton AI), Pranjal Sinha (ME), Pranav Chopada (EECS), Yixuan Tao (IEOR), Adheesh Shenoy (EECS), Mitchell Ding (EECS), Laurence Palmer (IEOR). Photo by Veronica Roseborough

Shelton AI, a San Francisco-based start-up, is making waves in the financial world with its groundbreaking AI for sovereign wealth funds.

Since its inception, Shelton AI has had major success by combining Berkeley’s top engineering talent with the highly regarded industry expertise of C-level executives from top sovereign wealth funds and financial firms. A deep focus on engineering, machine learning, and research has led to their groundbreaking technology that is gaining the attention of some of the world’s most reputable investors in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia.

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way we live and work. With its ability to analyze vast amounts of data, automate processes, and provide unparalleled insights, AI is transforming traditional industries and creating new opportunities for growth and innovation. Shelton AI is at the forefront of this revolutionary push and is in a position to massively impact private markets. The company has created the world’s first complete private markets operating system that utilizes artificial intelligence to reshape the approach to private markets investing.

As Shelton AI continues to experience remarkable growth and success, CEO, Harrison Shaw, has not forgotten his roots. After earning his undergraduate degree, MBA, and MFE certification from UC Berkeley, Shaw was very enthusiastic about a prospective partnership between his company and the Fung Institute. Throughout the duration of this 2022–23 academic year, Shelton AI has led two capstone projects with Berkeley Master of Engineering (MEng) students.

Can you tell us about Shelton AI? How do these two capstone projects align with the company’s mission?

The two capstone projects that Shelton AI is currently working on are called Saturn and Jupiter. Saturn’s project is focused on expanding the use case of machine learning models that Shelton AI has already developed. This aligns with the company’s goal of leveraging advanced technology and data science to provide its clients with the best possible investment insights and opportunities.

On the other hand, Jupiter’s project aims to solve capital pacing challenges from sovereign funds and pension systems. The purpose of this is to help clients make financial decisions by predicting how much capital drawdown a firm will experience given market conditions and backtesting the model. Similar to the first project, this also aligns with Shelton AI’s vision of empowering institutional investors with advanced tech to make better investment decisions.

How did Shelton AI decide on capstone projects?

We chose capstone projects that would not only benefit our business but also provide valuable learning experiences for the students involved. We selected projects that would leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to solve real world problems in the financial industry so that students could gain insight into our company’s operations and mission and also simultaneously contribute to its growth.

What inspired your company to become a capstone partner?

Shelton AI became an MEng capstone partner because we are committed to building up students’ skill sets and finding young talent that share our passion and curiosity. Working with the students is not only an opportunity for us to share our expertise and industry knowledge, but it also provides a chance for us to learn from the next generation of leaders in the field of machine learning.

Our founder, myself, and other key members of our team studied at Berkeley and we are all extremely fond of the institution. The capstone program was an amazing opportunity to get involved with the university and its MEng students. We see this as a mutually beneficial partnership that can help students gain real-world experience, develop high level skills, and make valuable connections in the industry, while also providing us with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.

This year was our first time being a capstone partner and we look forward to continuing our involvement going forward.

What do you see for the next evolution of these projects?

We have been fortunate enough to identify exceptionally talented individuals within our teams who have been instrumental in driving the success of our capstone projects, while simultaneously honing the skills necessary to make significant contributions to our overall business objectives. We have hired a number of these individuals directly and eagerly anticipate their integration into our day-to-today operations upon graduation.

Furthermore, we are thrilled to carry on the capstone projects (or versions of them) into next year. We are excited to sustain our collaboration with the Fung Institute and we look forward to seeing how our continued involvement advances our goal of perpetuating innovation and pushing the limits of what is achievable with AI.

Connect with Shelton AI.

Edited by Veronica Roseborough.

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Berkeley Master of Engineering
Berkeley Master of Engineering

Master of Engineering at UC Berkeley with a focus on leadership. Learn more about the program through our publication.