Between Two Worlds: An Entrepreneur's Journey

Speaker: Pooja Sankar
Date: Friday,  September 2, 2011
Time: 11:15am-12:15pm
Location: 2150 Torgerson


When Pooja (Nath) Sankar was a student at IIT Kanpur in the late 1990s, she could not have dreamed that she would one day build a product that is used by people all over the world. Her biggest obstacle was fear: fear of being one of the only women; fear of being considered dumb; fear of being a bother to her peers and instructors. As she overcame those fears, she developed insights into the sociology of learning that would one day give rise to Piazza, the company she founded as a Stanford Business School student in 2009. In between IIT and Piazza, her inspiring journey took her in and out of an arranged marriage, through the cubicles of power at Silicon Valley companies like Oracle and Facebook, and into a Palo Alto garage where she wrestled one last time with her insecurities as she determined to pursue her own American dream.


Pooja (Nath) Sankar is the founder and CEO of Piazza, a social platform for students and teachers. She has worked at Oracle, Kosmix, and Facebook, and has degrees from IIT, the University of Maryland, and Stanford. The genesis for Piazza and Sankar's passion for social learning came from her experience as one of a handful of women in the computer science program at IIT in the late 1990s. Sankar started Piazza while studying for her MBA at Stanford, where she failed a class in entrepreneurship because she was too busy running the business.