Register or login to network with top notch entrepreneurs. It's free to join!

Praveen Shanbhag

Programmer, Business Developer

Stanford, California, US


About Praveen

The NameCoach Vision
NameCoach's grand vision is to build a society in which we better appreciate each others' unique identities. In particular, by helping people pronounce each others' names correctly. Names are central to our sense of uniqueness and self-worth. So pronouncing them wrong amounts to a distortion of a person's identity. But by getting them right we can better appreciate, respect, and connect with people. Especially as we get more diverse and inter-connected.

What We're Doing
I'm the founder and CEO, and built and launched an MVP to help with name pronunciation in graduation ceremonies. It's an easy-to-use web app: a link is sent to students, they voice-record their names, and faculty announcers can hear them directly and learn to say them right. It's gained traction and great reviews, being used in schools across the country. I assembled a team of talented interns to help, and we're currently part of the Stanford Ventures Studios, with access to an amazing community and resources there.

We have now been approached by investors, and developed a far broader and more ambitious vision with them. We want to develop services for multiple markets to build the world's largest database of name recordings, which will provide a number of robust monetization strategies.

What I'm Looking For
We want to build more products/features/mobile apps and scale very quickly. For this reason, and to help attract more seed round investors, I am now looking for a technical co-founder (CTO) with drive, passion, and a shared vision for the company. It's a great situation, as we already have an MVP in the market (scaling soon), but also have other related products in the conception phase.

The ideal co-founder will have a real vested interest in the company's success, through a significant equity stake. The co-founder should be interested in managing a team of technical interns/employees (some already on our team). I'm looking for someone who loves to code (I love it myself, but will be shifting to more CEO responsibilities as we grow), and who knows a subset of the following: Ruby/Rails, Javascript/Jquery, HTML/CSS, mobile web/app development (Android, iOS, etc.), deployment and maintenance operations (on Heroku). Basically, web and mobile development. My co-founder should also be interested in building a culture of respect, fun, and work-life balance within the company - even as we work hard to succeed.

About Me
I'm about to finish my PhD in Philosophy at Stanford. My background runs the gamut: science, humanities, policy, business. I have a holistic and synthetic (but no-bs) approach to understanding the world and creating in it. I mention my prior degrees below only because for what it's worth, I think investors are really liking the brand-power. Finally, I'm easy to get along with, and truly value fairness, collaboration, and learning from each other.

Managing People
Product Management

Harvard University

Bachelor's of Arts

2002 - 2002

Columbia University

MA - Philosophy and Physics

2006 - 2006

University of Cambridge


2007 - 2007