THE ENSTITUTE TEAM

SHAILA ITTYCHERIA

Co-Founder

Shaila first stepped off the traditional education path when she realized a “liberal arts” major wasn’t for her. After one semester at Middlebury College, Shaila transferred to the less hallowed halls of Arizona State University. In addition to working in collaboration with Intel when writing her Honors Finance thesis, Shaila worked close to 40 hours a week in a finance department for an aerospace and defense company. These experiences made her realize once again she did not want to conform to the typical finance graduate pursuit of an investment banking or consulting role. Instead, she landed a job in Microsoft’s Finance Rotation Program, a leadership development program where she spent 6 months in four core areas of finance. Then she moved into an M&A role within the Online Services Group, starting off as an analyst but quickly climbing the ranks and was running her own deals in less than a year. In parallel, Shaila helped advise the Finance Rotation Program associates and assisted in developing the program.

Encouraged by her mentors and colleagues, Shaila left Microsoft to gain a “stamp of credibility” on her resume, and attended Harvard Business School. While loading up on classes that aligned with her passion for early stage businesses, she ended up once again going against the grain and graduated from HBS without a job, intentionally. Shaila moved to New York intent on gaining credibility in the emerging startup scene. To prove she wasn’t “just another MBA,” Shaila worked for free and helped her two friends launch their early stage startup, Birchbox. She then joined LocalResponse, running the half of the business focused on changing the way local businesses used social media to engage with their customers. LocalResponse was also where Shaila met her co-founder, Kane. There, the two of them started working on the idea of an alternative path of education based on real-life experiences. Realizing the power of institutionalizing apprenticeships, Shaila left LocalResponse at the end of 2011 and has dedicated herself to turning E[nstitute] into a reality.

KANE SARHAN

Co-Founder

Moving to New York City at 18 years old from a small town in Michigan, Kane joined City Year, an Americorps program, and spent 10 months tutoring, mentoring, and running Saturday service learning programs for youth in the South Bronx and East Harlem. After City Year, Kane decided to give up his deferment at the University of Michigan and stay in New York. He enrolled at Pace University. While studying at Pace and waiting tables in the East Village, Kane met Jacqui Squatriglia and began his first apprenticeship within her hospitality, entertainment, and media empire. Kane spent two years working full-time, going to school, and running a magazine for a community of over 30,000 New York City college students. Working for Jacqui helped Kane realize the power of real-life experience and he began to look at each day at his job as a new opportunity to learn.

In January of 2010, Kane met Nihal Mehta and has spent the last two years as an apprentice, working across a portfolio of projects in mobile technology, advertising, investments, and politics. Kane effectively grew from Nihal’s apprentice to the Creative Director at LocalResponse, where he was responsible for company strategy, sales, execution, and product development.

Kane is also an active member of the New York Tech and Young Innovators Communities. He is the Co-Ambassador of the New York Hub of Sandbox Network and was the Producer and Co-Organizer of RaiseCache.