Cohort 1

 
HISTORY & SCIENCE, SECONDARY IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
DUNSTER '20
Kemi Akenzua

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Undergraduate Technology Innovation Fellowship! I have already learned so much in my HBS class on Digital Innovation, through our fellowship seminars, and from my peers. We will all emerge better equipped to navigate the future of the technology industry.”

Tech areas of interest

I’m very interested in user design, product management, and tech policy. Additionally, I’m passionate technology as it relates to accessibility and environmentalism.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

While working at Apple as an intern in Product Systems Quality, I learned a tremendous amount about how products go from concept to the hands of users around the world. I had the opportunity to manage and direct two studies related to the iPad ecosystem. The experience was very enlightening as I learned from employees from every corner of the corporation dedicated to the same goal of a magical user experience.

Professional goals

The technology industry is vast and rife with opportunity. I am certain, however, that I want to shape how technology affects the lives of underrepresented people, such as disabled communities, people of color, etc. As such, I am excited to continue learning more about product design and management.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE, SECONDARY IN ECONOMICS
ADAMS '20
Neil Band

“The Tech Innovation Fellowship is an incredible opportunity to gain an abridged yet authentic business school experience. In learning the operational and financial skills paramount to success as a founder, I will enter the fast track in tech entrepreneurship.”

Tech areas of interest

I’m fascinated by the application of machine learning, distributed systems, and cryptography to economics and biology. I currently research memory optimization in deep neural network training, and reinforcement learning in drug design and delivery for my senior thesis.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

At Kensho, an AI/ML fintech company, I learned that the greatest discoveries of this century will be due to unprecedented scale of collaboration. Whether I was working on the Data Infrastructure production team building entity recognition pipelines or with the Natural Language Processing research team developing a sentiment analysis technique, our success depended on our business competence: aggregating massive, high-quality datasets.

Professional goals

I’m an entrepreneur at heart. To me, the best way to improve the world and love what you do is to build a tangible product that excites you. My short-term focus is on absorbing cutting-edge material as quickly and rigorously as possible, whether in academia or industry.

Find Neil on GitHub and LinkedIn.

 
APPLIED MATH, SECONDARY IN STATISTICS
LOWELL '20
Cameron Cohen

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to learn from experienced faculty and entrepreneurs and to engage with the other fellows both throughout the year and in the HBS Startup Bootcamp.”

Tech areas of interest

I'm particularly interested in the intersection of machine learning and economics and how we can develop automation for social good.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

Last summer, I worked for a startup that developed machine learning models for health insurance companies and for online pricing. I was inspired by how they were able to dramatically impact industries in which analytics and technology are still nascent by using advanced statistics, and it made me want to develop the technical expertise and business acumen to create similar types of innovations.

Find Cameron on LinkedIn.

 
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (SB)
QUINCY '20
Alejandro Gracia-Zhang

“I am really excited about being part of this amazing team and I'm looking forward to learning about how entrepreneurship can help us make a greater impact!”

Tech areas of interest

Renewable Energies, Water Purification

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

My main motivation to become involved in the intersection of technology and business is because I see this as the most effective way of developing and spreading a technology that can make a significant positive impact on people's lives.

Professional goals

My long-term goals are using engineering solutions to help the energy and water needs of communities in developing countries.

Find Alejandro on LinkedIn.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE
SM CANDIDATE IN APPLIED MATH
DUNSTER '20
Jenny Huang

“As a programmer and avid learner of emerging technologies, I am excited to learn how to build an innovative technology venture from a business perspective. I am looking forward to exploring all the unique opportunities that the Tech Innovation Fellowship has to offer and to learning from faculty and the incredible peers in my cohort.”

Tech areas of interest

Learning, Product, Data Engineering

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

A couple years ago, some friends and I created PraisePop, an iOS app that lets users add to an anonymous live, feed of positivity within their unique communities. We entered an international competition and then launched at our high school, and it was incredibly heartwarming to see everyone excitedly using our app to share compliments and invites. Throughout our journey, I loved tackling the technical and business challenges that we were faced with, and I felt that I had found what I was truly passionate about.

Professional goals

I hope to keep learning, innovating, and challenging myself, and to keep growing in whatever role I have. Eventually, I would like to take initiative and start my own company to face a real-world technical challenge head-on.

Find Jenny on LinkedIn.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE
CABOT '20
Sela Kasepa

“I am excited to work with my peers working towards similar goals, and to be challenged and critiqued in my work and beliefs towards innovation.”

Tech areas of interest

My tech areas of interest are robotics, big data, and socially driven technologies.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

I cofounded a robotics team in my country Zambia which is heavily themed as a STEM organization. However, in working with and expanding the team, I have learnt that the technology and business aspects are heavily intertwined, and the success of the technology venture is heavily driven by the efficacy of the business principles.

Professional goals

I am driven by work that impacts the lives of people, and so I aspire to work in an environment that allows me to develop and use my skills to drive this impact.

Find Sela on LinkedIn.


 
STATISTICS, SECONDARY IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
CURRIER '20
Sean Murphy

“I am excited about the Undergraduate Technology Innovation Fellowship as an ideal platform to learn from the diverse perspectives of students and faculty who share a similar interest in technology, business, and social needs. By combining academic work through HBS case studies with real-world application of learned concepts, I hope to achieve tangible progress toward solving complex societal problems while forming long-term collaborative bonds with the fellows.”

Tech areas of interest

I am interested in the intersection of artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

Find Sela on LinkedIn.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE
WINTHROP ‘20
Sebastian Schwartz

“I’m excited to be a Fellow because this program allows me to learn about technology and entrepreneurship in the real world, outside of the classroom.”

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

I started at Harvard as a college freshman with no coding experience, having recently dropped out of a medical school program in Australia. After taking my first computer science class, I was hooked—I realized the skills I gained opened up a whole new world for me, and I’ve never looked back. Since then, I’ve continued to build my skills as a founding team member at an AI startup out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, which helped me realize how much I enjoy building cool things in an entrepreneurial environment.

Professional goals

I am passionate about building things, and love the process of creating products that make people's lives easier and better. I have a quantitative focus, and always try to include consideration and analysis of data in my decisions and work. I love learning from others and working in teams; some of my most important learning has happened by being challenged by those around me.

Find Sebastian on GitHub, LinkedIn, and his personal website.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE
DUNSTER '20
Alex Wendland

"If you build it, they will come"—great line for a movie, but a bad line for a startup. As an engineer I wish it was true, but I know there are other skills needed. Becoming a Tech Fellow offers nuts-and-bolts experiences zeroed-in on success."


 
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING (SB)
KIRKLAND ‘20
Nicolas Weninger

“I am fascinated by not only engineering, but also its implementations in solving real world problems and creating viable solutions. The Undergraduate Technology Innovation Fellowship provides the opportunity to learn how to combine both the technical understanding and the skills needed to build innovative, workable, and scalable solutions alongside my phenomenal peers.”

Tech areas of interest

I am fascinated by the intersection of new technologies or new applications thereof to solve tough questions. One of the hardest challenges I foresee for societies worldwide is the question of green energy generation and distribution. The other is human spaceflight and our continued exploration of the unknown.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

The application of engineering principles to solve problems became a fascination through visits to the London Science Museum as a child. The towering B747 aircraft landing gear at the entrance and roaring steam engine in the main hall not only piqued my interest in learning how these fantastic machines worked, but also in how they were designed with operational and market constraints in mind. Because of this, I came to see engineering as a fundamentally a liberal arts subject: one needs to combine both the technical understanding of science and systems with an appreciation of the needs of society to engineer a solution that will be both useful and sustainable.

Professional goals

I intend on exploring an industry that aligns with my interests when I leave college in order to gain valuable insights and engineering skills. Following graduate school—be that an MBA or another program—equipped with a deeper understanding of a field, I would like to tackle a non-trivial challenge, such as sustainable energy for cities. That may entail starting an enterprise myself or joining a team of driven individuals.

Find Nicolas on LinkedIn and his personal website.

 
APPLIED MATH, SECONDARY IN ENGLISH
CURRIER ‘20
Vicky Xu

“The creativity of humans is awesome. I'm excited to be a part of a group dedicated to innovating, collaborating, and building. I'm excited to explore the unknowns, listen to the invisibles, and create the impossibles.”

Tech areas of interest

I'm interested in the integration of technology into cities! There's so much innovative potential for technology to make cities more affordable, accessible, and livable.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

I took a design class my Sophomore Spring, and loved it. I've since been really interested in thinking more critically about accessible design, and how design decisions shape our daily functions. Tossed into this mix is recognizing the integral role that business has in everything; we design and build stuff for people. Business helps bring good ideas into practice.

Professional goals

I know eventually I want to be involved in creating something that makes everyday life better for people (especially marginalized groups!). Perhaps this will take shape in working with cities, or perhaps research, or perhaps various start-ups!

Find Vicky on GitHub, Github.io, and LinkedIn.

 
 
 
 

Cohort 2

 
FOLKLORE & MYTHOLOGY/STATISTICS
ADAMS '21
Jess Eng

“As a Tech Innovation Fellow, I’m ecstatic to dive into conversations about technology with passionate people from all disciplines, backgrounds, and viewpoints. Unearthing answers to technological questions doesn’t happen in one day or by one person but I’m positive that these years as a Fellow—the experiences of listening, debating, and questioning as a team—will propel me to create meaningful technologies.”

Tech areas of interest

Early Education, Children's Media, Visualization & Graphics

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

Being a public school student for 13 years and working with the San Francisco School District throughout high school, I witnessed the potential of partnerships with both local businesses and big tech companies to inspire learning and innovation in schools. In the same way that technology, education, and teachers shaped my aspirations, I too want to foster creative learning in all classrooms for all students and learners and share this passion with everyone.

Professional goals

I'd love to create transformative, curious, fun products in education or children's media that can be seen by a majority of young learners.

Find Jess on LinkedIn and GitHub.

 
ENGINEERING SCIENCES/THEATER, DANCE & MEDIA
LEVERETT '21
Kami Krista

“You can either fit in. Or you can change the world. You don't get to do both.” –Robin Sharma in The 5 AM Club

Tech areas of interest

Climate change, and (infectious) diseases, specifically currently HIV.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

Already very early on during high school I started working on research towards a new idea for a HIV therapy, and during this time I was already beginning to have conversations with my father on the business side of medical drugs and the ethics of pricing. During my freshman fall I took the course “ES139: Innovation in Science and Engineering”, which gave me a great training in going from an idea to actually pitching to investors. Finally, I interned with the VC Tiger Gene briefly in Spring '18, and was a Strike Force Fellow with Peter H. Diamandis in the fall of 2018.

Professional goals

I aim to have a transformative impact on the world through technologically driven innovation to solve some of the worlds most difficult problems to better our quality of life on this planet. Specifically, I am driven to make a change in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaption, as well as drug development against (infectious) diseases.

Find Kami on LinkedIn.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE/PHILOSOPHY
LOWELL '21
London Lowmanstone

“I love being around people who are interested in improving the world and want to have the best chance of having a major positive impact. The Undergraduate Technology Innovation Fellowship program seems to gather people like that, so I can't wait to see what happens!”

Tech areas of interest

Disaster Response, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

Touring the Innovation Lab helped me to realize how intertwined making new technology and creating a business are. My primary focus is to help people through technology, but sometimes the technology (or the money to make a new technology) has to come through a business.

Find London on LinkedIn or GitHub.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE
CURRIER '21
Manasi Maheshwari

“I'm passionate about using technology to address social issues. My favorite classes have been centered on entrepreneurship and design thinking to create tangible solutions and I look forward to diving deeper into a formal education in these topics as a Tech Innovation Fellow. The Technology Innovation Fellowship provides the unique opportunity to meet likeminded students and faculty with diverse perspectives and I look forward to learning from and working with them.”

Tech areas of interest

Product Management, VC, AI/ML

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

After attending Girls Who Code Summer Program in 2015, I was inspired to found STEMgirls, an afterschool coding program for young girls in my school district. Through this experience, I not only honed my technical skills as I taught fundamental CS concepts but also learned to manage operations on my first scalable venture. Developing partnerships and receiving funding from national non-profits like Girls Who Code and NCWIT, as well as connecting with top tech companies to find volunteer instructors as we expanded to more locations showed me how exciting it was to work at the intersection of technology and business.

Professional goals

Studying computer science in college and applying what I learn to fields like economics and government have shown me the vast opportunities to use my technical skills to have an impact. I see myself using technology to help people, and would love to work at the intersection of tech and business to do so.

Find Manasi on LinkedIn.

 
COMPUTER SCIENCE/STATISTICS
CURRIER '21
Natalie Margulies

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” Sheryl Sandberg

Tech areas of interest

Data Analytics, Data Privacy, Algorithm Classification and Detection, Quantitative Finance Research

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

I spent the past two summers working as a data scientist on Facebook’s Product Foundation Data team. My time at Facebook showed me the immense power of data analysis in enacting societal change; I witnessed Facebook connect blood donor matches and optimizing humanitarian relief after natural disasters through data. However, my time at Facebook also showed me the tremendous potential for misuse in data analytics; I watched Facebook’s ad-targeting technology exclude minorities from seeing housing ads and Facebook’s malicious-content classifier erroneously remove videos of breastfeeding mothers. Data has tremendous potential to catalyze both good and bad; however, often industry leaders in data analytics are ill-equipped to grapple with nebulous ideas of privacy and determine data regulations. My work at Facebook highlighted the importance of studying data from not only a technical perspective but also an ethical, legal, philosophical, and economic perspective in order to enact positive societal change.

Professional goals

I want to operationalize end-to-end data analytics to drive meaningful societal change. Data integration has become the seminal problem of the digital age: the widespread collection of data has created vast potential for businesses to optimize internal processes and redefine industry standards. I want to transform data into supercharged information in order to maximize returns for industries across financial services, healthcare, and the public sector.

Find Natalie on LinkedIn.

 
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING (SB)
MATHER '21
Dhilan Ramaprasad

“It's hard to launch from mere tinkering on homemade creations to growing and developing innovations at scale which impact populations. I'm incredibly excited to join an incredible cohort of my peers as we start learning just how to bridge that gap by creating solutions using knowledge from many different backgrounds.”

Tech areas of interest

EdTech, IoT and Smart-home Devices, 5G Technologies, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (FPGA)

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

This past summer, I had an opportunity to see a full picture of how an IoT startup went from conception and ideation to refinement and next generation rollouts by identifying and then cultivating their own niche consumer market. The forethought, insight, and flexibility which this developmental process required is unparalleled, and I am continually amazed that two co-founders, with backgrounds in engineering and business, could take their product to large scale production and profitability within such a compressed timeline. I hope to learn so much more from them!

Professional goals

I hope to find a way to merge my maker-space, both literal and metaphorical, with an application-specific purpose that can resolve real-world dilemmas, whether that be through product engineering and management at a start-up or even just landing some place where exploration—even if a moonshot—is always promoted. At the end of the day, I hope to return to the world of education to pay-forward all the great learning opportunities I've been afforded.

Find Dhilan on LinkedIn.

 
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
QUINCY '21
Arielle Rothman

“I am really excited to learn about translating technologies from ideas and prototypes to businesses and commercial products. I am looking forward to learning from HBS faculty, guest speakers, and my peers in the Undergraduate Technology Innovation Fellowship.”

Tech areas of interest

Medical Tech/Biotech

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

My sister has type 1 diabetes and I grew up watching her suffer from frequent finger pricks and insulin injections. Over the years, her burden has been significantly reduced by new technologies, including continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. Her experience fostered my passion for creating medical technologies. I hope to apply my knowledge from this fellowship to translate technologies from bench to bedside.

Professional goals

I intend to work at the intersection of medicine and engineering by practicing medicine and developing medical devices.

 
SOCIOLOGY
KIRKLAND '21
Tony Shu

“As Harvard students, we not only get the chance to intimately observe and study our broader communities, but we also have the responsibility and opportunity to work to positively impact these communities. Regardless of the problem, technology must be harnessed to address pressing social issues at scale. When I learned out about the Tech Innovation Fellowship, I was so excited to see something that combines my passions for entrepreneurship and technology in a program that promotes both skill-building and effective application of those skills.”

Tech areas of interest

PropTech, Real Estate Tech, Data Science, Web Development, Platform Businesses, Automation, Smart Cities/Buildings, Consumer Technology

Professional goals

I hope to be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life and orient my work around the intersection of housing, real estate, urban issues, public service, and technology.

Find Tony on LinkedIn.

 
STATISTICS
DUNSTER '21
Eshan Tewari

“I've had a chance to work in technology from a host of different angles, spanning from ground level research to rapidly scaling startups to venture capital to journalism. In the process, I've started to build up a very multi-pronged view about how tech interfaces with so many fronts of business and society, and I'm really excited to bring all that exposure together in one place.”

Tech areas of interest

Scaling technology ventures, thought pieces/journalism, early-stage venture capital

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

Going into freshman year of college, all of my exposure to technology came from a very bottoms up, research and academic approach. However, starting in second semester, I got the opportunity to start working with Romulus Capital, which does a plurality of its investing in deep science companies spinning out of labs at MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Cambridge UK. Working with the team there for a year now has given me a really incredible opportunity to work at the intersection of getting exposed to world class science and taking that science to an enterprise context.

Professional goals

Right now, I would say that I want to get very good at scaling technology ventures from a Series A/B stage to a Series C stage. Once I work in that transition at a number of different companies, I want to make my way back into venture capital, investing in companies that will soon go through that transition and working with the founders to facilitate it.

Find Eshan on LinkedIn.

 
PHYSICS
ADAMS '21
Nestor Tkachenko

“I believe entrepreneurship is about cynical optimism—seeing the worst in what is and the best in what could be.”

Tech areas of interest

Robotics, Food, Industry and Service Automation

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

Business and technology has always been more of a calling than a passion. Back in elementary school I plotted out my plan to one day establish a business that sells robots, and though the plan has changed along the way, I always continued to pursue the field. I haven't always been the most excited about the work, but it has always felt right.

Professional goals

I hope to make my own startup after graduation. If that doesn't work out, I'll make another one, and another. If there's one thing I know it's that I probably won't be happy with my work if success is assured.

 
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING (SB)
ELIOT '21
Daniela Villafuerte

“Integration of disciplines and expansion of perspective are both crucial to effectively make a positive impact on humanity. As a future electrical engineer, I believe engineering has the power of improving quality of life by providing effective, efficient and tailored solutions to problems. Engineering through the lens of business allows for the solutions to execute its powerful impact in the real world within an organized, cost-effective and data-driven environment. As a Tech Innovation Fellow, I will experience both sides of the intersection between business and innovation. While interacting with professionals and technology leaders, I will also get involved as a future technology leader and learn what it takes to become an entrepreneur and launch my own startup.”

Tech areas of interest

My tech areas of interest lie in data management and analytics. Data drives the major industries in the world from health and economics to entertainment and government. Through the gathering and analysis of data, optimization and quality improvement can be applied to distinct processes and systems. A new disruptive technology that aims to connect everyday devices to communicate by sending and receiving data is the Internet of Things. This technology allows for the physical world to be translated into the digital world. It enables the analysis of crucial data needed for improving the quality in all industries. I am specifically interested in the area of biological sensors and the power they have to convert a biological response into an electrical signal. Through this conversion, analysis and research can be performed for improvement in medical areas as well as the prevention of diseases or degenerative conditions. The importance of this research can have a great and tangible impact on the quality of life of society.

Formative experience at the intersection of technology and business

As an INTEL-ISEF Finalist, I developed a system that measures sound decibels and displays light patterns according to the sound patterns (decibel intensity and rhythm). Applied as an emergency-alarm for a school for the hearing-impaired, the system allows hearing-impaired students to act quickly in a hazardous event. The experience allowed me to meet the hearing-impaired community and gain a closer perspective on the necessities of a specific group. After validating the accuracy of the developed prototype, community members encouraged me to take it to the market as a developed product. However, I began to ask myself several questions: How to make it cost-effective? How to acquire investment capital? What would be the distribution chain? How to make it sustainable at the same time that I can impact the hearing-impaired community? I needed a business plan.

Professional goals

My professional goals involve combining both engineering and business knowledge to focus on the development of innovative devices or systems that can improve a person's quality of life through better integration to society, return to daily routines or increased independence. In the future, I want to integrate both health and technology in a company that focuses on delivering data through biological sensors for later analysis and understanding.

Find Daniela on LinkedIn.