UC Berkeley Data Science Startups

Panel Discussion
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 3:45 pm

UC Berkeley has long been a cross-disciplinary incubator for innovation. This panel discusses the birth and growth of companies such as Captricity, wise.io, and Trifacta, all of which emerged from UC Berkeley.

CEO and Co-Founder

Joshua Bloom is CEO and co-founder of wise.io, the machine intelligence company. He is also an astronomy professor at UC Berkeley, where he teaches Python for data science. He has been a Sloan Fellow, Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society, and Hertz Foundation Fellow. In 2010, he was awarded the Pierce Prize from the American Astronomical Society. Josh holds a Ph.D. from Caltech and degrees from Harvard and Cambridge. He serves on the Berkeley Startup Cluster Advisory Committee.


The idea for Captricity came from Kuang Chen’s Ph.D. dissertation. His research focused on data-centric approaches to increase the efficiency of low-resource organizations, so they can better serve their disadvantaged clients.

While doing research in Tanzania and Uganda, Chen experienced firsthand the importance and difficulty of transforming data from paper forms to computable formats. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley, a B.S. in computer science, and a B.A. in the comparative history of ideas from the University of Washington.

Co-Founder and CEO

Joseph M. Hellerstein is a Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley whose work focuses on data-centric systems and the way they drive computing. He is an ACM Fellow, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and the recipient of two ACM-SIGMOD “Test of Time” awards for his research. In 2010, Fortune Magazine included him in their list of 50 smartest people in technology, and MIT’s Technology Review magazine included his Bloom language for cloud computing on their TR10 list of the 10 technologies “most likely to change our world.” In 2012, Hellerstein joined with Jeff Heer and Sean Kandel to found Trifacta, a company developing intuitive, powerful, and remarkably useful technologies for data analysis.

Professor of Computer Science
UC Berkeley

Ion Stoica is a professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000. He does research on cloud computing and networked computer systems. Past work includes the Dynamic Packet State (DPS), Chord DHT, Internet Indirection Infrastructure (i3), declarative networks, replay-debugging, and multi-layer tracing in distributed systems. His current research focuses on resource management and scheduling for data centers, cluster computing frameworks, and network architectures. He is an ACM fellow and has received numerous awards, including the SIGCOMM Test of Time Award (2011) and the ACM doctoral dissertation award (2001). In 2006, he co-founded Conviva, a startup to commercialize technologies for large scale video distribution.