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Introducing our Newest Cohort of DRFers!

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Dorm Room Fund Content

|November 24, 2020
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We’re over the moon to announce the newest members of the Dorm Room Fund family. This semester, we put out the call to recruit investment partners for all four of our investment teams, as well as engineering partners for our remote HQ team. And, for the first time in DRF’s history, we went national! We expanded our search for the best and brightest across the country, going beyond our usual physical hubs in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New York.

The response was overwhelming: after a very, very rigorous selection process, through which we evaluated over 1100 applications, we couldn’t be more excited to introduce this team of incredible students — undergraduates, MBAs, PhDs, JDs, and eight members of our Blueprint Investor Track cohort among them — who are ready to take Dorm Room Fund to the next level. This cohort of overachievers includes former Olympic athletes, hackers, healthcare experts, aerospace engineers, award-winning journalists — whew, we can’t even keep up. 

These students are more than just smart; they’ll be harnessing their incredible networks, unique skills, and perseverance to help us find the most promising student founders, whether those founders are working on campus, in their childhood bedrooms, or in hacker houses out in the woods of Vermont. The Zoom era is no match for DRF!

Are you pumped to meet them? Presenting, our new partners! 

HQ

Anish Agnihotri

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Anish is a freshman at the University of Waterloo studying computer science and economics. He’s passionate about blockchain, cryptoeconomics, and building better financial tooling to connect the world — a goal he works towards at Polychain Capital. Previously, Anish interned at 1Password, working on build-verification testing. In his free time, Anish enjoys swimming and spending sleepless nights building at hackathons. 

Rennah Weng

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Rennah is a junior at Columbia University studying computer science and entrepreneurship. As a first-gen student, she has a passion for social impact tech and is working towards increasing accessibility for under-served communities. Rennah has previously interned at Fidelity Investments to improve financial services for more users. Currently, she’s into data science and joined Correlation One to apply her AI and data analytics skills to tackle societal problems in healthcare, education, and income disparity. To achieve her goals on campus, Rennah is part of Columbia Social Entrepreneurship Group (CSEG) and has launched a product in partnership with the Brooklyn borough president to protect 100+ low-income tenants in NYC from heating violations. In her free time, she enjoys learning ukulele and watching Korean drama. When she feels down, she loves messing around with her twin brothers.

San Francisco

Alexa Liautaud

Alexa is an MBA candidate at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business who is building and investing in media and technology. Before attending business school, she joined Lightspeed Venture Partners, where she worked on both consumer and enterprise investments. Prior to becoming an investor, Alexa was an award-winning journalist, reporting for the Wall Street Journal, VICE, and NBC News. Having interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life, she believes in the power of combining empathetic storytelling with rigorous analysis. Alexa’s current investment focus surrounds creator tools, consumer privacy, and marketplaces. She received a B.A. with honors in history from Stanford University and an M.S. from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. Alexa is French-American and grew up in London.

Anand Lalwani

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Anand is a third year PhD candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford working on harsh environment sensors and IoT systems for NASA and the energy industry. Prior to Stanford, Anand co-led Brown University’s space team and helped launch the world’s most economical satellite at the time. Currently, Anand is part of a robotics startup which is developing sanitization solutions for a post-COVID world. He is also the head TA for Stanford’s famed Lean LaunchPad class. In his free time, Anand obsessively reads the news — 2020 is a wild time to be alive — and loves scuba diving and dancing.

Chris Quaidoo

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Chris is a first-year MBA student at Berkeley Haas. At Haas, he is a Consortium Fellow and Entrepreneurial Finance Fellow. A long-term avid gamer, Chris is a member of the investment team at Griffin Gaming Partners, a venture capital fund singularly investing in the gaming space. Before graduate school, he spent five years working in investment management, primarily covering the technology sector. Chris was a member of Dorm Room Fund’s inaugural Blueprint Investor Track cohort this past summer. Outside of work and school, he enjoys playing soccer.

Darius Johnson

Darius is a Sophomore at Santa Clara University studying Finance and Data Analytics. Darius is currently part of BLK Capital Management and is working to build the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Santa Clara through an end-to-end startup studio focused on technological support, equity investments, active money management, and idea incubation. Darius previously spent time at JP Morgan and Sumeru Equity Partners. Darius is interested in pursuing fund management in the buyout space long-term. Darius is passionate about aligning investing with social values. Connecting people and purpose with capital to solve some of the most challenging problems around economic development of oppressed races is Darius’ mission. Darius envisions change by creating access and opportunity for underrepresented communities through not only investing in innovation, but allocating capital that, when returned, is utilized to solve similar challenging problems. Outside of his passion for investing, he is an avid basketball and football fan (Chicago Bulls for life), enjoys connecting with people from the most diverse of backgrounds, and enjoys compounding his knowledge in some way, everyday.  Darius was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He will be joining Goldman Sachs as an investment banking analyst next summer in New York City. 

Kimiloluwa Fafowora

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Kimiloluwa is an MBA student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, a behavioral economics geek, and lover of (almost) all things related to LA. Prior to business school, she was a Strategy Manager at Brandable, a consumer product goods incubator and began her career investing in enterprise software companies at Silversmith Capital Partners. Her interests span across enterprise SaaS, consumer technology, and AI/ML, but she’s most passionate about leveraging her network and resources to help early stage founders through their most formative years. Outside of work, you can find her hosting themed dinner parties, planning last minute trips, or spending time with her four older sisters. She holds a B.A .with honors in economics and spanish from Harvard University.

Lan Jiang

Lan is a sophomore pre-med student at Stanford University studying computer science, and she is a huge fan of all things product strategy or healthcare related. As a PM on Zoom’s healthcare initiatives, Lan spent the past five months building out Zoom’s first-ever business strategy for their telehealth product — and she is currently revamping Zoom’s release planning efforts. Prior to Zoom, Lan explored her interests in healthcare across policy, startups, and research through her work with the World Health Organization, Athelas, and Stanford Medicine. Lan is fascinated by health tech and productivity tooling, and as a director of TreeHacks (Stanford’s premier hackathon), she cares deeply about fostering the CS education community. In her free time, you can find Lan outside hiking (can’t find her outdoors without a pair of trusty sunglasses!) or up to some shenanigans with her three siblings.

Shub Gaur

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Shub is a sophomore at USC studying computer science and business administration. He’s creating an end-to-end founder pipeline at TroyLabs, while founding his own company, Spree. He is obsessed with product, and loves playing beach volleyball.

Trinity Donohugh

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Trinity is a Junior at Stanford University majoring in computer science and history. She spent her childhood in Asia and her middle and high school years in the United Kingdom. Prior to Stanford, she founded an audio podcast initiative to bring education to rural communities in Southeast Asia, and the online platform DiscussForChange to raise awareness of global issues and encourage students’ action. She had the opportunity to work with the United Nations on furthering youth action for their 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. She has experience working in strategy at Tencent’s AI lab and in software engineering at Google. Trinity is fascinated by the future of climate technology and passionate about expanding access to technology, specifically in rural regions and developing nations. Outside of work, you’ll find her by the pool training for her next triathlon, or exploring national parks in California.

Philadelphia

Rima Reddy

Rima is a second year MBA Candidate at the Wharton School of Business where she focuses on Entrepreneurship & Innovation. At Wharton, she is the co-President of the Entrepreneurship Club and the CEO and Editor-in-Chief for StartU, an online publication that finds and features student-led startups. Prior to pursuing her MBA, she was the Principal at NYC-based consumer/retail accelerator XRC Labs. She has also spent time at Ralph Lauren in E-commerce Strategy and Goldman Sachs in Equity Research.

Yewande Alade

Yewande is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania studying the intersection of technology, business, and law. Before joining Dorm Room Fund, Yewande worked on technology transfer for Google AI’s research team and first venture studio. Yewande is also an Assembly Fellow at MIT and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet Research and Society. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing, tinkering with DIY projects, and writing comedy.

Adriana Gadala-Maria

Adriana is a first-year MBA student at the University of Virginia Darden pursuing her passion for venture capital and entrepreneurship. Before Darden, she spent two years at TechCrunch driving digital and event partnerships, and a year at SocialCode where she developed social media marketing strategies for growth-stage startups. Prior to SocialCode, Adriana joined Reddit in 2011 where she grew advertising sales for six years. Outside of work, she co-founded Giving Back Sunday, a volunteer organization that supports local charities. Adriana is originally from Miami, Florida, holds a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and enjoys listening to tech podcasts (shoutout to Equity!) while baking sourdough bread.

Alexa Spagnola

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Alexa is a junior at Penn studying electrical engineering, computer science, and entrepreneurship. Previously, Alexa spearheaded a consumer electronics product at Google, developed an NLP project within the National Security Innovation Network, founded a medical device startup, and worked on a NASA hardware team. She frequents the hackathon scene as both a PennApps organizer and MLH competitor, and led a team to build a SaaS platform that won the NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good. On campus, Alexa is a part of student government and Kairos Venture Fellows, and loves skiing, surfing, and playing soccer in her free time.

Andre Mota

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Andre is a second-year JD/MBA student at Penn Law and Wharton where he’s in the healthcare management program. Since starting his program, Andre has worked with .406 Ventures, Healthify, and Cravath. Before graduate school, he was a strategy consultant at Manatt Health and Venture Fellow at Clockwork. Originally from California, he received his B.S. from UC San Diego and M.S. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins. He loves spending time with his family and friends, hiking, cooking new cuisines, and watching documentaries. 

Cole Fairchild

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Cole is a sophomore student at UPenn in the M&T Program, studying systems engineering and behavioral finance. His interest in VC stems from a curiosity about how finance can empower great ideas and serve to enable disruptive innovation. Currently a business developer at Penn Labs, Cole is primarily interested in building great ideas into great products. Outside of school, he is involved in Penn’s annual fashion show, a literary society, and an intramural basketball team.

Jasman Singh

Jasman is a rising junior at Princeton studying policy, international affairs, and China. He is currently on a gap year, interning at a weed startup (it’s pretty dope). He’s passionate about using tech as a social change accelerator, having previously worked for Cory Booker’s presidential policy team in the summer of 2019. He also co-wrote a federal bill and lobbied for its successful passage into law earlier in 2019. In his free time he enjoys basketball, poker, stand up comedy and adding music to his Spotify playlist (2800 songs and counting!).

Richard Clay

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Richard Clay is a junior computer technology major at Bowie State University, the FIRST (H)istorically (B)lack (C)ollege and (U)niversity in Maryland. He is the very first HBCU undergraduate student partner in the DRF community and is ready to get to work. As a proud fellow of HBCUvc, Richard learned VC fundamentals and secured an internship when meeting Dave Mueller @ Intel Capital. While interning at Intel Capital, with Jennifer Ard as a wonderful mentor, he built a framework around defense technology collaborating heavily with folks like Trae Stephens, Jake Chapman, Asher Kraut, Forrest Underwood, Air Force Venture Fellows, Yemaya Bordain, Bilal Zuberi, and many more. He also met regularly with the NBA discussing potential media/sports tech companies that increase fan engagement for Gen Z. As an Academy Core fellow with Praxis Academy and Faith Driven Investor network affiliate, Richard believes in redemptive entrepreneurship and good stewardship of His resources. When he isn’t working, you can find him consuming the latest hip hop/fashion trends on Instagram, vibing to the 90s & 2000s er R&B/hip hop, or sleeping.

NYC

Chloe Lopez-Lee

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Born and raised in New York City, Chloe is currently a neuroscience PhD student at Cornell Medicine. She is highly interested in the health tech space and would love to facilitate key advances that benefit the patient community. Chloe also minored in sociology and as a Puerto Rican-Korean woman strives to invest in opportunities that can empower communities traditionally underrepresented in VC. Thanks to DRF, Chloe also participated in the fantastic Blueprint program, which served as a crash course in all things VC. When not in the lab playing with mice, Chloe enjoys fostering cats/dogs, exploring the latest dessert trends, and taking Krav Maga classes. 

Hillary Bush

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Hillary Bush is a California native living in New York while pursuing her MBA at NYU Stern as an Elizabeth Elting Fellow and Advancing Women in Business Scholar. After working in the coffee industry in Ethiopia, Hillary found a passion for using business to drive positive social and financial outcomes. Her professional background is in growth and product management at mission-driven Silicon Valley startups. During her time at Kiva and as an early employee of MasterClass and Bungalow, she started and led growth teams, cleared paths to profitability, and created industry-renowned SEO and content marketing programs. While earning her MBA, she is focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation and aims to start a business in the education technology or wine innovation spaces. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in political economy from UC Berkeley.

Jarrod Barnes

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A native of Columbus, Ohio, Jarrod is a former student-athlete and college football coach at The Ohio State University. From launching his own startup to now as an NFL front office employee, Jarrod has continually looked to challenge the status quo. Jarrod is a current Doctoral Student at the University of Illinois with a research focus in learning design and leadership. His interests in tech and venture capital consist of educational technology, the future of work, and sports tech ventures.

Jason Brooke

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Jason is an MBA Candidate at Chicago Booth, specializing in Entrepreneurship and Finance. Prior to Booth, Jason worked in corporate strategy as a Principal for Kaiser Associates’ Financial Services & Payments practice. At Kaiser, Jason specialized in growth strategy assessments such as bringing new products to market, improving competitiveness, and customer segmentation. This past summer, Jason supported the Product Marketing team at Kong, a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for full cycle API management. At Booth, he is a member of several professional clubs, including the Entrepreneurship & VC Club and the Fintech Club. Jason has a BA from Middlebury College (’13) and is passionate about ‘all things payments,’ soccer, and skiing.

Koloa Wolfgramm

Koloa Wolfgramm is a 2L at Yale Law School and an editor at the Yale Journal on Regulation. After losing his leg to cancer, Koloa competed for Team USA as an adaptive bobsled pilot. During this time, Koloa started a non-profit — Amp1 — that marshals elite amputee athletes into a motivational force. Koloa took a two-year break from these professional endeavors to serve a mission for his church in England. Koloa received his B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from Brigham Young University where he also taught Arabic courses. During this time, he spent 7 months in Jordan as a humanitarian volunteer and student at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman. Koloa is currently the co-founder and COO of Invown: a PropTech startup disrupting how people invest in residential real estate. He is also a student attorney at Yale Law’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Clinic where he represents startups at various stages of growth. 

Nina Ligon

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Nina is an MBA at Yale, a graduate of Stanford Engineering’s Product Design program, and current intern at Cowboy VC. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, she’s since lived in Virginia, California, and most recently in New York. She’s worked across a range of consumer tech from hardware at Apple, to making the internet more accessible at BRCK, to building health and wellness tools at Headspace. She’s the co-founder of MMY, a board game for adults with Autism. Before pursuing a career at the intersection of design and business, Nina was a professional Equestrian, representing Thailand in the 2012 Olympics.

Sreya Parakal

Sreya is a junior studying industrial engineering, management and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University. Originally from Australia, she is keen to use her personal pain point as an international STEM female of color to build a solution that helps students gain increased access to U.S. college and entrepreneurial culture through her startup, Iris. She is involved with Northwestern’s incubator space, The Garage, and with Techstars, HITLAB and LaunchX. After being inspired by her recent internship in Exelon, she hopes to work in the energy VC space. Outside of school, you can find her doing sunrise runs, playing the taiko and attempting to cook unique recipes.

Zakaria Gedi

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Zakaria loves warm weather, fun music and good cooking. He is a junior at Yale University studying computer science and economics. He is an aspiring baker, mediocre frisbee player, and does some stock investing on the side. Zakaria invests in public equities with his school’s premier investing team. He also co-founded and leads some student organizations on campus. Professionally, Zakaria worked at Bracebridge, a Boston-based absolute return hedge fund. He is currently working part-time at the Yale Investments Office, helping evaluate hedge fund managers, real estate tycoons, and venture capitalists for the endowment. Zakaria is interested in making space for underrepresented people in tech and venture capital and loves to talk about the subject of diversity and inclusion. Outside of the classroom, you will find him losing at poker or running New Haven trails! Zakaria is hoping to make new connections and wants to meet as many interesting people as he can. 

Boston

Irene Wu

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Irene is an undergraduate at Harvard University pursuing a joint concentration in computer science and African American studies. She is currently on the investment team at Blue Collective, an early-stage and industry agnostic VC fund. Previously, she led business development and operations at Rowing Blazers, a venture-backed DTC menswear company, and held design roles at IDEO and FutureBrand. At Harvard, Irene is a fellow at the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations and entrepreneur-in-residence at the iLab. Most recently, Irene founded The YX Foundation, a hybrid coalition-design lab prototyping and incubating at the intersection of deep tech and racial justice. Her research interests include human-computer interaction, algorithmic fairness, and critical race theory. She loves surfing and can open a coconut with her bare hands.

Ivan Zhao

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Ivan is a junior at Brown University studying applied math and computer science. Previously, he’s helped product and engineering at Lofitum, a Seattle-based real estate marketplace startup; built products for Intus Care, a Brown based health-tech startup; and organized Tea Time, a series of fireside chats for LGBTQ+ high school and college students interested in tech and tech adjacent work. On campus, Ivan is currently a part of Van Wickle Ventures, Brown’s own student-run venture fund, and he co-founded BRIC, a club to bridge the communities between Brown and RISD. He’s super passionate about bridging opportunities for underrepresented communities in tech, productivity software, the future of work, and real estate technology. Outside school, catch him scaling rocks and buildings, building apps to find the nearest corgis to pet on campus, finding local eateries, or skiing nearby mountains.

Jenna Steichen

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Jenna is a senior at Boston College majoring in information systems and minoring in Jewish studies. She also spent a semester studying in Jerusalem at Hebrew University where she developed a deep appreciation for Israel’s entrepreneurial culture. At Boston College, she currently serves as a co-chair of the student board for the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship and the Director of Growth for the Women Innovators Network. Jenna participated in the True Ventures TEC fellowship, gaining exposure to early stage VC and was a Summer Associate for Summit Partners on the VC tech investing team. Jenna has also worked at a variety of startups from an ad tech company to a 3D bioprinting company. She loves meeting new people, thinking about the future of education, and searching for the most unique Airbnbs. 

Neil Bhammar

Neil is a third year undergraduate at Northeastern University studying finance, entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial engineering. He’s the president of the NU Entrepreneurs Club and is an early employee at BusRIght — a young, VC-backed startup that’s modernizing mass transit. Neil is driven by the proposition of equitable access and how technology can bridge the access gap — be it through ed-tech, fintech, or anything in between. When he’s not indulging in his startup addiction, you can find him indulging his sweet tooth or riding motorcycles. 

Robert McKnight

Rob is a first year MBA student at Harvard Business School, recovering engineer, and avid car fan. Prior to business school, Rob helped develop self-driving technology, first at Tesla as a part of their autopilot team and then at Blue River Technology (a subsidiary of John Deere) to help build self-driving tractors. Rob is intensely interested in deep tech- and sustainability-focused ventures, especially those leveraging machine learning in uncommon ways. Rob loves rowing and hopes to be able to compete in the Head of the Charles in 2021. He is also a big fan of biographies and has an impressive (and growing) hat collection. Rob holds dual B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley, where he focused on robotics and the intersection of the physical and digital world.

Steven Wang

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Steven is a freshman at Harvard University studying computer science and philosophy. Steven is deeply passionate about the future of social mobility and integrating financial and educational technology to empower society. Previously, Steven founded Realism (now acquired) to democratize education through VR, worked on health initiatives for the Apple Watch at Apple, and supported small business owners at Coast through TakeoutCOVID. Outside his work life, Steven enjoys reading Camus, pretending to be a food blogger @munchiefam, and eating too much Sweetgreen and Nicks Swedish ice cream.

Tayo Zenger

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Tayo is an undergraduate senior at Babson College studying business administration. He also spent a year at the London School of Economics (LSE) as a part of the General Course program, where he studied economic history and philosophy. Tayo’s international experience ranges from investment banking and private equity to supporting startups across various stages. He is currently working as a contract consultant for the VR startup, TRANSFR Inc., and as an associate in Techstar’s Colorado workforce development accelerator. His industry interests include aerospace, AI/NLP, biotech, finance and fintech, energy, and SaaS. Above all, Tayo loves learning; so it is not uncommon to find him digging into an 180-page report on an obscure market. Outside of school and work, Tayo enjoys travelling, reading, and trading. An avid outdoorsman, he also enjoys skiing and hiking when he can find the time. 

Yvette Rodriguez

Yvette is an MBA student at the MIT Sloan School School of Management. She began her career in the entrepreneurship space developing and managing the deal pipeline for PWE Startup Accelerator, one of the first female-focused accelerators in the country. Prior to business school she worked in early-stage VC focused on B2B SaaS investments. Yvette holds a B.A. from Brown University where she studied economics and history and was a Venture for America Fellow in 2015. 

Toyin Shodiya

Toyin is currently studying at Harvard Business School in the dual degree MS/MBA program to receive an MBA and a Masters in engineering. Her passion lies at the intersection of AI and robotics while keeping humans at the heart of it all. With a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and experience leading product builds for new market opportunities while at Boeing, Toyin has developed expertise in global supply-chain logistics, autonomy, and drone configuration. Translating market needs into engineering-design criteria to create life-changing products is what excites her. Driving products from the idea phase to production with diverse mission-driven teams is what fuels her.

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