Niniane Wang

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Niniane Wang is an American software engineer and technology executive. In her early career at Google, Wang co-founded Google Desktop and founded Google Lively. She was previously vice president of engineering of Niantic after her company Evertoon was acquired by Niantic in 2017.

Early life and career[edit]

The daughter of Chinese immigrants to the United States, Wang went to school in New Mexico and Nevada. At fifteen years old, she attended the California Institute of Technology,[1] where she received a bachelor's degree. While studying for a master's degree in computer science at the University of Washington,[2] she worked as an engineering team leader on Microsoft's Flight Simulator.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Google[edit]

Wang worked at Google for five years starting in 2003.[1] There she was an engineering manager of products such as Gmail and co-founded Google Desktop, winning a Google Founders' Award for the latter.[5][4] In a 2008 post on Google's official blog, Wang announced Google Lively, a web-based virtual world officially part of Google Labs. Wang explained that she developed Lively as a "20% Project", referring to Google's practice of allocating a portion of its employees' paid work time towards personal projects.[6] Google planned to make Lively into a platform for developers to create games, but ultimately discontinued the service after five months in December 2008.[7]

Minted[edit]

For four years after she left Google, Wang was chief technology officer of Minted, an online marketplace that crowdsources designs for paper products such as stationery and wall art.[1][3] During this time, in 2010, Wang and Yishan Wong founded the Sunfire Offices coworking space in Mountain View, California.[8]

Evertoon and Niantic[edit]

Wang founded the company Evertoon in 2016. Evertoon's mobile app allowed users to produce short animated films. Evertoon raised $1.7 million in venture capital financing and released its app in November 2016.[1][9]

In June 2017, Wang was one of six women who accused venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck of sexual harassment.[10][11][12] Initially denying the allegations, Caldbeck resigned from his position at Binary Capital four days later.[13][14]

In November 2017, American software developer Niantic acquired Evertoon and hired its team of five employees. The Evertoon app was shut down later that month.[15][16] After the acquisition, Wang became Niantic's vice president of engineering, where she oversaw products including Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.[5]

Basis Set Ventures[edit]

Wang currently serves as the chief technology officer of Basis Set Ventures, a venture capital fund.[17]

Accolades[edit]

Wang was named as one of the "8 women following Marissa Mayer to major CEO-dom" by The Next Web in 2012.[3] Business Insider named her to its lists of the 25 Most Powerful Women Engineers In Tech in 2012 and 2013.[4][18] Forbes named her one of America's Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018.[2]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Zarya, Valentina (March 3, 2016). "How This Ex-Googler Plans to Turn You into a Movie Director". Fortune. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "America's Top 50 Women In Tech". Forbes. December 12, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hastings, Allie (August 4, 2012). "The 8 women following Marissa Mayer to major CEO-dom". The Next Web. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Bort, Julie (August 24, 2012). "Beyond Marissa Mayer: 25 Powerful Women Engineers In Tech". Business Insider. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Levy, Nat (October 12, 2018). "How Pokémon Go evolved to remain popular after the initial craze cooled". GeekWire. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  6. Stone, Brad (July 9, 2008). "Google Introduces a Cartoonlike Method for Talking in Chat Rooms". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  7. Martin, Matt (November 20, 2008). "Google pulls plug on Lively". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  8. Tsotsis, Alexia (August 28, 2010). "Ex-Googler and Ex-Facebooker Start Invite-Only Workspace Sunfire Offices". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  9. Lynley, Matthew (March 3, 2016). "Evertoon wants you to build funny 3D cartoon videos on your phone". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  10. Entis, Laura (July 18, 2017). "Niniane Wang: Exposing VC Justin Caldbeck Took '100 Hours of Work'". Fortune. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  11. Guynn, Jessica; Swartz, Jon (June 29, 2017). "Sexual harassment scandal shakes insular, influential venture capital world". USA Today. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  12. Lazzaro, Sage (June 23, 2017). "6 Women Accuse Prominent Tech VC Justin Caldbeck of Sexual Assault and Harassment". Observer. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  13. Sydell, Laura (December 13, 2017). "How A Female Engineer Built A Public Case Against A Sexual Harasser In Silicon Valley". NPR. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  14. Primack, Dan (June 26, 2017). "Binary Capital partner quits (update: so does Caldbeck)". Axios. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  15. Perez, Sarah (November 3, 2017). "Niantic acqui-hires Evertoon to add a social network to Pokémon Go and other apps". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  16. Roof, Katie (January 16, 2019). "'Pokémon Go' Maker Niantic Eyes Acquisitions After Fundraising". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  17. Shieber, Jonathan (April 22, 2021). "At Basis Set Ventures, merging venture capital and software development yields a $165 million new fund". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  18. Bort, Julie (March 5, 2013). "The 25 Most Powerful Women Engineers In Tech". Business Insider. Retrieved January 10, 2021.


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