Ms. Chopra emphasized her support for Holberton’s mission to educate people from underprivileged backgrounds. Her investments will skew heavily toward companies with an element of social impact, and companies founded by women.
“I don’t want to just be one of those people who’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to be on the tech bandwagon — how are they making so much money,’” she said, surveying the Holberton work space in a cream pantsuit and snakeskin stilettos. “It’s not about that.”
Ms. Chopra has worked with Unicef to advocate for children since 2006, focused mostly on developing nations. But a dinner conversation with Ms. Acharia around the time of the 2016 election turned to education in America. That led Ms. Acharia to introduce Ms. Chopra to the Holberton School’s founders.
“I think Holberton was the gateway drug for Priyanka,” Ms. Acharia said.
Mr. Kutcher’s venture firm, Sound Ventures, is often cited as the most successful example of a celebrity’s investing in tech start-ups. Mr. Kutcher’s investments, made while he was working alongside talent manager Guy Oseary, include several of this tech wave’s most successful start-ups, like Airbnb, Uber and Spotify, as well as hot up-and-comers like Bird and Casper.
At a recent conference, Mr. Kutcher was asked to offer advice to the scores of celebrities and athletes joining the tech investing fray. He said he dedicated a lot of time to becoming a credible venture capitalist, including attending every Y Combinator demo day for the past decade.
“If you want to have a job, you’ve got to do the work,” he said. “It takes time, and a ton of mistakes.”
Ms. Chopra said she found Mr. Kutcher’s investment approach inspiring.
“I’m extremely open to listening, learning and absolutely dedicating a part of my life to this,” she said.
Ms. Acharia plans to keep presenting her with new investment ideas. “Maybe we’re the new Ashton and Guy,” she said.