Ishaan Parikh: KPCB Fellows Spotlight

By: Chineme Obiefune (Q25)

QUEST student Ishaan Parikh (Q28) was one of only two UMD students accepted into the KPCB Design and Engineering Fellows this summer. This program has just a 5% acceptance rate across the country! Learn more about Ishaan’s plans this summer below!

Congrats on your acceptance! What KPCB track are you in?

There’s the design track, the product track, and the engineering track. I decided to pursue the engineering track.

What is it that drew you to the program?

I’m a computer science major, and I really want to be in Silicon Valley and get into the startup culture, but I don’t want to dive too deeply into the coding aspects of it. I find coding interesting, and I think it’s the backbone of many companies, but I want to experience the entrepreneurial part of things.

KPCB understands the need to mold these two disciplines and will be giving me the opportunity to intern with their portfolio companies and receive advice from the founders of these companies. I see this as a chance to learn from the founders of the companies and build my network with the people in my cohort and the Venture Capitalists in the program as well.

Do you know what company you’ll be interning with?

I’ll be at a crowd funding startup called Indiegogo (https://www.indiegogo.com/#/picks_for_you).

Where do you see this taking you in the short term (after summer) and the long term (after graduation)?

I’m interning with a lot of cool people from across the country. UMD only has a few people in the program, but there are over 50 other interns from the country who I hope to connect with. In the short term, I’m hoping to make friends and gain an immediate network of people.

In the long term, I’m confident that these people will go on to do amazing things so I’m looking forward to learning from them. I know they all share the same goal of potentially starting a venture or being involved in the startup sphere, and I can’t wait to interact with them.

How do you think QUEST and your other activities at UMD are preparing you for your internship?

QUEST and the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship are teaching me a lot about the design process, which is going to be very important if I want to start a company. I’ve learned about empathizing, defining, and prototyping, which I’m sure will be beneficial during my time in the program.

What advice would you give to those interested in the KPCB fellows program?

Reach out to me when I come back from the summer and be sure to talk to other fellows at Maryland to hear their experience. I know they want more Maryland people so check out the website and apply!

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