Bootcamp to Business Dream: SCET Alum returns to Berkeley as CPG Founder/CEO


May 21, 2024


Kashish Juneja, a woman in a pink suit, stands centered and speaking in the direction of the camera. The backs of two students, are seen at the edges of the frame as they listen to Kashish.
Kashish Juneja speaking with students in ENGIN 183D Product Management.

Just three blocks away from Embarcadero Bart Station at 101 Spear, an SCET Bootcamp alum is building her dream business. Meet Kashish Juneja, the visionary entrepreneur and tenacious Cal grad whose dorm room drink experiments flourished into AURA, a high quality health-conscious boba brand.  

Her journey began when she enrolled in Berkeley Bootcamp with an idea forming in her head. 

Reflecting on her time in Bootcamp, Kashish credits it with the realization that she wanted to pursue entrepreneurship. It provided the framework to structure her vision and transform it into a compelling pitch. Amidst developing her product at the time, Clutch, a B2B delivery app, she experienced the roller coaster of highs and lows inherent in startup life – from identifying a problem to finding a team to prototyping. She loved and embraced both the triumphs and setbacks. 

AURA was created during the era of Zoom university, during the final two years of her degree. Empowered by the flexibility of remote learning, Kashish would turn off her camera and experiment with concocting new beverages in her dorm room. 

From her dorm room, Kashish took AURA to the next level by introducing it to the campus community. She set up shop in her dorm room, and began selling drinks and hosting blind taste testing for students.

Today, Kashish is excited to share the mission behind AURA. “You are what you eat,” she says, and “food impacts your mentality.” Growing up, Kashish had a complex relationship with food. She wanted to create something that was health conscious, but didn’t compromise on taste. 

Kashish Juneja pours a small bottle of orange AURA drink into one of many empty clear glasses set up on a table. Four students watch while pouring their own AURA drinks into glasses.
Kashish Juneja sharing her AURA products with students

Beyond the beverage itself is a deeper commitment to the environment of joy and family values that she is creating around the brand. At her San Francisco location, she offers latte art classes and mentorship workshops, cultivating an inclusive space for all.

Kashish recently returned to SCET as a mentor, serving on a panel for ENGIN 183D Product Management, where she and other panelists shared insights on leading through influence and collaborating cross-functionally. 

Kashish wants aspiring entrepreneurs to know that she is a resource to them. Her advice is to take a leap of faith as she did. “Go for it. Obsess over solving the problem. Often school can tell us to focus on intelligence, but being in tune with our emotions brings us happiness,” she advises, “and whoever the customer is will see that.”

Kashish Juneja sits at a table, speaking to a group of six students who are taking notes on laptops and paper.
Kashish Juneja mentoring a Product Management student team

While AURA’s flagship store in San Francisco serves as her home base, Berkeley still holds a special place in Kashish’s heart. She envisions a stronger future presence in Berkeley, by both nurturing student entrepreneurs and contemplating the idea of a Berkeley store. 

For now, AURA is open daily just five stops away from Berkeley via BART. Kashish welcomes young entrepreneurs seeking guidance, alongside anyone with a craving for guilt-free sweet treats.