Abie Award Winners, Technology Entrepreneurship

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, 2015 Winner of the Women of Vision ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship

In this hyper-connected age where users can rapidly hop between desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, watches, (insert new toy here), how do you understand the behavior of one person across all these platforms? In 2010, Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, founder and CEO of Drawbridge, set out to address just this question.

Drawbridge’s technology can analyze browsing behaviors across different platforms to match them to one individual user. For example, if a user clicks on an advertisement on her phone only to decide that she would rather visit the product’s website on her desktop, where she ends up purchasing the item, marketers can see that the person who clicked on the ad eventually bought the item, even though the actions occurred on different devices.

In an environment where only seven percent of venture capital goes to women-led startups, Kamakshi beat the odds, raising the capital needed to launch Drawbridge in 2010. Kamakshi learned that “it is more about what you have to say and less about anything else.”

In less than five years, she has grown the Drawbridge team from a small start-up to a thriving 80-person company. Kamakshi credits her success on her self-assurance and knowing the value of her ideas. She says, “My conviction and the merit of the idea made me successful.”

For Kamakshi, her path has been a “thrill ride.” She started her foray into marketing as a researcher and scientist at AdMob, a mobile advertising company that Google acquired during her time there. Using her background in algorithms (cool points factoid: one of the algorithms she developed while studying at Stanford is on board New Horizons, NASA’s farthest space mission to Pluto), Kamakshi developed the world’s first cross-device marketing technology that pairs users with their multiple devices.

While Kamakshi attributes part of her triumphs to good luck, she is also a strong believer in meeting the right people. “Building the right network, surrounding yourself with the right people, is so key to individual success—especially in technological entrepreneurship.”

In 2014, Business Insider named Kamakshi one of its Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising for the third year in a row, and Ad Age included her on their 40 Under 40 list.

“Every example of women like me who made it happen provide a can-do, will-do, and should-do spiritual movement for other women: if we can do it they can certainly do it too.”

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan is the 2015 winner of the Women of Vision ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship. You can meet Kamakshi and other Women of Vision at the Award Banquet, May 14, 2015.