Santa Clara University

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight: AncientFaces


Daniel Pinna, 2003 SCU alumnus and entrepreneur, shares his unique business experience in the computer and genealogy industry:


djp_2013_11_a (1)Daniel J. Pinna ('03) is the definition of an entrepreneur.He began with a small idea during college, knowing it would involve something with genealogy and the internet, and progressively developed the idea into AncientFaces ( running his father's construction company after graduation, to becoming the VP of Business Development at BlackStone Discovery, Pinna knew it was necessary to accumulate business experience before really establishing his own venture.

"The AncientFaces Team is dedicated to building a free application that facilitates sharing historical information in order to create an accurate representation of individuals and families from the past" Pinna expresses.  With 2 million visitors a month, a database of over 200 million biographies containing over 1 million vintage photos, AncientFaces has created a reputation for itself.  "We've developed a platform where users create biographies of their loved ones, tracing back to their ancestors." 

With and Google as their biggest contributing partners, AncientFaces has become the 13th  most popular family history & genealogy website in the world.  In the 13 years since creating this innovative start-up, Pinna and his 3 team members rarely experience a dull  moment. "There are daily challenges when you are taking on numerous roles and learning new strategies on how to develop our platform."

"We constantly reinvent ourselves and that's the most exciting part." When he told me a story about a woman who was able to find her biological parents and sister through AncientFaces, he expressed how rewarding and memorable that was to him and his team.  "Ideas and businesses don't mean much unless they are actually needed and have a sincere purpose." 

More About AncientFaces - visit


AncientFaces is a free community comprised of people from around the world who believe in sharing their family history.  We create a picture of our shared past through the collaborative effort of our online community.  Through uploading our own vintage family photos we enable others to discover our mutual visual history. 

All of the historical records at AncientFaces are shared by the community and in collaboration with various government and private organizations. These records are made available, free for private individual use, so that we can see history through the eyes of those who lived it.  Every photo holds a mystery and tells a story.  The AncientFaces community believes in sharing our vintage photos with the world so that we can all remember and experience the past.  

Join the community with a free membershipat AncientFaces and try sharing a few photos to see what happens. You might discover a cousin, or find a photo of your great-grandmother, but even if you don't discover something new about your own family, your contribution will help write history.
Printer-friendly format