Free Ventures is supported by a team of Cal Alumni entrepreneurs who are passionate about giving back to their alma mater. Our Board acts not only as mentors to teams but also as mentors to the Free Ventures program. Together with the Free Ventures team, the Board continues to add more mentors, resources and funds for students. 

Prakash Janakiraman

Prakash Janakiraman is Co-Founder and Chief Architect at Nextdoor, the free and private social network for neighborhoods. Janakiraman began his career as a software engineer at Excite@Home in 1996 before moving into engineering management at and Epinions. Prior to Nextdoor, Janakiraman spent nearly three years at Google, where he managed engineering teams for Google Maps, Google Base, and Froogle. At Nextdoor, Janakiraman has built a team of engineers who are dedicated to building the fastest and safest social network for neighborhoods on the web.

Janakiraman is from Hayward, California, and attended the University of California, Berkeley.

Andy Barkett

 Andy Barkett is the CTO for the Republican National Committee and the CEO of Getexp, Inc.  He is a managing partner at startup advisory firm Davis Innovators, which seeks promising ventures at early stages and offers a variety of services, from fundraising to talent planning. 

Andy has more than a decade of experience working in strategy and engineering at companies like Facebook, Livescribe, NVIDIA, and Google. Andy graduated from UC Berkeley in 2002 and earned an MBA from UC Davis in 2009.  Connect with Andy on Twitter!

Anand kulkarni

Anand is president and co-founder of LeadGenius, a Y Combinator, Sierra Ventures, and Andreessen-Horowitz-backed startup using human computation and machine intelligence to automate sales at scale. Anand was recently named as one of Forbes Magazine's Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.




Eric Liu

Eric Liu is Co-Founder of Bayes Impact, a Y Combinator-backed nonprofit on the mission to bring the data revolution to the social sector. Previously, Eric was a venture capitalist at Thomvest Ventures, focusing on investments in financial and advertising technology enterprise startups. Eric has a passion for promoting student entrepreneurship and is an active member of the UC Berkeley startup community. 

Eric graduated from UC Berkeley in 2013. In school, Eric was a member of Sigma Eta Pi, Berkeley Consulting, Kairos Society, and Innovative Design. He was recently named as one of Forbes Magazine's Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.