Announcing the Unshackled Ventures’ Fellows: Class of 2020
We started the Unshackled Ventures’ Fellowship Program a year ago with the belief that the university system is our generation’s Ellis Island. We haven’t strayed from this notion. In fact, we’re doubling down on it. This year after receiving 100+ applications from schools across the country (UC Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, UPenn, Miami-Dade, Brown and Harvard) we’re delighted to announce our 2020 Fellow Class; a cohort of 10 extraordinary movers and shapers in today’s top college entrepreneurial communities.
Get to know these Unshackled fellows as they’ll be our eyes and ears on the ground. With backgrounds in entrepreneurship, social impact and multimedia to name but a few, these fellows were picked for their avid interest in the startup ecosystem, eagerness to learn and outstanding track records of achievement. We’re delighted to have all 10 join the Unshackled team, as they seek out new ways to help identify and support student immigrant founders in their respective college communities.
This year’s Unshackled Fellowship program, developed and led by Unshackled Analyst Ehi Airewele, provides a great opportunity for students to build networks across ecosystems, explore new interest areas, and gain unique insight into the world of Venture Capital and beyond. We can’t wait to see how this year’s Fellows make their mark!
Meet this year’s University Fellows:
Amy Deng is a freshman at U.C. Berkeley studying Industrial Engineering and Computer Science. On campus, she is the Director of Curriculum at Berkeley Venture Capital, and is developing and launching the first Venture Capital curriculum accessible for all undergraduate students at Berkeley. This summer, she’s interning as a project manager at GO360. Amy’s interest in the venture space lies in the interpersonal connection space, as she is a connector herself — she loves meeting founders, offering ideas, and connecting them with resources at Berkeley and in the Bay Area. When she is free, Amy figure skates!
Moving from China to the U.S. four years ago, Amy deeply understands the challenges and risks immigrant founders face. She is thrilled to join Unshackled and empower immigrant founders like herself to make a dent in America and their home country.
Angela Lin is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania from Seattle, WA. She is passionate about working at the intersection of business and technology, whether it is building products, launching a startup, or investing in innovative companies. She has spent her time building experiences in both disciplines, with the goal of ultimately starting her own business one day. After taking her first CS class and realizing that computer science could be a tool to solve many human problems, she joined a research team in Seattle building assistive technology.
Also passionate about supporting student startups and youth entrepreneurship, Angela organized the first Seattle Startup Week for high school students and led the expansion of MIT’s youth entrepreneurship program across the west coast. Throughout college, Angela has continued to pursue her passion for business & tech, doing research in a robotics lab and leading a valuation services program for local businesses in Philly. Everything she does, she seeks to drive greater impact for the people and community around her and hopes to continue that journey as a Venture Fellow at Unshackled!
Jad Esber is focused on the consumer internet space and is working on a startup called Koodos. He is currently finishing up his MBA at Harvard Business School, where he is a Sainsbury Management Fellow. At HBS, he is the co-president of the entrepreneurship club and also helped start the Improv club. Jad is also a Fellow @ Pear.vc and was a Summer Fellow at Lightspeed Venture Partners.
He previously spent a few years developing the content creator ecosystem in emerging markets at YouTube, where he worked with hundreds of creators and artists and was also involved in a number of the platform’s social good initiatives. During his time at YouTube, Jad was commissioned to build a curation-focused product before transitioning to lead Strategy & Operations for Google’s EMEA Ads Marketing team.
Jad originally completed his engineering education at the University of Cambridge, where he co-founded the Arab Innovation Network, an NGO that reaches 50,000 young people in the Middle East.
Jean-Philippe Charles is inspired by the future and believes that in order to be successful in life, you must position yourself for the things you want, challenge yourself, and surround yourself with those who are on the same path. He was born in Carrefour, Haiti, and moved to the United States in 2008 with his three beautiful sisters. He is a strategic thinker who is adept at dealing with problems and finding alternative ways for what could be.
As a social entrepreneur, he motivates others into action, and anticipates graduating with an A.S. in Business Entrepreneurship at Miami-Dade College in Spring 2021. This also translates to his serving of others as a musician. Currently, he teaches percussion to children on the weekends with the goal of empowering confidence and expression in the next generation. His belief in the impact an individual may make for the greater common good drives him to make himself available in the face of particular challenges and obstacles.
Kunal Abichandani is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, double majoring in Computer Science and Design. In the past, he was a venture fellow at Ripple Ventures and interned at a couple of health tech startups. He co-founded Allerticon, an allergen focused labeling initiative that won the UofT startup competition. On campus, he is on the Engineering Deans’ Advisory Board, a consultant at WeissLabs Startup Incubator, a computer science teaching assistant, and a member of the Penn Masala business team.
Kunal cares about meeting people and learning new things. In his free time, you’ll find him recording episodes for his soon to be launched podcast called genZius, watching soccer, eating Mexican food, and chatting with friends. As an Unshackled University Fellow, he’s excited about working with the team and entrepreneurs to build and scale meaningful ideas.
Kunzhao (Lily) Li is a first-year master student in Biotechnology at Brown University. Her thesis research focuses on digital health usage among the geriatric population. More specifically, her group collaborates with Apple to test the feasibility and usability of the Apple Watch fall detection feature among older adults. Before coming to Brown, Lily has life science research experience at Stanford School of Medicine, Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative medicine, and regulatory research experience at FDA CDRH (Center for Device and Radiological Health). Lily has an interest in both healthcare and finance. She is on the executive board of Brown Healthcare Investment Group. Lily also has a passion for Fashion. She is a licensed cosmetologist and she works on the hair and makeup team at Fashion at Brown.
Mohith Mothukuri studies Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science at Columbia University. On campus, he is an Operating Committee Member of the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs and a Vehicle Dynamics Engineer for the Formula Racing Team. Mohith is highly interested in design and frontier technology, spending a great deal of his time building robots and autonomous drones. In addition to heading his navigation wearables venture, Mohith provides design consultation for other hardware products on campus. He recently finished his gap year where he had the opportunity to intern at a Software Bootcamp in Tokyo, perform oncological research in NYC, and develop low-cost prosthetics in Medellin. In his spare time, Mohith enjoys performing street magic, racing drones, and incessant hacking.
Rowan Mockler is a junior at Stanford University majoring in computer science with a focus in human-computer interaction. Having grown up in South Africa, he aspires to combine his passion for creating sleek, impactful consumer software together with his interest in education technology to drive positive change, through technology, in South Africa’s education system.
Rowan spent his last two summers, with a friend from Stanford, building out Branz — a mobile micro-influencing platform that aimed to allow everyday people to leverage their online social influence to earn rebates at local stores. The most recent summer saw Branz development take place under the roof of StartX — a Palo Alto based accelerator — with Branz joining their accelerator program as the only undergraduate team. This upcoming summer, Rowan will be working as an associate product manager intern at Duolingo. Being an international student with entrepreneurial aspirations himself, Rowan is passionate about democratising the opportunity to build a company in the United States and is excited to be part of Unshackled Venture’s efforts to do so.
Tim Wijaya is a man on a mission — he just doesn’t know what for yet. Tim is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Brown University. In addition to his role at Unshackled, Tim is also the Events Director at the Brown Institute for Policy, a student-run think tank, where he organizes events on local Rhode Island issues. He is also the COO of a Harvard-Brown water-tech venture, where he spearheads sales, business strategy, and ops. A budding idealist with an affinity for public service, Tim believes there comes a time when a generation must rise to the noble call of duty, put partisanship aside, and work together. He will spend his summer at the United Nations, where he will act as a Policy Analyst. In his free time, he enjoys talking politics with baby boomers, grilling medium-rare steaks, and running marathons.
Steven Jiang currently is a law student at Harvard and hopes to increase innovation in America and remedy the pipeline problems in entrepreneurship. Before this, Steven has worked in humanitarian contexts in Mercy Corps’ Zimbabwe and Syria offices and previously worked in disaster response and recovery. Steven loves helping anyone, increasing innovation and productivity growth, both in America and internationally.
Please join us in welcoming these fellows to Unshackled Ventures. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved at your school, please fill out this form here!