Nickhil Jakatdar earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) in India before coming to UC Berkeley, where he did his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). He translated his thesis, which focused on the topic of deep submicron photolithography control through in-line metrology, into his first start-up, Timbre Technologies. This technology is still being used 20 years later by almost every major semiconductor manufacturer for the real-time measurement of the critical dimensions of their advanced chips. In 2004, Jakatdar took over as president of MIT-based startup Praesagus, and in 2008, he co-founded and was CEO of Vuclip, a direct-to-consumer mobile video service for emerging markets that has become one of the top over-the-top (OTT) media providers in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, with more than 50 million users. Vuclip was later acquired by PCCW in Hong Kong and rebranded as Viu.
In 2019, Jakatdar became CEO of GenePath Diagnostics, a company looking to democratize health care by making the most advanced molecular diagnostics tests for oncology, infectious diseases and genetic disorders accessible to everyone. GenePath’s tests are used for population-level screening for newborns as well as for infectious disease testing across the world.
He is the founding member of the Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Pune, India, with the goal of fostering an environment and ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship. He has been an investor, adviser and board member to more than 50 startups over the years. Jakatdar has been awarded 60 patents, and he has more than 20 journal and conference publications, including the recipient of a best paper award for the IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from College of Engineering, Pune and the UC Berkeley Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a founding investor in the Oakland Roots, a second-division professional soccer team, and an advisory board member for the South Asian Heart Center.