i was born with a twin sister. raised in a new england suburb, i wondered is this it? after one trip studying abroad, i had ignited a strong desire to explore what's possible in the world.
both of my parents were software engineers who met at d.e.c., one of the first major vc funded startups in the u.s. that has led me to first ask, do i want to be an engineer or an artist?
hint: the answer is neither, as i'm too much of a generalist. i see everything as a series of projects. so each chapter will highlight a major project and show some progress that didn't make sense trying to connec the dots moving forward.
architecture school @ cornell
i chose architecture to explore problem solving in systems, and chose the campus to explore other areas of study. within 1 year, it felt like home being among curious, creative, and ambitious people, but i had a problem: i knew i didn't want to be an architect.
inspired by opportunities around, i explored design research, sustainable design build, material science, and ultimately got the startup bug early, building different products out of the design studio with friends.
i was most proud of launching and managing cornell's summer incubator, as it taught me a lot about going 0 to 1 as well as community. ironically, i didn't think starting a global high school bootcamp would follow me, but a twist of fate brings this back later.
design engineering @ harvard
if you initially told me i would be back in grad school, i would laugh as i had a burning desire to build in the real world. a unique series of programs opened up to use university ecosystems as sandboxes, and so i only applied to harvard because it was a free pass to prototype and learn across all schools.
my m.o. as a masters student was learn everything i didn't know i didn't know. the death of generalist is lack of focus, so i chose "food systems" as an informal lens for every single project, exploring agriculture metrics in central india, sustainable wild catch sourcing in new england, microbiome therapeutic research and digital healthcare. every 4 months, i had runway to decide to drop out or keep building.
from my masters thesis in digital healthcare helping new moms, i got really curious about personalized nutrition. i lost a bet with my co-founder that said we couldn't build creative algorithms in the kitchen. first success was an indian x italian fuision food maker.
getting people to eat things they didn't like, mostly whole foods and plants, in hospitality as well as understanding where health outcomes were tied to diet, we built across early childhood nutrition to help parents and exploring ways to help cancer patients get through chemo.
2 years, 8 algorithmic models, and 500+ paying customers, we decided to close the company because of visa restrictions as well as personal priorities shifting for long term time horizons.
tks director in boston, and then global virtual
overall, this is the program i wish i had as a teenager. i met the founders through their recruiting efforts to launch in boston. at first, i was skeptical that anything meaningful could be done at the high school level. after hearing their vision for the future, the program they had built, and meeting the kids (especially this), i was hooked.
i launched the first boston cohort solo in 2019, scaled it 2x for 2020, and launched our global virtual program simultaneously. the pandemic didn't affect the operations much as we were a remote team first and had great infrastructure for async and sync support for the kids.
my final year, i helped set the foundation for activate, the second year program, and am most proud of this as there is no place for ambitious young people to figure out how to build the impact they want to see across hard problems.
up next - something new.
i have moved between being a founder and a coach and am excited to build something new that supports both.
tks is what i wish i had 10 years ago, and i'm now building what i want to see in the next 10 years for ambitious builders.