The Duke in Silicon Valley students represent a variety of majors and have unique talents and entrepreneurial interests – an outstanding group of Duke undergraduates! Read below to learn more about this year’s cohort!

Aayushi Patel

Aayushi is a rising Sophomore majoring in Computer Science & Visual and Media Studies. She’s a gap year student from Bangalore, India. She spent her gap year building an ed-tech startup with a friend to help low-income students in India learn digital literacy skills so they too can capitalise on e-learning in our post-pandemic digital age. She loves experiencing new cultures through languages and spent the rest of her gap year living in France. At Duke, she is involved in Delta Sigma Pi, Earthy Creations (startup creating art from waste), and Duke Innovation Studio. After a raw experience in entrepreneurship, she is looking forward to learn about the journeys of experts in Silicon Valley. In particular, she is curious about the intersection of ethics and technology. Outside these interests, she loves travelling, art history, pretty much any outdoor sport, and trying new restaurants.

Aditya Gaur

Aditya is a rising sophomore at Duke University – pursuing a double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Aditya enjoys building products, watching Formula 1 races and spending time with his family. At Duke, he is a member of a premier pre-professional business organization Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), is a part of the Duke Academy of Model Aeronautics and the HackDuke organizing team. Over his gap year, Aditya worked on his EdTech startup where he talked to people involved in the startup space in Silicon Valley. He is now excited to meet more people to prepare him for his journey into solving problems using technology.

Alejandro Assael

My name is Alejandro Assael and I am a rising junior pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a certificate in Aerospace Engineering. During my time at Duke I work at the Co-Lab as a Student Tech Employee maintaining the different machines that we have at our different design hub facilities across campus and assist customers with their needs as they come in. I have also conducted some independent research on campus to determine the effect of axial loads on structural components and have taken part in many engineering projects such as Duke’s ASME design sprint competition and combat robotics competition. Finally, I am the secretary for the Society of Hispanic Engineers which is a club meant to empower Hispanic students in the community who are trying to seek a degree in STEM and I enjoy swimming, water polo, astronomy, and traveling with friends and family. I’m hoping the Duke in Silicon Valley program will help me immerse myself in an entrepreneurial mindset and learn how to navigate myself in a competitive environment.

Anthony Saldutti

I am a rising Junior at Duke University majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family, playing sports, and working out. I am passionate about technology and excited to learn more about entrepreneurship and the logistics behind launching new products.

Bari Gruber

Bari is a rising sophomore from Dix Hills, NY. At Duke, she plans to study Computer Science while pursuing a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Her favorite involvement on campus is with TAMID, where she is a project manager for a consulting team that consults for start-up companies based in Israel. Bari loves traveling, trying exotic foods, curling up with a murder mystery novel, or spending time with her family and friends. She could not be more excited to explore the tech-industry capital of the world, where she hopes to gain invaluable insight into both the technological and entrepreneurial skills required to succeed in Silicon Valley.

Carter Cribbs

Carter is a rising sophomore from New York City. He is pursuing a major in Computer Science and Economics at Duke. Growing up, Carter spent most of his free time playing soccer. He played soccer at Duke his freshman year before deciding to focus his time on academics. Carter is excited to participate in the Duke in Silicon Valley program. During the trip, he hopes exposure to early-stage startups will show him what it takes to launch a venture while visiting larger established firms will provide knowledge on how to keep a successful start-up running. He is also looking forward to developing connections with peers and faculty, all while experiencing the culture of Silicon Valley. In his free time, he enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

Dhruv Bindra

Dhruv is a rising sophomore pursuing a B.S in Economics with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Computer Science. He was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but was raised in New Delhi. When he’s not busy watching Hasan Minhaj or playing Poker, Dhruv enjoys tinkering with startup ideas and is currently working on a robo-advisor to help Indians make smarter financial decisions. At Duke, Dhruv is heavily involved in the Debate Society, Blockchain Lab and is a certified analyst with the Investor Training Program. Through DSV, he hopes to gain a nuanced insight into how Silicon Valley has sustained being the hub of global innovation while bonding with his cohort of enterprising students!

Emily Ford

Emily is a rising junior at Duke University pursuing a major in Economics and a certificate in Markets and Management. She is from Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. She has enjoyed her time in the design team of the student fashion organization Runway of Dreams, where she creates adaptive fashion for people with visible and invisible disabilities. She hopes to be able to make a greater impact in this club through the creativity and innovation skills learned through the program.

Emily is looking forward to the program and excited to meet students with similar interests in I&E!

Johnny Pesavento

Johnny is a rising sophomore at Duke pursuing majors in Computer Science and Economics. Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, he is drawn to the Duke in Silicon Valley program due to his deep interest in opportunities at the intersection of technology and business. At Duke, Johnny is an incoming Director of Creative Technology at Campus Enterprises, Duke’s oldest and largest student-run business, and a co-lead of the Tech Team for HackDuke, the nation’s largest hackathon for social good. He has also worked as a Research Computing Intern for the Duke Office of Information Technology and will be employed as a Full-Stack Software Engineering Intern at Fidelity Investments during the summer of 2022. In his free time, Johnny enjoys traveling, binging Netflix, and getting outside.

Josh Cooper

Josh is a rising sophomore from Harrison, NY pursuing a major in Economics with a Finance concentration and a minor in Computer Science. He is looking forward to immersing himself in the Silicon Valley culture through the many company visits, while developing more formal entrepreneurial skills through the Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise course. At Duke, Josh is a member of Tamid Consulting Group and Club Basketball, and is a youth basketball coach in the Durham community through Coach2Inspire. He is also a huge Philly sports fans and recently took up surfing during his gap year in Israel.

Liam Frumkin

I am a rising sophomore at Duke University, pursuing a major in Economics along with the I&E certificate. At Duke, I am involved in the Student Founder Program, The Duke Story Booth, Club Tennis, Spikeball Club, and Jazz Club. Outside of school I enjoy working out, cooking, playing the drums, and watching ridiculous shows. My favorite show is easily “The Office”. My entire life, I have been obsessed with entrepreneurship, writing any and every idea that comes to mind in my “Idea Notebook”. Currently, I am working on a healthy food product that I will be launching in D.C. right after DSV. Favorite quote: “Creativity is about seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought”

Liza Goldstone

A member of the Class of 2025, Liza Goldstone is studying to become a mechanical engineer. She aims to devise assistive technologies that increase accessibility, particularly for those who are often underrepresented during product development. Key to her creation approach will be including intended users in each stage of the design process.

Liza has pursued the Duke in Silicon Valley program and the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate to acquire the foundational knowledge and hone the durable skills required to innovate and impact the world around her. That way, Liza can actualize socially and fiscally responsible ventures and processes for good.

Outside of class, Liza develops her leadership skills and amplifies diverse perspectives as a Baldwin Scholar. Also, she designs adaptive clothing and accessories with Runway of Dreams and supports women in technology-related fields through Duke Technology Scholars.

Muaz Kashif

Muaz is a rising junior, hailing from Islamabad, Pakistan, who is double majoring in Computer Science and Statistical Science at Duke University. He is interested in exploring the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms for social good as well as the evolution of network structures, particularly WiFi, LTE and the Internet. Muaz’s dream is to, one day, utilize the skills he will pick up in Silicon Valley and from Duke’s I&E Certificate to start a software venture of his own with his father who is also a software engineer back home. In his free time, Muaz loves to cook, play Wordle in each of the 3 languages he knows and build his souvenir cap collection.

Penelope North

Penelope is a rising sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering at Duke University with a potential certificate in Science and Society. She hails originally from Dallas, Texas, but is now a North-Easterner living in Greenwich, Connecticut. Growing up, she always found biology to be the most interesting science and now seeks to integrate it with her passions for technology in bio or human health technology. She found Duke in Silicon Valley to be the perfect experience to expose herself to such industries and give her a real insight into opportunities beyond college. Also, as the new director of Duke Campus Enterprises’s Next Ventures division, she is excited to learn from and apply her knowledge from the I&E class to grow as an entrepreneur. Outside of school, she enjoys running marathons, reading, and researching for a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, which she will formally continue with a Bass Connections Team in the 2022-2023 school year.

Tim O’Brien

Tim is a rising sophomore at Duke University pursuing a double major in Economics and Environmental Sciences and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. Growing up in Moscow, Russia, he enjoys spending time outdoors, specifically by surfing and skiing. At Duke, Tim is a shareholder of Bull City Beds, and is a member of Scoop and Shape. He is passionate about sustainable investing and building products that can help address the climate crisis. Tim is very excited to spend part of his summer in Silicon Valley, discover what it takes to launch a new product or service, and learn from industry leaders that have had success starting their own ventures.

Will Kirschner

Will Kirschner is a rising sophomore from South Florida, majoring in Computer Science and Economics. His interests mainly lie at the intersection of finance and technology. Through the Duke in Silicon Valley Program, Will hopes to gain a better understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship to best apply his knowledge of data science to the many areas of fintech. On-campus, Will is involved with the Scale & Coin Business Society, the Duke Impact Investment Group as a Data Analyst, and the nonprofit CS Sidekicks. He enjoys spending time outdoors fishing and skiing, playing golf, and working on coding projects with friends.

William Kenealey

William is a rising sophomore from Milwaukee, Wisconsin studying Computer Science and Statistics along with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate. At Duke, he participates in things such as The Pitchforks, Duke Presidential Ambassadors, Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity, and the QuadEx Advisory Council. He enjoys singing, playing tennis, baking, and going on adventures with friends. In the future, he hopes to work in technology, finding ways new innovations can make the world a better place for everyone. He is incredibly excited to get a glimpse at the business world in Silicon Valley, learning more about the newest cutting-edge ideas and opportunities that exist there.