Meet The Unshackled Fellows Class of 2022

Meet The Unshackled Fellows

We have always believed that the epicenter of this country’s greatness can be found in our generation’s Ellis Island — university campuses. As a point of convergence, housing students from all walks of life, our universities carry the knowledge banks of the future. However, never has student resiliency been put to the test quite like it has within the past two years. From on and off virtual learning, closed campuses, and a constantly shifting environment, students have been pushed to adapt. Yet, through the navigation of these hurdles, we are seeing some of the most resilient students shine through.

At Unshackled, not only do we look for that resiliency and adversity muscle inherent within the founders we invest in, we also look for it within those who join our team. Our 2022 fellow class is the embodiment of this greatness — with over nine countries of birth represented, including: Rwanda, Brazil, Philippines, India, USA, UK, China, and Greece.

Please join us in welcoming 19 of the brightest minds, our 2021/2022 University Fellows:

Akshat Dheeraj Talreja

Akshat is very interested in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and has previously worked at venture-backed startups in areas ranging from Natural Language Processing to Fraud Detection. In his spare time, he loves meeting new people, playing pool, and trying new restaurants.

Alex Ker

Alex currently works on the ML team at Neurable, a series-A Brain Computer Interface startup in decoding and modelling neural signals. In investing, he served as a Venture Partner for Nodes Advisor and most recently as a scout for Loup Ventures. In his free time, Alex loves to dive into fiction from the New Yorker and occasionally freestyles in a virtual cypher. As a fellow, Alex is excited to leverage the Unshackled network and resources to empower and democratize his college entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Anoushka Puri

Her passion for the value-scouting process propels her to practice this subtle art in every arena of investment: from public markets to early-stage ventures. At the Vanderbilt Investment Club, she crafts investment theses, creates financial models, and unlocks technical insights to pitch stocks. At the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Anoushka worked alongside entrepreneurs at every stage to spearhead ‘Renew Nashville’, a pandemic recovery initiative for start-ups. She created the ‘NashTech Database’, a filterable database of over 300 Nashville-based technology start-ups.

At Unshackled, she hopes to observe and learn the art of potential-identification by working alongside early-stage companies. As an international student, she feels deeply about the immense value and innovation immigrant entrepreneurs bring to the start-up ecosystem of the United States and she is eager to understand the barriers and opportunities that are unique to them.

Ansh Bhargava

Arjun Karanam

His main interests revolve around the fusion of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction to build the future of how we interact with the world. Right now, that looks like diving deep into AR/VR technology and BCIs. At school, he’s the Vice President of Education at Stanford XR, where he helped create and teaches official Stanford Courses on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. He also leads the Universities NASA SUITs team, a team of students working on building an Augmented Reality Interface for spacesuits for NASA’s Artemis Mission, a mission focusing on returning humans to the Moon after over 50 years.

Previously, Arjun has spent a lot of time in Product and Machine Learning roles at everywhere from startups to big companies. He’s spent time using computer vision to build AR experiences at Apple and the New York Times, founded a GovTech startup that went through the H4X accelerator, and served on the Advisory Board for the Congressional App Challenge!

Outside of his technical interests, Arjun enjoys reading History and writing Speculative Fiction, and is a big believer that in order to build the future, you first need to understand the past. He also loves devouring spicy food, playing board games, and lives for those moments of joy he gets when he sees a Samoyed out in the world.

Ashley Hitchings

As a second-generation immigrant herself, Ashley is excited to elevate, support, and learn from visionary immigrant founders while helping Unshackled lower the structural barriers to accessing early-stage capital.

Asriel Han

Blaise Munyampirwa

Erta Kurti

Unshackled’s mission resonated with Erta, as she is an immigrant herself. Having moved to the U.S. twelve years ago, she is acutely aware of the fact that immigrant founders face a unique set of challenges, in terms of accessing capital, networks, etc. She hopes to assist immigrant founders in overcoming these challenges and enacting positive social change.

Gabriela Moisescu-Pareja

Since talent is uniformly distributed, Gabriela is committed to supporting visionary immigrant-founders to build the future. As part of the Unshackled Fellowship, she hopes to gain the skills to make this a reality.

Gerardo (Gio) Ballesteros

Glenn Borok

His interests in tech and VC include the Future of Work, EdTech, Web3.0, and Sports Tech. As a fellow at Unshackled Ventures, Glenn hopes to gain the skills and knowledge to support the next generation of transformational immigrant founders. His previous experiences include strategy consulting at Deloitte, product strategy at LinkedIn, and investing at Catchlight Capital Partners.

Grihith Varaday

On campus, Grihith serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Sling Health, a student-run biotechnology healthcare accelerator, and the President of the Global Surgery Student Alliance. He is also a Co-Chair of Partners in East St. Louis and an Executive Member on the university’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. In his free time, Grihith is a competitive member of the university’s premier consulting group (Arch Consulting) and Bollywood-fusion dance team (Chaahat).

Grihith is interested in using VC as an intermediary between clinical medicine and health policy to drive healthcare impact. As a first-generation immigrant himself, Grihith is dedicated to supporting driven immigrant founders. His previous experiences include investing at University Impact and the Global Health Impact Fund, and research at University of Cambridge and Washington University School of Medicine.

Guilhermo Pagnano Gonzalez

His interests in tech and VC include supply chain disruption through smart logistics, B2B marketplaces, and Fintech for emerging economies. As a fellow at Unshackled Ventures, Guilhermo hopes to harness necessary skills and knowledge to empower and support Latam founders, disruption and investments.

Jathan Caldwell

Having spent his past two summers with McKinsey & Company, Jathan has both led growth strategy towards breakthrough technology with a leading global company and built the firm’s pilot cross-operations playbook. He currently serves as EVP for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and is building a student-run VC that backs underrepresented students at Georgia Tech. In his spare time, he enjoys singing with the band Passion, capturing moments with his film camera, volunteering with a refugee relief organization and making infinite variations of ceviche. He looks forward to working with the Unshackled team in their mission of backing exceptional entrepreneurs shaping the future!

Jessica Rodriguez

Jessika Agyepong

Jessika is specifically interested in the biotech and cleantech industries, but is open to learning about all aspects of startups and VC. By being a University Fellow, she hopes to gain the skills and knowledge to support underrepresented founders and investors. Her previous experience includes founding a skincare startup, Dermovont, and participating in a fellowship at Ripple Ventures. In her free time, she enjoys teaching herself guitar, skateboarding, and going down Wikipedia rabbit holes.

Maxwell Weng

When he is not chasing his interests in health tech, Maxwell can be found swimming, hiking, or climbing. He is excited and intensely curious about blockchain technology, having interned at an early stage venture fund and a startup putting mortgages on the blockchain over the summer.

Maxwell aspires to be an entrepreneur to fearlessly chase his curiosity and authentic self with self-love, and as a the child of immigrants, he strives to a build a more equitable and just world.

Mitali Vivek Khanzode

On campus, Mitali is the director of marketing for South Asian Society and co-leads community development for Cardinal Policy Group. When Mitali is not listening to podcasts, learning more about cryptocurrency, or trying to solve crossword puzzles, you can find her swimming in the San Francisco Bay, as she is hoping to complete 100 Alcatraz crossings before graduating.

As the daughter of two immigrants, Mitali is excited to learn more about early-stage investing while helping entrepreneurs in her own community succeed. In addition, she hopes that her time at Unshackled helps her learn more about the real-world application of behavioral finance to venture capital.

Alain Roberto Berwa

His interests include web 3.0, cryptocurrency, and logistics tech. Beside this, he likes to write and read historical fiction short stories. Roberto also is an avid fan of UFC and boxing.

As a foreign student from Rwanda, Roberto, a former founder and an aspiring VC, is excited to learn more about investing as he works with the Unshackled team to help immigrant founders.

Sauren Gupta



An early stage venture fund for immigrant-founded startups

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