Our Team

Praveen Shanbhag

Praveen received his PhD in Philosophy at Stanford University, and holds a BA from Harvard University. Like all philosophically-trained individuals, he likes asking unusual questions, and one was: 'if we all know that the sweetest sound to a person is their own name, why are names so often mispronounced even at critical moments in our lives?' With the help of many amazingly-talented people, he founded NameCoach to provide an answer. He also loves coding, zombie movies, and any new challenge, which at the moment means learning to sail (or at least to not capsize the boat!).

Jack Green

Jack has been building software solutions and technology teams for longer than he cares to admit. He loves to engage with customers to find alignment between needs and products and is very excited to be leading the NameCoach product delivery team. Prior to starting his technical career, he did graduate work in CS at Western Michigan University, earned a BA in Psychology from Kalamazoo College and worked in adventure education and social work. While often busy with kids and family, Jack still enjoys climbing, sailing and traveling.

Ritika Dewan
Director, Partner Community Development

Ritika received her MBA in marketing from Indian School of Business and Finance and a bachelors degree in Operations Research and Economics from Delhi University. She also has a certification in Program Management from University of California, Santa Cruz. She is very detail oriented, feels strongly about doing fewer things better and is always up for solving new challenges. She also loves horror movies, writing short stories, cooking, gardening, pottery and brunch!

Abbee Hoyt
Higher Education Sales Director

Abbee works throughout the country assisting colleges and universities with their diversity and inclusion efforts. She has worked in the higher ed space for nearly a decade, from enrollment marketing to student success.  Her interests include work involving outreach that celebrates diversities within communities, in an effort to make us all stronger. Abbee enjoys traveling, cooking and nearly any activity that can be done outdoors.

Mark E. McDowell
Advisor; Partner, Acta Wireless

Mark is an investor and startup mentor interested in crypto, education technology and mobile. He began his career as an entrepreneur in the wireless industry, building out some of the first digital wireless networks in the US. Mark was also an Air Force Office during the first Gulf War. He has degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT, where he sent his first email in 1984. Mark is married and has a son and daughter. He's a firm believer in intermittent fasting and loves spending time on forest trails

Leah Edwards
Entrepreneurship Educator & Program Strategist

Leah is a lecturer on innovation at UC Berkeley and other universities and a startup advisor. She is the past Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and prior to that was a serial startup co-founder and consultant to other entrepreneurs and investors. Several of the companies she co-founded were acquired by major companies including Netcentives, Tealeaf Technology (now IBM) and SolarCity.