PREETHA RAM, PH.D.

Senior Managing Director

Preetha is Senior Managing Director at Pier 70 and is responsible for managing portfolio investments,  the deal flow process and portfolio company development.  She is passionate about helping diverse teams and founders succeed.

Dr. Preetha Ram is a successful entrepreneur, technologist and educator. She was founder and CEO of OpenStudy, a peer-to-peer online community and platform for mentoring and academic help for high school and college learners.  Preetha raised Multimillion-dollar funding from the who’s who of foundations: the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Hewlett Packard Foundation before receiving an institutional round from Learn Capital.  Her company was recognized as one of Fast Company’s Top Ten Innovative Companies in Education, and she was honored at the White House (Sci & Tech Symposium) as one of the Innovators in Post-Secondary Education. As CEO, she scaled the company to over 60 million global learners served, built a profitable Multimillion-dollar business, and led it to a successful exit. With deep operational experience, technology knowledge, financial acumen she has experienced the entire lifecycle of an entrepreneur, from founding to exit.

An educational thought leader and innovator, she has held senior leadership positions in academia: Associate Dean at Emory University, Executive Dean of Education at Alliant University, and Associate Provost of Internationalization and Chief Academic Expansion Officer at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Recognized for her innovative programs, she is the recipient of several awards: the Andrew Heiskell Award for Study Abroad by the Institute of International Education, Emory University’s Winship Award of Excellence for Teaching, and recently the Innovators Spotlight Award, sponsored by Melinda Gates and the League of Innovation in Community Colleges.  She is a gifted speaker and has keynoted at several international conferences, PBS NOVA, and TEDx San Jose.

A committed and passionate mentor for entrepreneurs, she is connected with several Bay area and international startup ecosystems in India, Korea and Chile.  She is an advisor for many startups including women-led startups Zapptitude and Noora Health, Edtech startups Emote and Tembo and AI startup, Hereafter.ai.  She volunteers at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship of Santa Clara University, where she advises startups from all over the world.

Preetha serves on the Board of Emote and Hereafter.ai, two startups using AI and Data science to solve important problems.  Recently, she started serving on the board of ASEI, a nonprofit organization serving the needs of STEM professionals and students.

Preetha’s education spans two continents, starting from one of the most respected global brands, Indian Institute of Technology, to a PhD in Chemistry from Yale and an MBA from Emory University.

Pier 70 Ventures