Pooja Shukla Devendran '99
Co-Founder and CEO
Pooja Devendran is the Co-Founder and CEO of NovoLux, a new emerging technology company based in Boston and now San Francisco, which makes therapeutic virtual windows. Her passion for integrating science, technology and management started in the halls of MIT, and she now has more than two decades of experience in disrupting healthcare delivery through innovation. Before taking a leap of faith and founding her own company in 2016, she left two stable jobs — one as a management consultant and the other as a hospital executive.
Pooja served as a Class Officer for all 4 years as an undergraduate at MIT, including Class President her Senior Year. Her commitment to the Institute as an MIT alumnus started in June 1999, one day following graduation, and since that time, she has served as an officer, on reunion committees, Co-Chair of her 20th Reunion Gift Committee, and most recently elected as an Alumni Association Selection Committee member. She loves serving as a host to MIT Externs, she spoke as a panelist at the first MIT Women’s UnConference, and she is grateful to have been a member of the MIT Clubs of DC, New York, and Boston. As of last August, Pooja and her husband Anand, also a fellow MIT alum, are excited to join the family of MIT Bay Area alumnae.Quick blurb on what you are doing for COVID-19: During the COVID19 crisis, anxiety is high, isolation is the new normal, and we’re all experiencing different levels of loneliness. Along with other class and club leaders, I am piloting a joint initiative between MITCNC and the MIT Class of 1999 where “alums help alums”. Specifically, we’re reaching out to older and potentially more vulnerable alums, from the MIT Class of 1970 and earlier, to simply “check-in”, offer a supportive and comforting phone call, and spread a bit of joy. The idea is to contact older alums to see how they’re doing, ask if they require any assistance and with what, and then mobilize junior alums to determine if and how we may be able to help.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the MITCNC?
I’m new to the Bay Area and MITCNC is the most active club I’ve been a part of since graduation — there’s something for everyone! Also, because friends involved with MITCNC just asked!
Tell us a bit about your role with the MITCNC. What are your responsibilities in this position?
During the COVID19 crisis, I am piloting a joint initiative between MITCNC and the MIT Class of 1999 where alums help alums. Specifically, we’re reaching out to older and potentially more vulnerable older alums, from the MIT Class of 1970 and earlier, to simply “check-in” and offer simple acts of kindness.
What exciting things can we expect to see from your area of focus in the coming months? (e.g., social events, speakers, etc.)
The idea is to call older alums to see how they’re doing; ask if they require any assistance and with what; and then mobilize to determine if and how we may be able to help. We’re thrilled to hear that other MIT Clubs nationally and globally have already expressed interest in replicating and participating. We anticipate that many alums will simply respond that they’re coping as best they can and they appreciate the call. A few may need help with a local errand and others may welcome the offer to learn the features of Zoom so they can stay connected to the outside world. If an individual feels lonely or isolated, we hope we can link these individuals back to the MIT community. We’ll know the initiative is successful if we’ve been able to spread just bit more joy during these challenging times!
Describe one of your most memorable MIT moments.
This is an unfair question; there are so many! My most memorable moments involved meeting new people – inspirational, dedicated, brilliant people – almost daily. And of course, meeting my husband at the MIT tennis bubble!