Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
Feb 17–20, 2015 • San Jose, CA

Unboxing Data Startups

Michael Abbott (Stanford University), Ki Ra (Directly), Christopher Pouliot (Nio), Mike Polcari (23andMe)
11:30am–12:10pm Thursday, 02/19/2015
Business & Industry
Location: LL20 BC
Average rating: ****.
(4.40, 10 ratings)

Most people are familiar with the basic principles driving today’s hottest big data and enterprise companies. But what’s really going on underneath the hood? In this session, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers General Partner Michael Abbott unboxes a variety of startups in the space to examine the technology, architecture, and innovations they’ve harnessed to deliver superior products and services.

Photo of Michael Abbott

Michael Abbott

Stanford University

Mike Abbott joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2011 and focuses on investments in the firm’s digital practice, helping entrepreneurs in the social, mobile and cloud computing sectors rapidly scale teams and ventures. Mike serves as an expert resource on enterprise infrastructure, cloud computing and “big data.” He also helps entrepreneurs win the race for talent in a hyper-competitive recruitment environment.

An engineering leader, entrepreneur and investor, Mike led the building of innovative, high-performance applications and services at Twitter, Palm and Microsoft before he joined KPCB. Mike is also an expert in “big data” businesses, having been the founder of Composite Software (acquired by Cisco). Formerly the vice president of engineering at Twitter, Mike led the team to rebuild and solidify Twitter’s infrastructure, growing the engineering team from 80 to more than 350 engineers in less than a year and a half, and scaling Twitter’s architecture to support hundreds of millions of daily tweets. Before joining Twitter, Mike led the software development team at Palm that created HP/Palm’s next-generation webOS platform. Earlier in his career, Mike was the general manager at Microsoft for .NET online services, which became Azure. He was also co-founder of Passenger Inc. Mike has advised and invested in numerous software companies throughout his career, including Cloudera, Hearsay Labs, Jawbone, Saynow, Reverb Technologies, Toytalk and Locu.

Mike holds a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University and has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

Ki Ra


Eugene leads data science at Directly, a startup in San Francisco that helps companies scale excellent customer service by letting expert users help other users on demand. He builds augmented intelligence systems that allow humans and machines work together to make customer support better.
Previously Eugene was creating data stories and data products in the fitness wearables space at Jawbone.
Prior to Jawbone, he was CTO/Co-founder of survey startup Qualaroo.

Photo of Christopher Pouliot

Christopher Pouliot


Chris Pouliot is a real life rocket scientist, who has also spun astronauts until they were motion sick, split atoms to make an aircraft carrier go fast, provided insightful analysis that led to Google to change their top ad color, and helped Netflix determine what movies and TV shows to buy, and how much they should pay. He is currently the VP of Data Science at Lyft where he leads a team of data scientists who are working on algorithms to improve the Lyft user experience (e.g. dispatch, ETA, pricing).

Photo of Mike Polcari

Mike Polcari


Mike Polcari joined 23andMe in 2008 and works with a talented team of engineers to deliver access, understanding, and benefit from the human genome.
Mike is focused on architecture across 23andMe’s commercial products, including the Personal Genome Service, Commercial Research Portal, and API platform. Previously, he held engineering roles at and Merrill Lynch.
Mike holds a BS in Computer Science from Cornell and a MS in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford.