WHO IS THE REAL
There’s a character named Rakesh Madhava in Hulu’s hit show The Dropout, a dramatic miniseries documenting the tale of disgraced biotechnology company Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes. Our CEO is also named Rakesh Madhava. They are not the same person, but there is a connection. After reading some questionable reporting circulating the internet, we took it upon ourselves to set the record straight.
The real-life Rakesh Madhava graduated from Northwestern University, and did not drop out of Stanford. The real-life Rakesh Madhava is the founder and CEO of Nextpoint, and he has never been involved with Theranos or Elizabeth Holmes.
Unsurprisingly, growing a legal tech company leaves little time to start a side hustle as an engineer for a fraudulent biotech device.
For The Dropout miniseries, the writers created a single, composite character that would “stand in” for several early Theranos employees who were key to the company’s development. With Utkarsh Ambudkar cast in the role (whom we love in it), the production team started brainstorming names for this pseudo-fictitious amalgam.
Katherine Pope, an executive producer of the The Dropout, suggested the name, which is (not coincidentally) the same name as her brother-in-law – our very own Rakesh Madhava (or Rocky, as we fondly call him).
As it turns out, he’s the one and only Rakesh Madhava in the United States, which meant the show needed permission to use his real moniker for the character. Rocky graciously obliged, and in return he has received some interesting publicity (which he took advantage of for a few April Fool’s Day jokes).
Who is the Real Rakesh Madhava?
In 2001, Rocky founded Nextpoint, a Chicago-based company pioneering the use of cloud-based software in the legal justice system. He leads our efforts to deliver enlightened technology and professional services that improve the efficiency of the litigation process.
With years of courtroom experience as a litigation support professional, Rocky now explores the ways that emerging cloud technologies can increase the fairness and quality of justice in the court system. Today, Nextpoint serves over 400 legal organizations on 3 continents with thousands of monthly active users.
When he’s not working to transform the practice of eLaw, Rocky is often found expanding his repertoire of classic Italian dishes or obsessively playing late-night online chess.
A frequent speaker on cloud-computing and new technologies, Rocky is also an avid participant in legal technology industry events. He has served as an adjunct lecturer at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University on new media topics. He is also a frequent panelist, contributor, and presenter on all things eLaw.