Nikesh (Niki) Parekh is the CEO of ActiveRain, the largest social network and blogging network dedicated to the real estate industry. Before that, he was the CEO of Bio Architecture Lab – a spinout from the University of Washington that is applying synthetic biology and computational enzyme design to the development of biofuels and specialty chemicals from novel biomass. Prior to BAL, Niki worked with the Madrona Venture Group evaluating new business ideas and strategies in online marketing and advertising tools. Prior to Madrona, Niki was a Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Product Strategy and Corporate Development at HouseValues/MarketLeader (NASDQ: SOLD/LEDR), which is the leading online marketing partner for the real estate industry. Niki joined HouseValues in 2002 and had been responsible for new product initiatives, consumer marketing, strategy, business development, and corporate development. From 2002-2007, Niki helped HouseValues grow its revenue from $11m in 2001 to $98m in 2006. Prior to joining HouseValues, Niki worked in venture capital for Second Avenue Partners and held positions at CVC Capital Partners and CSFB in private equity and investment banking. Niki graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and Harvard College with a degree in biochemical sciences.
Training: My sense is that Michigan probably has a high potential workforce, but needs to be retrained in new skills in growing markets—be it information technology, clean technology, biotechnology or... Read more »