CS sophomore Raj Ramamurthy has been selected as a 2014 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) Engineering Fellow. KPCB is an established venture capital firm located in Menlo Park, California. This year, KPCB chose 55 students as fellows, out of a field of 2,500 applicants from more than 200 universities.
Over the course of a summer, the KPCB Engineering Fellows will be employed at portfolio companies of KPCB, where they can develop their skills and be mentored by an executive within the company. Ramamurthy will intern with Upthere, a startup company in Palo Alto, California.
He first interned with Upthere in the summer of 2013. “I heard about Upthere when I read an article about it after Bertrand Serlet left Apple,” said Ramamurthy. “He was the senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering and one of the key figures behind the development of Mac OS X. Several months later, when I was looking for an internship, I contacted them and asked if they would be interested in having an intern. It just happened to work out.”
Ramamurthy knew he wanted to return to Upthere, and the KPCB program has given him the perfect opportunity. “I learned so much, and I knew I would learn a lot more if I went back,” he said.
Upthere is still in the “stealth” stages of development, so Ramamurthy says the tagline for the company is deliberately cryptic—they describe what they’re building as “the future of the cloud.” Early references to the company online described it as a “cloud hosting provider” that offered “consulting services in the field of cloud computing.” Later the company described itself as “an early stage startup looking to build a cloud storage feature.”
Ramamurthy grew up in Mahomet, Illinois, while his father was on the faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Illinois. They moved to Colorado when Ramamurthy was eight. “When I was trying to figure out where to apply for college, Illinois bubbled to the top because it has such a great program, and it was familiar,” he said.
When he’s not doing school work, Ramamurthy is usually working on freelance software engineering and design projects. “Outside the classroom I’m doing things that are pretty similar to what I’m doing inside the classroom,” he admitted. “It helps pay the bills, but I do it because I really enjoy it.”
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