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Silicon Valley CAEG: Insights from Political Office

  • Palo Alto Elks Lodge 4249 El Camino Real Palo Alto, CA 94306 (map)

Caltech alumni Grace Mah (BS '81) and Greg Tanaka (EX '96) present their insights from holding political office.

About our speakers


Grace Mah (BS ‘81):

Grace H. Mah has served on the Santa Clara County Board of Education since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Strong Start Coalition, a coalition made up of community leaders, early education providers, nonprofit organizations, elected officials, members of the business community, and other key stakeholders who are committed to expanding access to high quality early learning opportunities for all children age 0 to 8 in Santa Clara County.
She is a board member of Stevenson House, a low-income senior housing program in Palo Alto and also a partner of SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Ventures), a philanthropic nonprofit.

Grace has been a board member of the Palo Alto Family YMCA, a parent volunteer at Palo Alto public schools, and the initiator for a Mandarin immersion program in the Palo Alto Unified School District. For the Mandarin program in PAUSD, she contributed to the application and winning of a Foreign Language Assistance Program federal grant.

Grace has 18 years of experience in the high-tech industry, including project management and sales experience. She has a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology, and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley. Grace and her husband, Don Chin (BS 1979), and their two sons live in Palo Alto.


Greg Tanaka (EX ‘96):

Greg Tanaka is CEO and Founder of Percolata.  Percolata Forecast as a Service gathers and forecast shopper traffic and transactions with a 4x higher accuracy for retailers using weather forecasts, marketing calendars and other data via proprietary deep learning technology.  Percolata has closed their Series A in 2017, raising $10M and is funded by Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures and others. The company is based in Palo Alto with a R&D office in Shenzhen, China.

Greg is also on the Palo Alto City Council.  Previously, he served on the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission and the Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission, and he started the imaging group and held other senior business roles at Rambus, a leader in Intellectual Property.   Greg has also played key roles at two other venture backed startups and at Synopsys, a $5B public software company, where he sold and marketed multi-million dollar solutions.  At Tech he was a Pageboy.


About the CAEG

The Caltech Alumni Entrepreneurship Group (CAEG) is a technical (not consumer) forum group designed to provide trusted, interdisciplinary input during the research, exploration and development phases, and provide entrepreneurs access to a network of skills and experience.

The CAEG hosts monthly business mixers with a Caltech alumni presentation on business and entrepreneurship. This event is for Caltech alumni only.

Do you have an idea you would like to vet? Do you know where to start? Can you help others with your expertise and experience? Are you looking for a new job position, or have one available? Do you want to be a mentor, or need a mentor? Would you like to join a board of directors, or are you looking for qualified candidates for one?

Earlier Event: April 3
Boston: Pub Night
Later Event: April 5
Pasadena Monthly Lunch