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  • portrait of Alumnus Pratik Verma

    Alumnus Pratik Verma sells startup to Microsoft

Alumnus Pratik Verma, a chemist and serial tech entrepreneur, sold his most recent company BlueTalon to Microsoft last month, joining its Azure Data Governance group. Verma earned his bachelor's degree from the Department of Chemistry in 2005, and his doctorate in chemistry at Stanford University in 2011. 

Verma founded BlueTalon, a data security company based in Redwood City, CA, in 2013, where he led product development. BlueTalon software lets enterprises control and audit what data users can see, use, or modify without restricting users or compromising security. 

While at the University of Minnesota, Verma built another startup, AgeTak, based in Hopkins, MN, with his father Rakesh Verma that helped healthcare organizations use their data while being compliant with regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). He founded BlueTalon and AgeTak to eliminate barriers in the use of data to accelerate innovations in data-intensive and privacy-sensitive industries. At Microsoft, Verma hopes to bring his expertise to help all companies using data at the cloud scale.

While at the University of Minnesota, Verma's undergraduate adviser was Professor John Ellis. "Pratik had diverse interests and background as an undergraduate and that undoubtedly greatly helped in his successful work at Stanford and thereafter," said Ellis.

In Ellis' lab, he worked with Victor Sussman on researching metal-organic compounds, research that was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). He also did undergraduate research in computational chemistry with Professor Christopher Cramer and a UROP project on non-linear dynamics with Professor Ken Leopold.

"I really appreciated that the UROP program allowed me to get a great, well-rounded education from amazing professors at the University," said Verma.