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Kai Mai ’01 Bridges the Gap Between Students and Alumni

May 17, 2021

Quick facts about Kai Mai

Degrees: BS, electrical engineering and computer science; MS, software engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Currently: COO, Petoi; founder, Cal Startup network; co-president, Berkeley Chinese Alumni International Association Silicon Valley Chapter

What was your life like at Cal?

I was a transfer student from the City College of San Francisco. Coming to Berkeley was a huge shock for me, and everyone seemed smarter than me. I remember that my introductory computer science classes had a few hundred students. I spent a lot of time in Cory Hall and Soda Hall and pulled a few all-nighters. Looking back, I wish I had engaged with other aspects of campus life more.

What are you working on currently?

I am working at Petoi to bring affordable, futuristic robot pets from fiction to reality. I built the Cal Startup Network to help connect Cal alumni with students so they can collaborate to build the next generation of startups and make positive changes around the world. It will leverage Slack user groups and email lists, and we will host virtual events for alumni to share their entrepreneurship stories.

How do you tap into your Cal alumni network?

A few years ago, I recruited prominent Cal alumni to set up the China Leadership Award Scholarship. Additionally, as a committee member of the Berkeley Club of Shanghai, I helped organize Berkeley 150 in Shanghai events and the 2018 Pac-12 China Game.


The Berkeley Club of Shanghai’s mission is to help members of the Berkeley community in Shanghai stay connected to the university and each other.

For more information, follow the Berkeley Club of Shanghai on Facebook.