Vijay Ravindran is an Amazon veteran with extensive experience leading startups from creative ideas to successful operations. He’s the co-founder & CEO of Floreo, a startup building virtual reality learning tools for people with autism. In 2017 Floreo raised a $2.1m seed round and also was awarded a $1.7m NIH grant. In prior roles, he has been the chief digital officer of a major media company, chief executive of a news startup, and founding CTO of a political technology company that was active in the 2008 presidential campaign.
From February 2009 to December 2015, Ravindran was senior vice president and chief digital officer at Graham Holdings Company (formerly The Washington Post Company). In this role, Ravindran most recently was the CEO of a news startup, Trove, and led investments in early stage companies for GHCo. He also served in leadership roles at other GHCo. properties, including SocialCode (a top social advertising agency), Slate, Graham TV Stations and various company investments.
Prior to the sale of the Post in 2013, Ravindran helped lead the effort to speed innovation in the newsroom, especially in areas like personalization and data analytics. He worked closely on all major digital initiatives with the Post’s senior leadership, including the initial launch of its iPad and iPhone apps and migration to a new content management system. He led the Post’s search for a new CTO.
In 2005, Ravindran joined with former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes to launch the political technology startup Catalist. As its founding chief technology officer, Ravindran led all the technology aspects of developing the company’s software and data products. During the 2008 election cycle, Catalist clients included the Obama for America and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns.
Prior to Catalist, Ravindran was a technology director at Amazon.com. Ravindran joined Amazon in 1998 as a software engineer and held a variety of engineering and management roles. From 2003 to 2005, he led the Ordering group, which was responsible for consumer purchasing on all Amazon properties, including Shopping Cart, Checkout, 1-Click and Your Account. In this role, he also oversaw the launch of Amazon Prime, built the original team for the program and is one of the named inventors on the Amazon Prime patent.
Before joining Amazon, Ravindran was a software developer at American Management Systems in Fairfax, VA, and Dusseldorf, Germany.
He currently is on the board of The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), the Lenfest Institute of Journalism (https://www.lenfestinstitute.org/) and the education think-tank Alliance for Excellent Education (http://all4ed.org).. He is also is an advisor to the media venture fund North Base Media (http://northbasemedia.com), the mobile data infrastructure start up DataMi (http://datami.com), and the women’s job network Power To Fly.
While at the Post, Ravindran periodically wrote on technology and innovation in media. He has frequently been quoted on subjects ranging from political technology to media innovation and social media. His approach and philosophy to innovation at a legacy organization is encapsulated in his 2011 TEDx talk, “Reinventing the Newspaper.”
Ravindran graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in systems engineering.
- Startup Pitch 2 - Tuesday, May 8, 4:10pm-4:50pm