Empowering Student Entrepreneurs Across The Nation — Meet Dorm Room Fund’s New Partners

Every fall, we put out a call to join the Dorm Room Fund team.

We’re incredibly humbled and impressed by the students who apply every year, and we were thrilled to receive 400+ applications from incredibly talented students around the country.

While it was incredible to see the immense interest, it also made the selection process extremely difficult. This was the most highly qualified batch of applicants we’ve seen yet, and we wanted to ensure we reviewed every application diligently.

These students come from a variety of backgrounds — from operating startups to investing at VC firms to conducting cutting-edge research and building communities. They are all united by their passion for supporting their fellow students and helping entrepreneurs succeed.

We’re thrilled to share and announce Dorm Room Fund’s 26 new partners!

Bay Area

Shohini Gupta

Shohini is a sophomore at Berkeley studying Econ and CS, where she’s particularly interested in the intersection of economic development and entrepreneurship. She was a Research Fellow at 118 Capital, an early stage impact investment firm, and worked on product and marketing at Blueprint Income, a DRF portfolio company. On campus, she is developing a build-yourself rainwater harvesting system for nonprofit Project RISHI, and was selected for Clinton Global Initiative. This summer, she’ll be doing product management at Abra. In her spare time, she has gone back to ballet, reads historical fiction and likes nice coffee shops.

Adam Brudnick

A passionate musician who founded four bands, Adam is a first-year MBA at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. At Cal, Adam is a CITRIS Product Fellow and co-leads the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association. Prior to Haas, Adam founded EDGE at the New York Power Authority, which is one of the first businesses to successfully deploy distributed renewables and run them as a “virtual” centralized power plant. Before that he served tech, media, healthcare, finance, and government clients at McKinsey.

Ben Draa

Ben is a first-year MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to the GSB, Ben was Director of Finance and Development at the Golden State Warriors where he worked on exciting projects including development of the Warriors’ new arena in San Francisco. Along with a group of his closest friends, Ben co-founded imoji, a mobile sticker platform that was acquired by Giphy in 2016. Ben enjoys yoga, buffalo sauce, running, basketball, and trivia. He received his BA in Economics from Claremont McKenna College where he swam and played on the water polo team.

Yanika Magan

Yanika is currently a junior at Cal studying Political Science and Economics. She loves exploring the intersection of law and technology and is particularly interested in application of tech in the financial services, real estate, education, and retail industries. Prior to joining the DRF team, Yanika held leadership roles in three student organizations on campus and spent the previous summer working in capital markets for RealtyShares, a real estate tech company. She believes that venture capital needs to be more accessible to underserved communities and is excited to meet and support ambitious student founders who are tackling tough problems. Yanika can be found watching movies, playing basketball, working on jigsaw puzzles while blasting music, and scoping out new dessert spots.

Shrey Gupta

Shrey is a junior at Stanford studying CS with a concentration on AI. He’s excited to explore how CS and AI can unlock new paradigms in fields like education and social media. Previously, Shrey has worked at Apple and Coursera, and he will be working at Facebook this summer. On campus, Shrey has directed a design-thinking bootcamp as part of Stanford ASES and has taught CS through Streetcode Academy and the CS106 Section Leading program. While Shrey’s not coding or teaching, you can find him seeking out the spiciest food to eat (he’s had 3 of the 5 spiciest peppers in the world), getting sucked into Wikipedia black holes, listening to trap jazz, or attempting to do social dance and hip hop.

Andrew Briggs

Andrew is a first year MBA student at UC Berkeley-Haas, where he is President of the Berkeley InSITE chapter, a Haas Venture Fellow, and winner of the ’18 Silicon Valley Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). Prior to Haas, Andrew was an operator in mobility, transportation, travel, accommodations, and logistics with McKinsey & Co., Uptake, and Airbnb. His passion for developing businesses that improve the value of mobility is fueled by his experience of living in 6 countries and visiting 43.

Looi Qin En

Qin En is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund and is probably the oldest freshman at Stanford. Prior to Stanford, Qin En co-founded Glints, a graduate recruitment platform in Southeast Asia that raised >US$3M, and was on Forbes 30 Under 30 and Entrepreneurs 27 Under 27. In his spare time, Qin En enjoys a variety of Les Mills workouts and is training to be a BodyPump instructor.

Boston

Mina Iskarous

Mina’s first exposure to entrepreneurship was as a 16 year old, helping an urgent care clinic launch a telemedicine service, and now Mina studies BioEngineering and Data Science at Northeastern University. He is excited to work with and support early stage founders building the next generation of tech companies through DRF. He also loves planning trips all around the world from a beach house in Cape Cod to a weekend adventure to Iceland.

Alex Immerman

Alex is an Investment Partner at the Dorm Room Fund and currently pursuing his MBA at Harvard Business School. Prior to graduate school, Alex was an internet and software investor at General Atlantic and investment banker at Allen & Company. He also served as chief of staff to the CEO of Gainsight, a customer success software provider. In his spare time, Alex is an avid skier and snowboarder and self-proclaimed ice cream connoisseur. Alex graduated with honors from Wharton/Penn with a BS in Economics.

Amol Punjabi

Amol is a sophomore at Harvard studying math and computer science. He’s excited about the intersection of technology, biopharma, and finance, having worked in this space at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Roivant Sciences, and DE Shaw Research. On campus, he competes on the debate team and is a leader in Harvard SummerCamp.io and Machine Intelligence Community. Amol enjoys adventure traveling, playing DuoLingo, and keeping up the piano. Cool facts: he owns a patent and named an asteroid.

Lily Peng

Lily is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund and is currently pursuing her MBA at Harvard Business School. Prior to HBS, Lily managed Strategy and National Growth for Caviar, a premium food delivery service acquired by Square, where she lead new market expansion and growth initiatives. She also cofounded Proof Positive, a investment company with a mission to empower talented operators in the food and beverage space to open their own businesses. Lily has previously worked in corporate finance at Apple and graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Business Administration. Lily loves to travel and eat all over the world, and is a dogmom to an Instagram pup (@sydney_themini).

Zann Ali

As an investor and former intrapreneur, Zann loves betting on founders and technologies that are disrupting the status quo. Prior to joining Dorm Room Fund and attending MIT Sloan for his MBA, he worked at Putnam Investments, serving in a chief-of-staff capacity to the Chief Investment and Operating Officers. Before Putnam, Zann was at Fidelity Investments, where he started on their strategy team, but eventually founded Fidelity Health Marketplace, a corporate-backed insurtech startup focused on disrupting health benefits. Zann graduated with honors from Babson College with a BS in Finance and Statistics. He would also be remiss to not tell you about his growing hot sauce collection and obsession with pugs.

Will Manidis

Will is an Investment Partner at the Dorm Room Fund and a current undergraduate at Olin College where he is studying Computer Science with a focus on Machine Learning. Prior to school, Will built and scaled PathwaysAI, a mobile health startup that helps people with Parkinson’s allieviate the quality of life burden assosicated with the disease. Will also spent time at Immuneering and Olin’s Human Augmentation Lab. In his spare time, Will spends weeks searching used bookstores, attempting to cook, and collecting bonfire stories.

Karina Akib

Karina is an Investment Partner at the Dorm Room Fund and currently pursuing her MBA at MIT Sloan. Prior to school, Karina scaled-up a new business for Google, helping thousands of SMBs be successful online. Before that she was a consultant with Boston Consulting Group where she launched the South East Asia’s social impact initiatives. She also co-founded an international organization in 2013, CAUSINDY that builds stronger ties between young leaders in Australia and Indonesia working with government, business, NGOs and academia. Karina graduated from UNSW with BCom in Actuarial Science and Finance.

New York

Will Nichols

Will is a first-year MBA at the NYU Stern School of Business, where he focuses on venture capital, entrepreneurship, and data science. Will invests much of his time in initiatives furthering the startup and VC communities in New York: he serves as co-president of Stern’s Entrepreneurship and Startup Association (ESA) and holds an internship at a NYC-based VC fund investing in supply chain and industrial automation technology. Prior to Stern, he held various Operations roles at Instacart, ultimately leading the Instacart NYC team. Originally from the Boston area, Will is an avid traveler (70+ countries), an aspiring surfer (Far Rockaways), and an enthusiastic-but-unimaginative home chef (Instant Pot).

Anne Kong

Anne is a junior at NYU studying Computer Science and Finance. Anne is currently part of the Growth Marketing team at Glossier. She previously worked on the Ventures team at Sherpa Capital and the Data Analytics and Consumer Insights team at Away. She is incredibly passionate about gender equality in STEM and is excited to build and support a diverse network of student founders. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Anne loves hiking — particularly in the Pacific Northwest, photography, yoga, and traveling.

Amulya Kandikonda

Amulya is currently a junior at Columbia studying Computer Science and Operations Research. She was previously the Director of Almaworks — Columbia’s student-run accelerator, where she organized mentorship and resources for over 40 startups. She’s interested in understanding the intersection of social justice and technology, creating environments of innovation, and promoting diversity and representation in entrepreneurship. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and playing with her maltese-poodle, Charly.

Courtney Andrews

Courtney is a first-year MBA Candidate at Columbia Business School where she is focused on entrepreneurship, product, and venture capital initiatives. She is currently working on building a venture and serves as an InSITE fellow, a highly competitive leadership development program for graduate students interested in technology.

Courtney is passionate about developing products that optimize consumer experiences. She is also deeply invested in empowering young women through education with a focus on exposing minority women to technology-centered professions.

Mario Ruiz

Mario is a first-year MBA Candidate at the Yale School of Management, where he is a Research Associate for the Yale Program on Entrepreneurship. Prior to attending Yale, Mario was a growth equity and real assets investor at Napier Park Global Capital, and an investment banking Analyst to Associate promote at Barclays where he focused on financial services M&A.
In his personal life, he is an advocate for promoting equality amongst underrepresented groups as the Co-chair of the Junior Leadership Board at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a non-profit focused on providing educational and career opportunities to students in underrepresented and underserved communities. Fun fact about Mario: when he was in high school (circa 2002), he re-sold Nike sneakers which financed his entire undergraduate education.

Karthik Menta

Karthik is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund and currently pursuing his MBA at Cornell Johnson, where he is the Head of Venture Capital at ALPHA, Head of Advisory at Cornell Blockchain and a Big Red Venture Fellow. Prior to Johnson, Karthik was a consultant at Accenture Federal Services taking on a slew of different roles for a variety of leadership level clients and in his spare time helped scale a home delivered personal chef service (WeCook). And before that, he was a bioengineering undergrad at University of Maryland and played in a PGA Champions Tour Tournament: Wal-Mart First Tee Open. When he isn’t running around Ithaca, he enjoys playing golf and boardgames, figuring out how to cook indian food, and listening to electroswing and ukranian rap.

Philadelphia

Shawn Xu

Shawn Xu is a first year MBA/MA International Studies dual degree candidate at the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to graduate school, Shawn took point on international expansion at Square. As an operator, he has led product launches across Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Outside of school, Shawn serves as a technology policy advisor to former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in his gubernatorial campaign for Governor of California, and co-leads his subcomittee on the Future of Work & Talent. In his off time, Shawn can be found traveling off the beaten path. In one of his wilder recent trips, he joined a Silicon Valley delegation to meet with entrepreneurs in North Korea. Shawn is a Silicon Valley native and grew up a few blocks from where Jobs and Wozniak built the first Apple computer.

Adele Li

Adele is a sophomore at UPenn in the Jerome Fisher M&T Program studying Computer Science, Finance, and Real Estate, originally from the Bay Area. She’s passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and women engineers as the current Director of PennApps. Prior to DRF, she worked in analytics at Katerra, a tech construction firm, as well as at Paxion Capital and Mayfield Fund. Adele enjoys conducting research on behavioral science and is always looking for book suggestions. You can always find her seeking the best new restaurants on Yelp, skiing in Tahoe, or jamming to jazz music.

Matthew Mizbani

Matt is originally from upstate New York and is a junior at Wharton studying finance with a minor in computer science. He’s passionate about building scalable communities and fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration. Matt spent his previous summer working on product and marketing at Plank, a company building a collaborative mobile-first notepad. On campus, Matt leads The Collctve, a 100-person group of creative thinkers and doers. He also takes point on sponsorships for TEDxPenn and is a member of his class board. In his free time, Matt loves exploring new coffee shops, taking photos of unfamiliar faces, and exploring emerging technologies.

Platform

Alicia Yi-Ting Tsai

Alicia is the Lead Data Scientist at Dorm Room Fund. She is currently a graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology majoring in Analytics. Prior to her graduate study, she was an Associate at Cherubic Ventures, where she worked closely with entrepreneurs in Asia and US. Passionate about data science, she founded Women in Data Science Taipei in her hometown, Taiwan, and worked as a researcher in the CS department at National Taiwan University. In her spare time, she loves to dance, especially contemporary and jazz.

Zachary Liu

Zach is the Lead Engineer at Dorm Room Fund. He is currently a senior at Princeton majoring in Computer Science with a certificate in Statistics and Machine Learning. On campus, he previously was a co-director of HackPrinceton, Princeton’s largest student hackathon, where he also led sponsorship and dev efforts. In past years, he worked on engineering at Instagram, Airbnb, and Square, helping to build and launch new products. In his spare time, he loves traveling to explore new foods and cultures.

Albert Dong

Albert is currently a junior at Brown studying CS and joined DRF this year as Head of Design. Previously, he hopped around a few different startups in a variety of roles while exploring what he wanted to do. These adventures including digital nomad designing at Super, a small startup studio, and marketing at the Profound Aesthetic, a streetwear fashion brand. When he’s not pretending to be a RISD student, he’s customizing his clothes or creating mood-boards from offhand comments he hears.

Want to learn more about student entrepreneurship?

Check out our 5 year report to learn more about what students are capable of building, and follow us on Twitter to flood your timeline with incredible student founders.

Built by students and powered by @FirstRound, we provide our founders with access to strong investors, mentors, and a check. Email: info@dormroomfund.com.