We have cultivated a team of experienced industry luminaries as advisors and personal partners to help you succeed.
We have an active Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) program.
EIRs collaborate closely with our team while they are planning their next big thing.
Our investors have $80 billion of assets under management,and consist of corporate pensions, charitable foundations, educational endowments, and philanthropic offices.
Their noble causes motivate us.
The Clear Technology Partners are some of our closest mentors
and personal relationships.
This exceptional group of experts provides access to
customers, talent, and insights on scaling.
Clear is a tightly knit group of product people and startup folks.
Together we work hard, play hard, and laugh often.
We hustle to earn the right to receive the first call
and push when we see potential.
We are thrilled to introduce the Clear Ventures Deeptech Fellows.
This Fellowship is an exciting six-month experience built to connect high-performing PhD Candidates and post-docs to like-minded, aspiring company builders at the top universities and technology companies in Silicon Valley.
Clear has developed a purpose built Council of C-Suite technology executives to bring seasoned leaders and their perspectives to Clear portfolio companies as another means of ensuring their success.
CxO Council members will offer feedback on business models and go-to-market strategies, and provide meaningful introductions in key operational and marketing areas to Clear portfolio companies.
Rajeev Madhavan is a Co Founder and Partner of Clear, where he focuses on early stage technology investments.
Rajeev brings operational skills from founding, building and running (as CEO) two highly successful companies. He has the uncanny ability to deeply understand what entrepreneurs are trying to do, and to steer them onto a successful path. He has been a venture investor in over 35 companies.
Rajeev’s notable exits include Toast (IPO), Reflektion (Sitecore), Robin ( Rakuten), Apigee (IPO), YuMe (IPO), Virident (acquired), Magma (IPO), Groupon (IPO), VxTel (acquired), LogicVision (IPO) and Ambit (acquired).
Prior to founding Clear in 2014, Rajeev founded three successful startups. The most recent, Magma Design Automation, became the 4th largest Electronic Design Automation company in the world under his leadership.
Rajeev served as Magma’s Chairman and CEO from when he co-founded the company in 1997 through its acquisition by Synopsys in February 2012 for $580 million. Magma was listed on Nasdaq in 2001 and was ranked as the 2nd fastest growing Technology Company in 2005 by Forbes. Magma provided core infrastructure software to mobile pioneers such as Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung, which was used to design the core processors at the heart of the smartphone era.
Prior to founding Magma, Rajeev co-founded and served as President and CEO of Ambit Design Systems, which was acquired by Cadence in 1998 for $280 million. Rajeev also co-founded and served as Director of Engineering of LogicVision, Inc. (IPO). Rajeev is a recipient of the Red Herring Top Innovator award, the lifetime achievement award at NITK, India and various other awards.
Rajeev earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication from KREC, Surathkal, India, and an M.S.E.E from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada.
When Rajeev is not working he can be found with his wife and two children, trail running, tending to his rose gardens, or holding court with technologists figuring out what comes next.
Founder, General Partner
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO
Co-Founder, President and CEO
Co-Founder, Director of Engineering
Chris Rust is Co Founder and Partner of Clear, where he focuses on early stage technology investments. Chris’s operational specialties are recruiting, product marketing, business development, follow-on fund raising, and scaling. He has been the lead investor in over 35 companies.
Prior to founding Clear in 2014 Chris spent 14 years as an early stage technology investor with exceptional mentors at Sequoia Capital and USVP. He also spent 12 years in operating roles as a development engineer, network architect, and product manager.
Chris was a co-founder and Lead Architect of broadband access pioneer Roadrunner, now known as Time Warner Cable Internet. Roadrunner grew to 14 million subscribers, over $4 Billion in 2015 revenue, and is the key driver of Charter Communication’s $56.7 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
Chris also held engineering and product management roles in Carrier Access (IPO CACS) and ComCore (acquired by National Semiconductor), US WEST Advanced Technologies and MITRE Corporation. He has been an invited speaker at over 100 industry conferences on topics related to emerging technology and building great companies.
A life-long learner, Chris earned a B.S.E.E. with distinction as a Massachusetts Board of Regents Honor Scholar and an M.S.E.E from the University of Lowell, an M.S. Telecommunications Engineering and an M.E. Engineering Management from the University of Colorado, Boulder. While at the University of Lowell he was the recipient of the President’s Medal.
When Chris is not working he can be found with his wife and three children, doing outdoor sports (i.e. mountain biking and skiing) with friends, cooking, or reading.
Founder, General Partner
Co-Founder, Lead Architect
Sr. Dir. PLM
Broadband Network Architect
Member of Technical Staff
Vijay Reddy is a Partner at Clear Ventures, where he focuses on early stage technology investments in AI + X”, or AI applied to a specific industry or function. Prior to joining Clear Ventures, Vijay Reddy was Partner at Intel Capital where he has been an early backer of leading AI and DeepTech companies including 4 unicorns and 2 IPOS that have raised in excess of $3.5B of capital and are currently valued in excess of $20B.
Some of Vijay Reddy’s notable deals at Intel Capital included Sambanova, DataRobot, Lilt, Joby (Nasdaq: Joby), Aeye (Nasdaq: LIDR), Hypersonix, KatanaGraph, Landing.ai, BabbleLabs (Acquired by Cisco), Matroid, Avaamo, Opaque, Inferencio and Common Sense Machines.
He began his career as an entrepreneur after dropping out of the PhD program to co-found his first startup. He also has held several senior Business Development and Product Development roles in the communications, software, and semiconductor industries. He takes a founder-first approach while being actively involved with the startup community as a mentor and advisor. A Kauffman Fellow, Vijay received his MBA from Chicago Booth (Finance and Entrepreneurship) and has a BS & MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering with top honors.
Investor: AI Platforms and Applications
Noor began her engineering career at Tandem Computers and later worked at Retix and US Robotics where she gained operational experience spanning R&D, product development and customer support. She went on to work on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch, helping technology companies with their IPO and M&A.
Later she moved to investing in public technology and life science companies. Noor was a Portfolio Manager at Matthews International, where she co-managed the Small Companies Asia Fund, as well as the India Fund, with assets of $200 million and $500 million, respectively. Prior to that, she had managed the Global Science and Technology Fund at Wasatch Advisors with assets of $200 million. During her tenure managing the Global Science and Technology Fund, it was in the top quartile for 7 out of the 9 quarters. The Small Companies Fund had a return of 68% from its launch until her departure vs the MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Small Cap Index return of 53%.
Most recently, Noor was Vice President of Corporate Development at Meetyl, a fintech startup in San Francisco and worked at Stanford University, managing a $300M budget for the GSB.
Noor received her BS degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
When Noor is not working, she enjoys swimming, traveling, and cooking new recipes.
Somnath has decades of experience in building AI/ML-based products at various organizations. Prior to Clear, he helped build Pinterest shopping grounds up. His team was responsible for Pinterest shopping discovery which includes product search, recommendation, and personalization across Pinterest. Under his leadership, shoppers at Pinterest grew from 1% to 30% and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue. Before joining Pinterest, Somnath spent more than seven years at Walmart Labs. There he helped set up the Walmart Labs in Bangalore, led various data science organizations, and modernized the Walmart.com search tech stack by applying AI/ML. At Google, he was the founding member of the WebP team which has become a widely-used image format on the internet.
Somnath holds a Ph.D. in machine learning and information retrieval from BITS Pilani and a Master’s degree in computer science from IIT Kharagpur. He has published papers in top-tier conferences, such as SIGIR and WWW, and has given invited talks on e-commerce search and recommendation.
Zach Poley is Chief Technology Officer at Clear, where he focuses on developing tools and technology that help Clear and our portfolio companies succeed by using data to drive increased access to talent, customers, and follow-on financing.
Zach’s operational expertise is building information technology and data systems from the ground up, including cloud native infrastructure, data science and machine learning algorithms and pipelines, and web servers and client facing products.
Prior to joining Clear in 2020 Zach spent 15 years building software with startups and large companies.
Zach co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer at Paysa where he built a platform to help job seekers optimize their careers. He also led teams in engineering and product management roles at Walmart Labs where he helped develop Walmart’s first personalized digital to physical Marketing and Advertising Platform, WMX.
Zach earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and has continued to learn all he can about computers, technology and building strong engineering teams ever since.
When Zach is not working he can be found with his wife and dog, working on various projects, reading, or enjoying the outdoors.
Khalig takes the lead on new founder sourcing and deal origination. Khalig also works directly with Clear Portfolio companies to help them with all aspects of operational performance and efficiency. He succeeds by using proprietary Clear tools to drive increased access to talent, customers, and follow-on financing. He represents CLEAR at Demo Day events, and runs the Venture Fellows and CLEAR MBA internship programs
Most recently Khalig worked on the Foreign Direct Investment team for the Northern Irish Government, facilitating investment relationships between FTN 500 technology companies and the UK, with the end goal of helping Silicon Valley-based tech companies expand into new global markets.
He has experience working in Venture Capital from his time at Ignite XL Ventures, a global seed fund and incubator dedicated to advancing companies at the intersection of technology, beauty, and wellness. He has a background both working with and for startups and is incredibly passionate about the entrepreneurial journey.
Khalig received a BA degree in Global Commerce and Data Analytics from Denison University in Granville, Ohio where he was a member of the Varsity Lacrosse team and a Crown Fellow.
In his free time, Khalig coaches youth Lacrosse in Menlo Park, competes in Squash and Tennis, and enjoys Biking, Hiking, and the natural beauty of the Bay Area.
With over 25 years of experience in professional office executive assistant positions in the EDA Industry and a track record of strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments, Tina skillfully manages administrative duties and client relations for her colleagues at Clear.
As Executive Assistant and Office Manager, she ensures the smooth operation of the firm with her efficient handling of client inquiries, consultations, and timely access to partners as required. Tina is inspired daily by her two adult children. Tina likes to run, hike, bike and travel. Tina volunteers her time at Mary Help of Christians in outreach to the homeless.
Matt has an entrepreneurial spirit and started his first business in high school repairing video game consoles and mobile phones. He continued this small side hustle into his Mechanical Engineering studies at UC Berkeley where he discovered the power of coding and decided to pursue a career in software engineering.
While learning the basics of web development, he met an industry veteran specializing in lead generation and SEO who he would go on to start a new venture with. They worked together to build Business Optimizer, a digital agency providing small businesses with tools and technologies to generate more leads online.
In 2019, Matt’s software engineering skillset was sharpened at YC-backed coding boot camp BloomTech (formerly Lambda School). Before joining Clear Ventures, he developed software for real estate investors and became versed in the world of private money lending.
As a lifelong learner, Matt is always exploring new areas of interest and expanding his knowledge. When he’s not working or studying, he enjoys swimming, snowboarding, solving puzzles, and DIY projects.
Rusty has over 20 years of experience leading technical teams, and delivering and supporting SaaS offerings. He last served as the CIO at Signify Health and has held senior-level roles across Customer Success, Infrastructure, and Engineering at numerous FTN 1000 businesses.
Doug is a senior leader and Technical Fellow for Microsoft’s Azure Hardware Systems. In that role, he leads a team responsible for designing and deploying new hardware architectures and systems for both Microsoft’s cloud and edge computers that connect to Azure cloud, including but not limited to AI systems. Doug has experience building elite technical teams with a strong ethos of respect, camaraderie, diverse perspectives and empowerment.
Drew is an experienced information technology & security executive and the current Chief Information Officer & Chief Information Security Officer at Secureframe. Drew has over two decades of experience working at Druva, Qubole, Microsoft, Oracle, and Netsuite. He has provided leadership for a number of industries and verticals. Drew is also an angel investor, independent board member, advisor to companies on funding, GTM, networking and security to help them get off the ground successfully.
Sumit Johar is a seasoned executive with 20+ years of IT industry experience, including 15 years working in the automation space. Prior to being named CIO at Automation Anywhere, Sumit was the CIO at MobileIron, where he led their 5-year digital transformation journey after the company went public.
Aysha is an accomplished cybersecurity leader with over 21 years of experience managing Information Technology & Security at Fortune 500 companies. She is passionate about driving business results by aligning strategy with agile execution. She has experience in building technology, security, and compliance functions from the ground up and turning around disjointed organizations into cohesive and collaborative environments. Aysha has held security leadership positions at Oracle, Symantec, BMO Financial, and most recently Treasure Data.
Jeremy is the Global Head of Information Security and Compliance at AppLovin. He has led multiple digital transformations and has over 20 years of success leading cybersecurity, data privacy and risk management programs for large, multi-national organizations and Fortune 500 companies including Bank of America, Capital One and Visa.
Howard is a senior IT leader with expertise in the design, development, and deployment of technology strategy and policy. He has experience building relationships with business partners, enhancing client services and providing innovative business solutions. Howard has a track record of achieving success in organizational development and building business processes from scratch. Howard last served as the CIO and CISO at the Columbia Business School.
KT Moore is a seasoned executive with Fortune 500 and pre-IPO startup experience, P&L responsibilities, and strong product growth expertise. He is Currently the Vice President, of Corporate Marketing at Cadence, KT is a forward-thinking and results-oriented leader with extensive experience advising and executing in both technical and strategic areas in the high tech industry. KT has successfully grown newly established business units and product portfolios from conceptualization to go-to-market, fueling business growth and profitability. He has a proven track record establishing and leading international, cross-functional teams focused on marketing, sales management, and business development.
Adam is a 20+ year veteran of the Information Security industry currently serving as the Deputy CISO at Stripe. Healso served as the Interim CISO, and as a staff engineer. Adam completed his Ph.D. as a NSF Graduate Research
Brad is the FMR CIO at Tenable. He has more than 15 years of security experience, with previous management positions at Cisco and Sourcefire. Brad has a master’s degree in technology management from the University of Maryland University College.
Brad is the VP and CISO at Paychex. He has held security positions at Paylocity, Midland States Bank, Midwest Bank, Zurich Financial Services, Experian, and Arthur Andersen LLP. Brad holds an MBA, JD and an LLM in information technology and privacy law. Bradley has served as a director on several corporate and non-profit boards, and healthcare industries as a freelance consultant.
Andrew is an experienced academic hospitalist and physician leader with board certification in informatics. A teacher and practitioner of quality improvement and an accomplished researcher on patient safety and communication after medical harm. Andrew is the Assistant CMIO at UW Medicine. He received a BA from Princeton in Molecular Biology and an MD from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.
Chris is a 2nd-year PhD student in Computer Science at Stanford University advised by Jeannette Bohg and Marco Pavone. He is a member of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Center for Research on Foundation Models, and works jointly with the Interactive Perception and Robot Learning Lab and the Autonomous Systems Lab.
His research investigates how robots can feasibly and efficiently plan for any task through learning.
Neil is a Ph.D. Candidate at Stanford University in Computer Security, Privacy, and Public Policy advised by Dan Boneh.
Neil received a Bachelor’s Degree with a triple major in Computer Science, Economics, and Applied Mathematics (Cryptography) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison along with honors in Liberal Arts. He has held internships for Netflix and the Wisconsin State Assembly. Neil is a SETR Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Sanket is a Computer Science Ph.D. student at Stanford University. He works at the Medical AI and Computer Vision Lab (MARVL) led by Prof. Serena Yeung. His current research is focused on using Computer Vision and Deep Learning for cellular imaging to study the impact of neurodegenerative and viral diseases on the molecular machinery of the cell. His previous research spanned multiple domains including Computational Genomics, Proteomics, and Parallel Computing.
His primary focus is the development of label-efficient Computer Vision methods for high-resolution 3D data. He leverages approaches from self-supervised and semi-supervised learning, active learning, and domain adaptation to build robust models which generalize well, even across noisy datasets and domain shifts.
Nick began his career at TE Connectivity, developing
advanced sensing technology for consumer devices to
autonomous vehicles. As a product manager, he saw
firsthand how digital and physical technologies collided
to evolve industrial operations and business models.
Nick went on o join an early-stage industrial AI startup,
Aitomatic, to help lead enterprise sales and business
development. Before TE, Nick received his B.S. in MechE
from the University of Maryland.
Kabir entered college at age 13 through the Early Entrance Program at
Cal State LA. Since then, he has been working on research in the field of
machine learning both in industry and academia. Some highlights
include his work with Apple, CSULA’s Data Science Research Lab, the
ADALab at UCSD, and SVCL at UCSD.
Kabir has been the recipient of numerous awards including UCSD
Excellence in Research Award, CRA Outstanding Undergraduate
Researcher Honorable Mention, Jacobs School of Engineering
Fellowship, and the Halicioglu Data Science Institute Fellowship. Kabir
was a contributor to Siri’s invocation systems. Most recently Kabir
worked on the Machine Learning platform team at Netflix.
Tathagat is Masters student in CS at Stanford University specializing
in Artificial Intelligence. Prior to that he completed his Bachelors in
CSE at IIT Bombay.
Tathagat is deeply passionate about startups and making ubiquitous
products leveraging AI to solve real world problems. He has a
background in AI through publications and projects in domains like
deep generative models, medical image processing and NLP.
Tathagat has held internships at Microsoft, and Coupa.
Ashwin specializes in applications of AI in the construction
industry and has also worked on a number of special projects
alongside McKinsey & Co. and the World Economic Forum. Ashwin
is a researcher at SAIL under the tutelage of Andrew Ng. He
attended IIT Bombay and received a B Tech in Civil Engineering.
Jian holds a Bachelors of Technology in Electrical Engineering
from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He is currently
completing his master’s degree in Computer Science with a
specialization in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University. Jian
works in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory researching
tractable inference in multi-agent reinforcement learning,
imitation learning, and experimental design.
Nikhil holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science
from Stanford University and is currently finishing up his
Masters of Science in Computer Science at Stanford. Nikhil is
a researcher in Stanford Medical AI and Computer Vision Lab.
Where he worked alongside Leonidas Guibas and Prof.
Serena Yeung. He is currently a Computer Vision Intern at
Matroid, Inc. Nikhil is interested in machine learning
research, software development, and computer science
Anthony is currently working towards his Bachelors of Science
and Masters of Science in Engineering at UPenn.Anthony plays
on their division one football team and does research on
optimization frameworks for quantum compilers and processors.
Anthony has held internships at Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and
Sundar is a 4th year PhD student in the Computer Science
department at Stanford University. He has been a Research Intern
and later on a part-time Student Researcher in the Network
Infrastructure team at Google Cloud. Prior to starting his PhD he
spent a couple of years as a Research Fellow at Microsoft Research
India working with Dr. Venkat Padmanabhan on the automated
debugging of wide-area network (WAN) degradations in the
context of Internet-scale “always online” services.
Samarth holds a Bachelors of Technology in Computer
Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi as well
as a Masters of Science in Computer Science from the
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. During his time at
the University of Illinois he worked as a graduate teaching
assistant. In addition, he worked as an applied research
scientist intern at Meta. Samarth is currently in a full time
software engineer position at Glean.
Qasim holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering
from Virginia Tech. Qasim has held internships at Infinitus
Systems, and Qualcomm where he worked on chip
optimization using graph based deep learning. At present
Qasim is now a Machine Learning engineer at Path AI. Qasim
is deeply interested in early stage startups.
Lee holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and a
Masters of Science in Management Science and Engineering from
Stanford University. During her time at Stanford, she was a
teaching fellow and held internships at New York City Cyber
Command, Intuit, and The University of Hong Kong. Lee is
currently a growth manager at Rippling. Formerly she was a
project manager for Women in SpaceIL at the Parasol Foundation
Trust. In her role, she managed collaboration to create a $500k
project increasing female participation in Space and Aeronautics.
Hari is wrapping up his PhD in Computer Science at Cal
Berkeley. Hari has research expertise in generative AI, deep
learning, computer vision, transfer learning, time-series
modeling, IoT, and smart buildings. Hari holds a Bachelors of
Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of
Technology, Kharagpur. Hari has held internships at ByteDance,
Amazon, and Airbus. Hari was a MTS at Mentor Graphics.
Gautam received his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. After the
completion of his bachelor’s, he went on to pursue a Masters of
Science in Computer Science at Stanford University. Gautam is
currently a researcher in Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence
Laboratory. During undergrad he was a researcher in the Berkley
RISE lab. Gautam has held internship positions at Tesla and
Building an end-to-end continuous security company for ML Models. Researched 3D Shape representation and generation under Olodapo Afulani and Shankar Sastry at BAIR. Worked with Nicholas Carlini on a research project involving evaluation of adversarial example detectors at Google. Published at ICLR 2022. Berkeley M.E.T.
Alberto is a from Puebla MX, grew up in North Carolina. Fluent in Spanish + Portuguese. Interested in Venture, particularly the intersection of ML and Life Sciences (Therapeutics). He is working with CLEAR this fall as an Post-MBA Intern.
Stanford PhD, advised by Chelsea Finn. Focused on NLP and ML. Member of BAIR lab during undergrad program at Cal Berkeley advised by Sergey Levin and Dan Klein.
Stanford Postdoc ML Researcher interested in Generative Models and Time Series, Advised by Percy Liang. University of Washington PhD & Ms in CS.
Soumya is working on his PhD at Stanford. He is a member of the Kundaje Lab, his research focuses on the genetic and molecular basis of neurodegenerative /psychiatric disorders.
Walmart Labs reporting group, working in Big Data. Stanford MSCS with AI Concentration. Explainable AI at Lenovo – using language models to classify customer support cases. Interested in AI, Big Data and Web3. Talented musician!
Working at Google AI as a Research Scientist. Stanford PhD focused on NLP and Health Care Applications. Advised by Chris Re on some projects related to Non-Euclidean Machine Learning. Worked on RoBerta while at FAIR, Xuedong Huang’s team at MSFT.
Former member of the Stanford Open Virtual Assistant Lab, worked under Monica Lam on Genie, OSS privacy preserving virtual assistant platform. SWE specializing in ML/NLP. Stanford PhD. ML Researcher at Bardeen.
Okan works in the research group led by Professor Amin Arbabian in the EECS department at Stanford University. His work covers circuit and system design for biomedical, sensing, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Okan is working at the intersection of ML/Sensors/Robotics. Stanford PhD. From Turkish Capital Ankara.
Currently a Stanford Post-doc researcher in the ILIAD lab. Research interest lies at the intersection of ML and Human-Robot Interaction. FAIR AI Resident.
Mbogo has aspirations to be a company builder. University of Michigan BE, CS. 3x Varsity Letter Winner in Lacrosse. SWE at Sofi and Sleek. Interesting intersection of CS and Sales Experience + Finance.
Infrastructure Engineer at Stripe. Investor at Contrary Capital, Kleiner Perkins Engineering Fellow.
JPM Chase. First Generation College Student, finished AA degree before graduating HS. MS in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon. BS in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Meet Asim. 👋
Asim Hirji, one of our DeepTech Fellows, has been part of a successful exit as a Founding Engineer and may have his own start-up in the works.
“There were always ups and downs when getting started on AccessBell. It was like raising a baby,” Asim says of his first start-up experience. Asim assisted in building their B2B integrated video software – a solution built to bolster telemedicine and remote healthcare services. Having a front row seat from beginning to exit at this successful start-up inspired entrepreneurship in Asim. “I’m more ingrained in entrepreneurship now. I used to be very corporate and software focused. For now, I am maintaining strong relationships in Silicon Valley and will see where it takes me.”
Asim just finished his Masters in Computer Science at Georgia Tech and has an impressive engineering resume.
CLEAR Fellowship Reflection
“I’ve been able to talk through strategy, get help reaching out to firms for fundraising, and gain access to a supportive group through this Fellowship. It’s been very eye-opening looking at DeepTech through the VC lens versus the engineer or founder perspective.”
Advice from Asim
“You’ll hear no a lot more than you’ll hear yes. Don’t get let down by that.”
Meet Jiaming. 👋
Jiaming Song’s interest in DeepTech was sparked by a Machine Learning advisor at Duke who introduced him to ML research opportunities. Now Jiaming is an ML/AI research scientist at NVIDIA, has a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford, and is part of our CLEAR Ventures DeepTech Fellowship.
Jiaming has over 45 publications under his belt and has experience in various ML/AI research projects – from positions at Microsoft Asia, Facebook, Duke, and postdoctoral at Stanford.
The DeepTech topics that Fellows are presenting to the group, such as AI safety, have inspired new research ideas for Jiaming. “At NVIDIA, I have a lot more resources at my disposal to execute research, think of experiments, and actually implement those ideas.”
CLEAR Fellowship Reflection
While Jiaming has clear expertise in ML/AI research, he wanted to learn more about what was happening in DeepTech outside of his research area. “This diverse network of Fellows has opened me up to VCs, and startups, and made me think about my career development long-term.”
Advice from Jiaming
“Get your hands dirty. Hands-on experience is invaluable.”
Meet Sunwoo. 👋
Sunwoo Lee has been busy in her Co-Founder role at Cromatic while participating in the CLEAR Ventures DeepTech Fellowship. Sunwoo has recently announced that Cromatic raised $1M in their pre-seed round (congratulations!).
Prior to founding Cromatic, Sunwoo had internships at two early-stage B2B startups while pursuing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at Stanford. “I enjoy the early startup space because of how much impact you can have on the company, the product, the branding, etc. My voice matters when I’m on a small startup team and that matters to me.” During her senior year, she had her first co-founder experience, and while this startup didn’t stick it taught her the thrill and pace of the startup space and what it took to be a founder.
Sunwoo and a Stanford PhD friend came together to start Cromatic three months ago and soon after convinced another classmate to serve as their CTO. “All of our backgrounds blended nicely to make this solution. The problem we are trying to solve deserved each of our expertise – in bio, AI, and SaaS.” Cromatic’s mission is to make meaningful research possible without physical labs. “With the virtualization of life-sciences research, outsourcing R&D has become more important than ever. But innovation in the space has been slow—scientists still face significant challenges finding and working with outsourcing partners that detract from the science.”
CLEAR Fellowship Reflection
“Chris Rust’s seminar to the Fellows about hiring and recruiting couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. It was exactly what I needed because we were hiring at Cromatic. He gave great advice and insights about hiring the right talent to help your startup grow.”
Advice from Sunwoo
“The team is always going to be stronger than the individual so you need to find the right co-founder, the right team, and unlock everyone’s potential. They are going to be the reason you are excited and inspired to work hard.”
Meet Aman. 👋
Aman Kishore always asks himself “how much impact can I make?” and that question has guided his work on Autonomous Vehicles at NVIDIA to launching his start-up Mirage. We are glad to have Aman in our inaugural CLEAR Ventures DeepTech Fellowship.
Aman saw his work on Autonomous Vehicle Perception at NVIDIA as a chance to save hundreds of thousands of human lives each year. Aman helped grow the synthetic data NVIDIA team from 3 to 8 people to help improve AV. But he couldn’t ignore the severe limitations he was witnessing with the computer vision data pipeline.
He saw the bottleneck that perception engineers were constantly facing because of the time it takes to make real progress on computer vision applications. “If the quality of the data isn’t high, the model will not improve. It’s a huge challenge to fill in failures and edge cases to improve models.” Aman wanted to solve this problem to move the industry forward faster. *Enter Mirage.*
Aman’s main vision with Mirage is to accelerate the development of groundbreaking technologies by speeding up the data pipeline. The platform supplements weak points in synthetic data automatically so months of effort from an engineer is virtually removed. “The direct impact is that robotics, autonomous vehicles, AR, VR, drones, and other technologies can actually come to market. It feels like no end is in sight for these technologies because iterations are so slow. With Mirage, you can accelerate these applications.”
From the CLEAR team, congratulations on launching Mirage!
CLEAR Fellowship Reflection
“This Fellowship reinforces entrepreneurship. Being a first time founder is challenging because there’s so much you don’t know. You have to jump off the cliff. This didn’t feel so daunting because CLEAR is DeepTech focused so they can provide hands-on help with what I’m building and working on. And the introductions to other founders and VCs have been extremely valuable.”
Advice from Aman
“Be shameless in your networking. Meet as many people as possible and help others because you never know what help you’ll need in the future.”
Meet Daniel. 👋
Daniel Bashir is an integral part of our inaugural CLEAR Ventures DeepTech Fellowship. He brings a unique perspective to our program from his research at Harvey Mudd in applied Deep Learning, internship as an Applied Scientist at Amazon & current role as an ML Engineer at a Stealth Startup.
While research and technical work are part of Daniel’s typical day-to-day life, the social impact and ethics of AI interest him too. Daniel has the opportunity to explore these subjects through his role as an Editor at The Gradient where he interviews AI researchers and practitioners on topics such as common sense, moral reasoning, and consciousness in AI.
In addition to exploring ethical and responsible AI, Daniel is enjoying his first experience as an operator at a leading Startup in the Valley. “There are really no boundaries when you are at a startup. Your days always look different and you’re encouraged to jump around teams and projects to keep things moving forward. This environment might not be for everyone, but I’ve loved getting to learn by working on projects that I would not have been able to otherwise.”
CLEAR Fellowship Reflection
Daniel has always been interested in startups and entrepreneurship as a way to make an impact in DeepTech. “This Fellowship has been a great way to expose myself to startups, see what it looks like to be a founder, and learn more about the VC industry.”
Advice from Daniel
“Be flexible, adaptable, and willing to go out into the world, try things, and figure out what works for you.”
Meet Nkechi. 👋
Nkechi Iregbulem is an early stage investor at 24VC with an impressive portfolio of companies such as Resourcely, Kasheesh, and 15+ others. We’ve enjoyed bringing Nkechi into the DeepTech space from her Fintech background in the CLEAR Ventures Fellowship.
While Nkechi has always been deeply immersed in Fintech, the explosion of Web3 sparked her interest in the DeepTech space. From an investor perspective, she’s learned through the Fellowship that it takes a long time to get ML into production so companies that accelerate the productivity of ML models are very compelling to her. “This has opened the doors for me to invest more into DeepTech.”
CLEAR Fellowship Reflection
“I’ve used this opportunity to learn about topics such as AI and ML that I didn’t have much familiarity with. If I wanted to invest in DeepTech, I now know what questions to ask founders. It’s so important to be knowledgeable, ask the right questions, and not take everything that founders say at face value in order to make smart investments.”
Advice from Nkechi
“Be open to learning and be a student of life.”
Meet Kevin. 👋
Kevin Lu has had a fascination with AI since high school so it’s no surprise that he now is an AI resident at Meta and is beginning his PhD studies in Robotics and Decision-Making at Stanford this fall. It has been a pleasure having Kevin in our inaugural class of DeepTech Fellows.
Kevin combines his AI knowledge with his engineering sense in his role at Meta. “There is so much creation in this field. It excites me how much we can accomplish with DeepLearning.”
Come fall, Kevin commences his PhD studies and is excited to explore DeepLearning topics and ideas (with freedom and depth!). “This is going to be a great opportunity to learn new things and work more long-term on projects.”
CLEAR Fellowship Reflection
“The CLEAR Fellowship is teaching me to be prepared for opportunities and capitalize on them. It’s been a pleasure meeting like-minded people and getting an inside look at Venture Capital.”
Advice from Kevin
“There are so many resources out there now. If you’re interested in the AI space, this is a great time to self-study online to get a foot in the door. I self-studied code and the basics of AI in high school and was able to improve on these skills with formal education and research mentors.”
Hi, my name is Charles, I’m currently a first-year MBA student at Chicago Booth and originally from the Bay Area. I attended the University of Michigan where I studied Computer Science and Mathematics. Prior to Booth, I was a Forward Deployed Software Engineer at Palantir Technologies based in Palo Alto, CA. I worked as Technical Lead under our Business Development umbrella on Palantir’s deployment projects for US and international commercial clients. I worked with client businesses in energy, cyber & physical security, transportation, consulting, manufacturing, and telecommunication.
I’ve been interning with Clear Ventures since the start of 2022. I am focused on our open source and AI+X investment portfolio, and perform research and portfolio services work.
In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, running, and learning about new products and technologies.
Hi, my name is Srishti and I’m a first year MBA student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to Booth, I was working as a data scientist at Spotify. I’m very excited about applications of AI in the future of work and Web 3.0. Looking forward to meeting you all!
I’m a first-year MBA student at Chicago Booth who calls Singapore and New York home. I currently work as a product manager at a seed-funded networking platform bringing professional communities together. Prior to Booth, I worked in portfolio management at BlackRock in New York and a biotech VC in Palo Alto. In my free time, I enjoy painting, darkroom photo developing, and running.
I’m currently leading the largest annual technology conference at Booth (TechCon), with a focus on web3 and responsible AI for this year’s TechCon. Having been a classically trained painter, I am also very interested in AI’s applications in art and how NFT could be used to empower artists and democratize the art industry. Looking forward to meeting everyone!
Hi Everyone! I’m Jay, currently based out of Los Angeles but originally from Princeton, New Jersey. I graduated from UCLA three years ago and have since been working at FTI Consulting, focused on Media & Entertainment M&A Advisory. My specific interest in venture capital and entrepreneurship arose during my data analytics-related projects at work. At FTI, I built several data processing products and data warehousing mechanisms to enhance internal efficiency. Eventually, I had the experience of successfully pitching and selling these products to clients, which was thoroughly fulfilling. My particular interests for future projects center around the intersection of web3 and media platforms. My non-professional interests include sci-fi/fantasy, playing guitar, investing, and camping.