Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Asha Jadeja Motwani Is Trying Bridge India And Pakistan
Don’t know who Asha Jadeja Motwani is? Well she is Rajeev Motwani’s wife and one of the first few women venture capitalists, angel investors and philanthropists in Silicon Valley.
Lets talk a little bit about Rajeev Motwani first. Rajeev Motwani is known world-wide as a mentor to Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Professor Motwani closely collaborated with Brin and Page while writing an influential early paper on Page Rank algorithm, which formed the basis for Google’s search techniques. After Google was founded, he became a member of Google’s technical advisory council. Professor Motwani’s research spanned various fields such as databases, data mining, data privacy, web search and robotics.
He also authored several books including two widely used theoretical computer science textbooks: ‘Randomized Algorithms’ and ‘Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation’. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Gödel Prize for his work on the PCP theorem and its applications.
Once Sergey Brin said, “Today, whenever you use a piece of technology, there is a good chance a little bit of Rajeev Motwani is behind it”.
Originally from Ahmedabad, Asha invests in for-profit tech, internet and high social impact start-ups in the Bay Area, Boston, New York, Africa and India.
“I want to create a civilian bridge between India and Pakistan by introducing Maker Fest in Pakistan earlier next year” She says.
Maker Fest Pakistan will be a social event where tech-innovators, creators, artists and hobbyists from across the country will showcase their devices, inventions and products created without proper support.
Maker Fest is a continuation of Maker Faire, which is hosted across America, Europe, Africa and Japan, among other locations. Maker Faire was launched in California in 2006 and now hosts hundreds of thousands of attendees twice a year.
“I have been attending Maker Faire in California for the past many years and I have seen the impact it can have. One of my friends from Nigeria got me into funding the Cairo Maker Faire, and from there it expanded to other countries. After witnessing its success, I decided to introduce it in India to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.”
Introduced three years ago, Maker Fest India immediately spread across the country.
Jadeja is devoted to peace between India and Pakistan and says that she along with her husband Rajeev Motwani (died in 2009) had always wished to support and encourage entrepreneurs in the subcontinent.
Talking about her husband’s link with Pakistan, Jadeja said, “Rajeev’s parents had migrated from Sindh, Pakistan.”
“Rajeev Circle (RC) Fellowship program’s objective is to help budding entrepreneurs from India and Pakistan to network and connect with our resources in the Sillicon Valley,” added Jadeja.
The group of mentors for Rajeev Circle Fellowship has around 300 members from Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Google, and various portfolio companies Rajeev Motwani and Asha Jadeja have funded over the last 15 years.
Jadeja believes that the subcontinent is a huge market, and following the example of the European Union, if Pakistan and India were to collaborate, it would lead to a very powerful market which can give China a run for its money.
“The Indian subcontinent as a bloc is so powerful that we will be second to China in terms of purchasing power and trade. It is crucial for us to collaborate as a group in the South Asian region,” she claims. Her efforts are just one small step towards making this happen.
Source – Dawn
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