Raj Chowdhury

San Francisco | CA Ph:415.800.3465 |

(Entrepreneur and investor in Renewable and Internet companies)


Raj Chowdhury is an entrepreneur and investor in Renewable and Internet companies and an active member of the philanthropic community.

He is the co-founder of Unification Energy; a company focused in facilitating the penetration of Electric Vehicles through its design and installation of state-of-the-art charging stations. In 2008, the founding team envisioned the rise of the Electric Vehicle as the technology of choice for automobiles. Together, they pioneered a business model that would keep charging sessions at retail locations, completely free of cost to EV owners.

In 2010, Raj co-founded Shop-a-Block, a lifestyle website designed to provide attire shoppers with a personalised shopping experience. The founders set out on a journey to seek solutions for two major hurdles shoppers’ confront- fit and social assurance. That was how features such as ‘Check your Best Fit’ brand and ‘Share your Avatar’ on social networks were conceived. Today, Shop-a-Block has over 8000 merchants and 9 million products on display.

Raj co-founder Power Enhancing Devices, which designed Piezoelectric NEMS applications to harness environmental energy for portable electronic devices. Physik Instrumente, a German Piezoelectric device manufacturer, acquired the company in 2006.

He co-founded Locus International in 2002 to generate mapping data of India cities to be used for GPS navigation.

Once a research associate at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Lab, he went to Tufts University, Santa Clara Universityand the Fletcher Schoolof International Law and Diplomacy for MS, MBA and other certifications.

Raj is a long time member of AshaSilicon Valley chapter, a non-profit committed to the spread of education for children in emerging countries.

He authored the book ‘The Dark Secret of the Silicon Valley’, in which he shares personal stories of his experience working alongside the Godfathers’ of the Valley, the billionaires who help keep the place in a few hands.

In his spare time he enjoys, biking around city lakes, yoga, golfing and traveling internationally


Effective and Accountable

  • Overcome complex business challenges and make high stakes decisions using experience-backed judgment, strong work ethic and irreproachable integrity. Respected as a proponent of empowerment and accountability.

Corporate Strategy & Development Specialist

  • Characterised as a visionary, strategist and tactician. Consistent record of delivering extraordinary results in growth, revenue, operational performance, and profitability.

Consistently deliver mission-critical results

  • Driven by a visceral “hard-wired” need to strategise, to innovate, and to disprove the words “It can’t be done!” Gifted with the vision, determination, and skills needed for revenue-building strategies and tactics.

Strong orientations in operations and finance

  • Participate in operational initiatives, including infrastructure design, process reengineering and turnaround management. Use of instinct, insight, judgment, and timing to succeed no matter how tough the deal.

Respect and leverage of human capital

  • Motivate mentor and lead talented professionals. Live the culture and lead by example. Direct cross-functional teams using interactive and motivational leadership that spurs people to willingly give 110% effort and loyalty.

Vision, Strategy, Execution & Leadership

  • P/L & Performance Improvement

Business Process Development

  • Risk Management
  • Supply Chain Management

Startup, Turnaround, Change

  • Due Diligence, Deal Structuring & Negotiations

Investors, Shareholders & Board Relations

  • Executive Advisory Support

Online Marketing

  • Social Feature Deployment
  • Mobile App Deployment


  • Global Climate Change Economics and Policies
  • Renewable Energy

Intellectual Property Law

  • Cross Cultural Leadership


2008-Current Unification Energy@ San Francisco, CA

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Unification provides charging infrastructure and services to the global Electric Vehicle (EV) industry to help consumers make a seamless transition to clean energy transportation.

  • Envisioned in early 2008 that EV would be the technology of choice for automobiles & identified EV infrastructure as an opportunity
  • Pioneered a business model that would keep charging sessions at retail locations, completely free of cost to EV owners
  • Developed ties with executives of banks (Wells Fargo, SVB); Honda, Toyota, GM; Private equity investors in SV and DOE lobbyists
  • Crossed the 10,000 units sale mark of charging stations

2012-Current Shop-a-Block @ San Francisco, CA

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Shop-a-Block is a leading social shopping website with a wide variety of brands and stores offering a range of products for Women & Men, Home Decor and Kids. The site carries deals and offers from over 8,000 merchants organised in a searchable and easy to browse interface.

  • Steered e-commerce ideation into a profitable startup in nine months of inception
  • Developed partnerships with Shopzilla, eBay and Amazon for shopping content integration
  • Innovated social shopping features to help users shop with friends and spur viral growth
  • Identified top ROI marketing channel to align product and marketing efforts leading to doubling of subscription base

2008-2014 GloCal Venture Capital @ Seattle, WA

Entrepreneur in Residence

GloCal Venture Capital based in Seattle, WA invests and incubates startups to create a collaborative environment where for-profit, government and non-profit can work seamlessly under one umbrella.

  • Provided domain expertise to general Partners in the area of Renewable Energy
  • Led Due Diligence, Deal Structuring & Negotiation processes for a wide range of startups
  • Provided advisory operational assistance to a portfolio of startups

2008-2012 Smartbid @ Sunnyvale, CA

Advisory, Board of Directors

Smartbid is a social auction site offering pay per bid strategy auctions. The site makes auctions fun and exciting experience while providing unbeatable deals for new factory sealed products.

  • Advised co-founders in envisioning, building & shipping Web 2.0 entertainment shopping site profitable within 8 months of launch
  • Innovated social gaming features which resulted in highest retention rate in the industry for pay per bid auction games
  • Advised marketing efforts in search (PPC/display), social (FB/twitter), email & channel marketing (Pay-Per-Bid Bloggers, Forums)
  • Developed relations with influential bloggers resulting in very low CPA for user acquisition and high lifetime value

2008-2012 Intevac Inc @ Sunnyvale, CA

Program Management, Hard Drive Equipment

Intevac is the market leader in the hard drive industry with approximately 60% of all magnetic disk media produced worldwide. Our technology solutions, which improve performance and throughput, have helped us expand into additional markets including solar and adjacent thin film deposition applications.

  • Reduced tool time-to-market by one week or 10% by reducing Engineering Change cycle time
  • Produced 18% cost savings for hard drive tools by creating and managing offshore supplier base
  • Instituted corporate business processes for spares/consumable, supplier evaluation, engineering change

2006-2008 Applied Materials @ Sunnyvale, CA

Product Manager, Semiconductor Equipment

Applied Materials, Inc. is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products.

  • Defined product roadmaps/requirements by identifying market requirements and customer needs
  • Managed delivery of new products meeting market and financial goals
  • Analysed market drivers, developed competitive assessments and trends to guide corporate strategic planning

2005-2006 MIT, Microsystems Technology Lab (MTL) @ Cambridge, MA

Research Associate

MTL at MIT is an interdepartmental laboratory that supports Microsystems research encompassing work in circuits and systems, MEMS, electronic and photonic devices, molecular and nanotechnology.

  • Process Engineered CMOS technology and MEMS devices in Clean Room environment
  • Researched ultrasonic energy applications for power metallurgy to consolidate nano-sized particulate matter


2004-2006 Tufts University @ Boston, MA

Master of Science (MS)

  • Robotics Engineering/Material Science
  • GPA: 3.7, Awarded full merit scholarship

2004-2006 Tufts University @ Boston, MA

Master of Science (MS)

  • Robotics Engineering/Material Science
  • GPA: 3.7, Awarded full merit scholarship

2008-current Santa Clara University @ Santa Clara, CA

Master of business administration (MBA)

  • Marketing
  • Finance


  • The Dark Secret of the Silicon Valley


  • Publications – (1) Ultrasonic Consolidation of nano crystals (2) Piezo Electrical devices (3) EV chargers
  • S/W – Objective C (i-Ph apps), Android, HTML/CSS, PHP, Oracle apps, OrCAD, UGNX, Spice, Ansys, MatLab
  • Hobby –Traveling the world and meeting new people