The Next Gen

Cassandra Feliciano | November 23, 2011 | Story Profiles News and Features Tech World

Jessica Mah


Age: 21

Title: CEO

The big idea: An online accounting platform that helps businesses manage their finances.

In the beginning: She was struggling to manage the finances of her first startup when she realized she had a great new business idea.

Cofounder: Andy Su

Initial funding: $1.2m

Investors: Y Combinator; Jawed Karim (Youtube); Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp); Dave McClure

Measure of success: Used by more than 20,000 companies.

Other ventures:, a resource for Uc berkeley students looking for summer placements (founded when she was 18)

The woman thing: “I don’t notice it helping me, but it’s not hurting, either. I’m meeting one or two women a week who are starting their own business.”

Pooja Upadhyaya

Mobilizing Health

Age: 23

Title: Executive Director

The big idea: Make emergency and preventive care more accessible to rural populations in India by using mobile technology to connect doctors and patients.

In the beginning: After volunteering in the slums of India, the UC Berkeley Molecular Biology major decided she couldn’t wait till after med school to start saving lives in poor populations.

Initial funding: $120k in donations

Investors: Rick Wilmer (Lightspeed Venture partners); Sunil Bhonsle (Titan Pharmaceuticals); Coleman Fung (OpenLink); Tom Wilkes

Measures of success: Has fielded 55,000 text messages and helped 3,300 patients in 60 villages since 2010.

The woman thing: “For a woman to start something in India is even tougher, because it is a very male- dominated place. If you’re too humble, it comes across as you’re not confident.”

Arielle Patrice Scott


Age: 22

Title: CEO

The big idea: A place to discover lesser-known blogs on lifestyle, fashion, music, art, and culture.

In the beginning: Officially launched in 2010, GenJuice has its roots in Scott’s undergrad thesis work at Berkeley on how her generation is becoming more entrepreneurial through personal branding. The latest iteration launched this month.

CoFounders: Danielle Leslie; Gleb Podkolzin; Virgilia Singh

Initial funding: $20k from NYC Seedstart Media; money from angels

Investors: Richard Chen (Angelpad); Gamechanger

Measures of success: 10,000 unique visitors monthly; includes content from 800 blogs.

Other ventures: (with Jessica Mah)

The woman thing: “the attention you get as a woman shouldn’t take away from the story of your product. Part of me wonders how many people would be interested in interviewing me if i weren’t a woman and an African American.”

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