Alumni Spotlight is pleased to announce The Top 100 Cornell Alumni in Technology of 2021. Stretching across a campus of thousands of acres, Cornell University has educated some of the brightest minds of today’s society in their 16 colleges and schools. The university was founded in 1865 with the goal of creating “an institution where any person can find instruction in any study,” and for this reason a wide variety of specialties are proven with this year’s awardees. From venture funds and software enterprises to companies specializing in ride sharing and video game development, awardees across all expertise are changing the world we live in today using new ideas and technologies.
Some of today’s household names like Bill Nye, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Harry Chapin and Anthony Fauci all started their mastery in the classrooms of Cornell. While Amol Deshpande will likely not ring a bell in most homes, he holds a heavy impact on 25,000+ farmers in households across 3 countries with the company he co-founded, Farmer’s Business Network. He is dedicated to helping family farmers maximize their profit potential with data and technology using a sustainable platform that redefines value and convenience. His endeavors show us what is possible when it comes to improving the lives of everyday people by using innovative expertise. It is our distinct honor to be able to recognize such an accomplished group of leaders. Please join us in celebrating the achievements of the Top 100 Cornell Alumni in Technology of 2021.
1. Hakan Bas
Hakan Bas is the Founder & CEO of Ace Games, first joining the company in 2020. Ace Games is a dedicated young team, gathered to make top-tier mobile games that are played by everyone around the world.
Previously, Bas was a senior analyst at Raymond James and before that an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has also previously founded or co-founded several other companies like Peak, SuperMassive Blaze, Lidyana.com, Bitlo.com. Bas earned an MBA from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Cornell University.
5. Doug Chertok
Doug Chertok is the Founder and General Partner of Vast Ventures. Vast Ventures is a manifesto-driven venture fund investing in disruptive companies with a global impact. They strive to improve worldwide health and happiness, promote resource sustainability for future generations and increase human potential, productivity, empathy and connectedness.
Chertok has over 17 years in the venture capital industry. He began his career in 2004. Chertok graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Finance and from New York University with a graduate degree.
11. Niraj Shah
Niraj Shah is the CEO and Co-Founder of Wayfair. Wayfair believes everyone should live in a home they love. Through technology and innovation, they make it possible for shoppers to quickly and easily find exactly what they want from a selection of more than 22 million items across home furnishings, décor, home improvement, housewares, and more. Shah has over 26 years in the retail industry. He began his career in 1995.
Before joining Wayfair, Shah was a COO at iXL and before that a CEO and Co-Founder at Spinners. Shah graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Engineering.
13. Padmasree Warrior
Padmasree Warrior is the Founder, President, and CEO of Fable, first joining the company in 2019. Fable is the modern way to discover, read, and discuss great books together with friends. They are on a mission to deliver the world’s best social experience with exceptional stories in service of mental wellness.
Previously, Warrior was a CEO at NIO and before that a Strategic Advisor at CISCO. Earlier in her career, she worked with Motorola as a Chief Technology Officer and EVP. Warrior earned an MS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
24. Raunak Nirmal
Raunak Nirmal began his professional career over 7 years ago. Today, he is the Founder and CEO of Acquco. Acquco is an institutionally-backed acquisition company, focused on FBA third-party sellers on Amazon.
Nirmal first got his start in 2014 as a Business Analyst for Marketplace at Amazon. From there, he went on to AMZLeap, before eventually rising to Founder and CEO at RefundLabs, his most recent position prior to joining Acquco. Nirmal graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Operations Research and Engineering.
25. Lisa Skeete Tatum
Lisa Skeete Tatum is the Founder and CEO of Landit. She first joined the company in 2015. Landit is the leader in personalized career pathing to increase the success and engagement of women and diverse groups in the workplace.
Previously, Tatum was a General Partner at Cardinal Partners and before that a Founder and President at STI Inc. Earlier in her career she worked with Procter & Gamble as a Purchasing Manager. Tatum earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.
30. Timothy Chi
The Knot Worldwide
Timothy Chi began his professional career over 23 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of The Knot Worldwide. The Knot Worldwide’s leading global family of brands inspire, inform and celebrate our communities as they move through life’s biggest milestones. The Knot Worldwide helps couples plan every aspect of their weddings and more through The Knot, WeddingWire, Bodas.net, WeddingWire.in, WeddingWire.co.uk, WeddingWire.ca, Matrimonio.com, Mariages.net and other brands.
Chi first got his start in 1998 as Co-Founder and Senior Director of Technology at Blackboard Inc. From there, he went on to Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at WeddingWire, his most recent position prior to joining The Knot Worldwide. Chi graduated from Tufts University with an MS in Engineering Management and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Operational Research and Industrial Engineering.
View the complete list of awardees.
34. Gabriel Otte
Gabriel Otte is a Partner of Healthcare Co-op. He first joined the company in 2019. Healthcare Co-op is a small group of healthcare technology leaders driven to fix a broken healthcare system by advising and investing in founders starting impactful companies at the earliest stage.
Previously, Otte was a CEO and Co-Founder at Freenome and before that an engineer at Glyde Corporation. Earlier in his career, he worked with OSXplanet Project as a Founder. Otte earned an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University.
38. Euwyn Poon
Euwyn Poon is the Co-Founder of Spin. Spin provides dockless electric scooters in more than 60 markets in the US, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Charlotte, and Miami. Poon has over 14 years in the software industry. He began his career in 2007.
Before joining Spin, Poon was the founder of Opzi and before that an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Poon graduated from Cornell Law School with a JD and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science.
42. Jerry Hum
Touch of Modern
Jerry Hum began his professional career over 11 years ago. Today, he is the Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Touch of Modern. Touch of Modern is a curated e-commerce experience that offers a daily discovery of the most fascinating and well-designed products in the world at the best possible price, for people who seek objects that tell a story.
Hum first got his start in 2010 as a Design Architect at Swanke Hayden Connell Architects. From there, he went on to Co-Founder at Ravn.com, his most recent position prior to joining Touch of Modern. Hum graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in architecture.
43. Yanni Hufnagel
The Lemon Perfect Company
Yanni Hufnagel is the Founder & CEO of The Lemon Perfect Company. He first joined the company in 2017. The Lemon Perfect Company provides an alternative to regular water with its zero-sugar cold pressed lemon water that is full of flavor and packed with antioxidant vitamin C.
Hufnagel earned a Master's in Education from the University of Oklahoma and an undergraduate degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
53. Michael Liess
SJL Solutions, LLC
Michael Liess is the Chief Executive Officer of SJL Solutions, LLC, providing strategic level program management and project support to commercial entities and the federal government specializing in health information technology. Liess has over 31 years in the management consulting industry. He began his career in 1990.
Before joining SJL Solutions, LLC, Liess was a Chief Executive Officer at DocuLynx Operations and before that a Chief Executive Officer at TOMRA North America, Inc. Earlier in his career he worked with Océ-USA Holding, Inc. as a Vice President of Operations. Liess graduated from the University of Rochester with an MBA and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree.
54. Vangelis Vergetis
Vangelis Vergetis began his professional career over 8 years ago. Today, he is the Executive Director of intelligencia.ai, where they use AI to de-risk drug development. Their platform focuses on estimating the risk of clinical trials and interpreting the multitude of factors that contribute to that risk.
Vergetis first got his start in 2006 as an Associate Partner of Healthcare Practice at McKinsey & Company. From there, he went on to Partner at Hakluyt, his most recent position prior to joining Intelligencia. Vergetis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Ph.D. in Electrical & Systems Engineering and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Applied Mathematics.
58. Chrissa McFarlane
Chrissa McFarlane is the Founder and CEO of Patientory, Inc. She first joined the company in 2015. Patientory is empowering people to take charge of their own health by revolutionizing the way doctors and patients interact and gain access to information, cutting out all layers and processes that currently are stumbling blocks in care coordination.
Previously, McFarlane was a Health Insurance Navigator Product Manager at Sherpaa and before that a Hospital Community Outreach Program Director at The Mental Health Association in Tompkins County. Earlier in her career, she worked with Albert Einstein College of Medicine as a laboratory researcher. McFarlane earned a MA in Business Management from Wake Forest University School of Business and an undergraduate degree in African Studies and Spanish from Cornell University.
View the complete list of awardees.
59. Shanel Fields
Shanel Fields is the Founder & CEO of MD Ally. MD Ally is a non-emergency 911 Navigation solution designed collaboratively by EMS and ER practitioners to enable mobile integrated healthcare programs and support non-emergency callers with instant access to virtual medical and behavioral health care. Fields has over 12 years in the information technology industry. She began her career in 2009
Before joining MD Ally, Fields was a Senior Manager of Enterprise - Inside Sales at athenahealth and before that a marketing consultant at In-ACT. Earlier in her career, she was part of the Executive Leadership Development Program with AT&T as a Retail Sales Manager II. Fields graduated from The Wharton School with an MBA and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree.
60. Bill Catania
Bill Catania began his professional career over 21 years ago. Today, he is the Founder & CEO of OneRail. OneRail is a final mile delivery orchestration platform providing real-time visibility, actionable data, and data-driven optimization capabilities for its enterprise clients.
Catania first got his start in 2000 as a Founder & President at RaceFan, Inc. From there, he went on to Scott Enterprises, before eventually rising to CEO at CoinFlip Solutions, his most recent position prior to joining OneRail. Catania graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Applied Economics & Management.
65. Henry Yoshida
Rocket Dollar, Inc.
Henry Yoshida is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Dollar, Inc. At Rocket Dollar, they make it easy to unlock retirement savings, so consumers are no longer trapped in traditional mutual funds. This allows these savings to be used to fund a start-up, as a small business loan, for peer-to-peer lending, buy real-estate, or invest in cryptocurrency. Yoshida has over 21 years in the financial services industry. He began his career in 2000.
Before joining Rocket Dollar, Yoshida was a Founder at Honest Dollar and (acquired by Goldman Sachs), before that a founder at MY Group (acquired by CAPTRUST). Earlier in his career, he worked with Merrill Lynch as a Vice President. Yoshida graduated from Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management with an MBA and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree.
67. Dave DuPont
Dave DuPont is the Founder of TeamSnap. He first joined the company in 2009. TeamSnap provides online services and mobile apps to sports organizations of all sizes. It is the smartest and easiest way for coaches, managers, and administrators to communicate with players and parents, and coordinate ongoing activities.
Previously, DuPont was a President and CEO at SANRAD and before that an SVP of Sales and Marketing at Plasmon. Earlier in his career, he worked with Schlumberger Overseas Ltd. as a Field Engineer and Base Manager. DuPont earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.
69. Ankur Bulsara
Ankur Bulsara began his professional career over 18 years ago. Today, he is the Co-Founder and CTO of Scopely, Inc. Scopely is a leading interactive entertainment and mobile games company. They create and publish a diverse portfolio of immersive experiences, based on original and beloved franchises, for casual and core gamers around the world.
Bulsara first got his start in 2003 as a software developer of Mitratech. From there, he went on to Koders, Inc, before eventually rising to Founder at Brainwave Software Inc., his most recent position prior to joining Scopely, Inc. Bulsara graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science.
71. Ari Evans
Ari Evans is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Maestro. Evans is an industry thought leader helping creators build more meaningful relationships with their audiences. By inventing new tools and best practices in live stream engagement and monetization, Evans is unlocking live streaming’s true potential as an internet-first experience.
Prior to Maestro, Evans was a product manager at Zynga where he designed features, managed revenue, and integrated brands into CityVille, the biggest game on Facebook. Before Zynga, he was an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Evans holds an M.S. in Management Science from Stanford and a B.S. in Information Science from Cornell.
72. Javed Singha
Javed Singha began his professional career over 17 years ago. Today, he is the Co-Founder & President of Fieldwire. Fieldwire is an end-to-end jobsite software solution for the construction industry. Their mobile app connects entire project teams from subcontractors and foreman to project managers and engineers with real-time information sharing and saves users millions of dollars by powering clear and efficient communication.
Singha first got his start in 2004 as an Associate at Towers Perrin. From there, he went on to Ubisoft before eventually rising to Board Member & Director of Technology at Cornell NorCal, his most recent position prior to joining Fieldwire. Singha graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an MEng in Supply Chain Management, from Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management with an MBA in Strategic Operations and from the University of Connecticut with an undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics.
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79. Melinda Byerley
Melinda Byerley is the Founder and CEO of Fiddlehead, first joining the company in 2015. Fiddlehead is a digital marketing consultancy with the power to cultivate outstanding business outcomes using data, customer empathy, and common sense. They drive growth for clients they love, by providing honest, data-driven digital marketing.
Previously, Byerley was Founder of Vendorsi.com and before that, a Chief Marketing Officer at Poll Everywhere Inc. Earlier in her career she worked with eBay, Inc. as a Category Manager. Byerley earned an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University.
86. Jason Davis
Jason Davis is the Co-Founder and CEO of Simon Data. Simon Data is the smart hub that seamlessly blends the science of understanding your customers with the act of connecting with them. Davis has over 20 years in the software industry. He began his career in 2001.
Before joining Simon Data, Davis was a Director of Search & Data at Etsy and before that a Founder and CEO of Adtuitive (acquired by Etsy). Earlier in his career, he worked with ObjectVideo as a software engineer. Davis graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Machine Learning, Data Mining, and Statistics and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science.
87. Colin Day
Colin Day began his professional career over 24 years ago. Today, he is the Founder & an Advisor at iCIMS. iCIMS is a talent cloud company that helps global companies transform business and the world by empowering them to attract, engage, hire and advance the right talent.
Day first got his start in 1997 as a Technical Recruiter at Comrise Technology. Day graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology.
94. Russ Mann
Russ Mann is the CEO and Board Member of WineBid. WineBid has made it possible for wine enthusiasts and collectors to acquire fine and rare wines online. Mann has over 31 years in the e-Commerce industry. He began his career in 1990.
Before joining WineBid, Mann was a CEO, President, and Board Member at Onvia and before that a VP and GM of e-Commerce at Outerwall. Earlier in his career, he worked with Deloitte Consulting- Braxton Associates as a Senior Associate and APAC Project Lead. Mann graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA in Business and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Anthropology, Asian Studies, and Japanese.
95. Graham Rihn
Graham Rihn is the Founder & CEO of RoadRunner Recycling. He first joined the company in 2014. RoadRunner makes recycling massively more efficient for businesses in the United States. Using powerful technology, they help businesses recover valuable materials and earn money back from their waste and recycling streams.
Previously, Rihn was a Co-Founder and President at Sequoia Waste Solutions, a Voyager Group company and before that an Associate at Voyager Group. Earlier in his career, he worked with Consolidated Green Services as an analyst. Rihn earned an undergraduate degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University.
100. Irv Henderson
Irv Henderson is the CEO & Co-Founder of Talech, a US Bank Company. He first joined the company in 2012. Talech provides merchants with a powerful yet easy-to-use point of sale software with rich analytics and deep insights.
Previously, Henderson was a VP of Product Development at Yahoo! and before that a VP of Product Management at Obopay. Earlier in his career, he worked with Deutsche Bank Securities as an Investment Banking Associate. Henderson earned an MBA in finance from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Physics from Whittier College.
100. Anshu Prasad
Anshu Prasad is the CEO & Co-Founder of Leaf Logistics. Leaf Logistics is a data-driven technology to plan, coordinate, and execute transportation logistics. Prasad has over 24 years in the logistics and supply chain industry. He began his career in 1997.
Before joining Leaf Logistics, Prasad was Partner and Global Practice Leader of Analytics at A.T. Kearney, and before that a VP of Europe at Verticalnet. Earlier in his career he worked with Tigris Consulting as a Senior Account Director. Prasad graduated from the University of Oxford with an MBA and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry.
View the complete list of awardees.