Hello, I'm Vinayak

I build teams and products
Currently CEO at Drafted
Previously DirEng at KAYAK
MIT Course 6, built in Boston

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My Story

I was born in the United States to Indian parents, and we moved back to India when I was still in kindergarten. I came back to the United States when I was 17 to go to MIT.

While in college, I experimented by working in a NASA student research program, in a Computational Genomics lab, and at a hedgefund. Surprisingly, I had the most fun at the hedgefund because that’s where I discovered I was better at making products that generated immediate value, rather than longer term research which was better suited for people smarter than me.

After completing a couple of degrees, I worked as a software engineer at KAYAK thanks to Paul English. Eventually, I became a Director of Engineering for the KAYAK Mobile team. Surprisingly, my biggest learning from KAYAK was the incredible value of being able to build a superstar team, and learning how to be a good manager from Bill O’Donnell.

Eventually, I started Drafted based on some of the ideas around referrals and network recruiting that I’d been thinking about over the years.

On my personal time, I did some retail investing at first, with my first savings from my engineering job at KAYAK. When I left KAYAK, I took some opportunities to advise or invest in other startups - mostly as a learning tool to make me a better founder.