Pooja Pendharkar – Lunchpool

Describe your relevant work history, awards, and accomplishments in 300 words or less.

Pooja is a well-caffeinated, agile community activist, mentor, and entrepreneur. She’s passionate about building communities, products, and world-class teams of smart people. She learns by doing and is energized by finding problems and building solutions. Pooja is a supporter of local businesses, breweries, and lover of all dogs.

She has a true passion for connecting and drawing teams together. Her diplomatic, empathetic, and relationship-oriented leadership has been a driving force throughout her career. She’s brought her consulting experiences at companies like Siemens, PWC, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to local companies such as Bisk, Bank OZK’s Innovation Labs, and later a startup she cofounded called Lunchpool.

She’s now focused on bringing her customer-focused, data-literate innovation approach to help our local innovation ecosystem in efforts to help facilitate capacity planning in the spirit of collaboration through her new startup project (soon to be announced!).

What do you love about the Tampa Bay area?

The people! Tampa Bay has a distinct personality to it with an emphasis on innovation & diversity that makes it a fabulous place to live and grow. The numerous breweries, choices in entertainment, and the weather doesn’t hurt either.

What are some of your favorite things to do around town when you aren’t working?

She’s a big fan of supporting local businesses. Pooja enjoys local coffee shops, restaurants, museums, being able to explore a new part of the city, or find nice places to sit, read, or utilize the fantastic trail system for bike rides.

How do you give your time back to the community?

Pooja has a passion for food systems and enjoys giving back in a way that helps feed the community. She’s volunteered with Feeding Tampa Bay’s Trinity Cafe, and #lunchbag.

She also enjoys being involved in learning and finding ways to give back to the area’s entrepreneurial culture by supporting many local meetups focusing around product, design, and community development.

She’s currently a board member of Disrupt the Bay and is leading the mental wellness track bringing together local rising stars who have gone beyond the call of duty to provide support during these uncertain times.

Tell us about the tech project that you are most proud of.

Pooja has been the cofounder of the local startup Lunchpool where she provided strategic and product leadership. In addition, she was leading the OZK Rewards research initiative with Bank OZK as they sought to find ways to support the local community in ways many traditional banks don’t.

Do you know someone who’s making waves in the Tampa Bay tech community? Nominate them here!

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tech leader nominee