Amol Sarva

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Amol Sarva

Dr. Amol Sarva is an American mobile entrepreneur and technology policy advocate.

He was the cofounder of Virgin Mobile USA and Peek, and has since been involved in numerous startup companies across a range of markets.


Born and raised in New York City, Amol Sarva attended Stuyvesant High School where he was a national, state, and city champion debater and captain of the Stuyvesant team. In debate, he was known for philosophical style of argument particularly John Rawls' theory of justice.

He studied philosophy and economics at Columbia University in New York, where he also founded his first startup (a web development firm called Netatomic) and worked with several Silicon Alley startups including Sonata (backed by Fred Wilson) and Gobi (an internet service provider).

In graduate school, Amol Sarva completed a doctorate from Stanford University in philosophy, with a dissertation on cognitive science[1] While at Stanford, Amol was involved with web technology (blogging, marketplaces) and startups.

Business profile[edit]

Dr. Sarva is an American entrepreneur[2] and technology policy advocate[3][4] known for founding two significant mobile service companies, Virgin Mobile USA and Peek.[5][6]

At Virgin, he was one of the three earliest members of a team that created the MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) concept in the US and built a public company with over $1 billion in revenue and 5 million customers. The company was among the first to aggressively market prepaid, no contract wireless services in the US, and was a joint venture between the UK's Virgin Group and the US wireless operator Sprint.

Virgin Mobile had an IPO on NASDAQ in 2007 and was acquired by Sprint.

Founder of Peek in late 2007, along with several of his former Virgin colleagues, he introduced the world's first mobile device dedicated to email. The product evolved to support a wider range of real-time web services including email, SMS, social networking. Peek has launched services in the US, Europe, and Asia.[7] Peek has been awarded numerous prizes including Time's Gadget of the Year and in 2012 the GSMA Nomination for Best Technology.[8][9] Yet in 2012, Peek service was abruptly canceled and many user left without the service that they had paid for.[10]

Peek's lead customers in Asia included the largest phone producers such as ZTE in China and service providers such as Bharti Softbank in India. In 2012, Bharti Softbank acquired Peek's business.

In 2012, Sarva was part of creating Halo Neuroscience, a company focused on neurostimulation technology for enhancing cognitive function.

Public policy[edit]

Sarva founded the Wireless Founders Coalition For Innovation in 2007 and appeared in US Senate hearings and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) panels on the subject of competition in US telecom.[11][12][13]

He was an advisor to Frontline Wireless in 2007-2008. In 2012, the US Congress announced a plan to implement the public safety and re-apportioning plan promoted originally by Frontline.[14]

Other activities[edit]

Sarva is active in the New York startup community, where he created the 250-member Founders' Roundtable and participated as a mentor at NYC Seed.[15][16]

In 2012, Sarva completed construction of East of East, n building project in New York called "the most important new building in the borough" by the New York Daily News.


  1. ^ "Stanford Philosophy Department Placement record". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Silicon Alley Insider 100 listing and profile". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  3. ^ "C-SPAN Interview on Wireless Policy". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  4. ^ Caulfield, Brian (2007-08-02). "Forbes overview of FCC issues in 2007 ruling". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Business Insider profile". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Engadget interview". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  7. ^ "GigaOm profile of Peek's 2011 strategy". Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Time Gadget of the Year 2008". 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  9. ^ "GSMA Best Technology". Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  10. ^ "Peek killing off US email and Twitter devices after 'lifelong service'". Engadget. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  11. ^ " open letter". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Op-Ed in VentureBeat". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Op-Ed in BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  14. ^ Wyatt, Edward; Steinhauer, Jennifer (2012-02-16). "The New York Times: Congress to Sell Public Airwaves to Pay Benefits". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  15. ^ "Founders' Roundtable site". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  16. ^ "NYC Seed Mentors". Retrieved 2011-01-31.