Nine Philadelphians Make Forbes 30 Under 30
Forbes magazine has released its 30 Under 30 list for 2016 and nine young Philadelphians were recognized — from a Little League pitcher who captured the nation’s hearts to an entrepreneur who scored a big deal on Shark Tank.
This year’s list featured 30 winners in 20 categories — 600 winners in all. Look for some of the people on this year’s list to appear at the magazine’s Under 30 Summit, which was held in Philly for the past two years and featured people like YouTube star Michelle Phan and snowboarder/surfer Shaun White.
Here’s a rundown of the local winners in 2016 and what Forbes had to say about each person:
Mo’ne Davis, 14, Little League baseball player.
Davis was one of two girls to play in the 2014 Little League World Series and is the first of many: the first girl to earn a win and pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history, the first African-American girl to play in the Little League World Series, the first Little League player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Daniel Fine, 22, founder of Glass-U
A serial entrepreneur four times over despite having just graduated from Wharton in May ’15. Fine’s latest company, founded in 2012, makes foldable sunglasses and licenses them to music festivals and sports events like Lollapalooza and the FIFA World Cup.
Logan Cohen, 25, co-founder of Kudzoo
Proof that the carrot is more effective than the stick when it comes to student achievement. Kudzoo is a mobile app that rewards students for good grades and school attendance with “Kudzoo Cash,” which can be exchanged for gift cards, discounts at restaurants and stores, and more. With $1.3 million in funding for it’s official 2015 back to school launch, over 375,000 students have downloaded the app.
Danny Cabrera, 23 and Ricky Solorzano, 26 co-founders of BioBots
Danny Cabrera and Ricky Solorzano cofounded BioBots, which makes 3D printers and inks that allow researchers to print living tissues. The company sold $250,00 worth of units in the first quarter of 2015 and has raised $1.5 million to date. They created the first prototype in Ricky’s dorm room.
Christopher Gray, 24, co-founder of Scholly
For seven months during high school in Alabama, Christopher Gray spent close to 12 hours a week searching and applying (sometimes on his cell phone) for college scholarships. By the time he set foot on Drexel University’s campus as a freshman, he had racked up enough money to cover his tuition and all conceivable undergraduate expenses and then some. “I was high achieving,” he says, “but I had to choose either finding the money for college or not going at all.” Fast forward a couple of years, and Gray was volunteering with low-income students just like him in Philadelphia public schools to help them find ways to pay for college. It didn’t take long to realize he couldn’t help everyone one on one. Teaming up with cofounders Nick Pirollo, 26, and Bryson Alef, 24, in early 2015, he built Scholly. Using an eight-parameter algorithm, the app and web platform connects pre-screened scholarships with eligible students. Since its launch, more than 600,000 users have joined and $20 million in scholarships have been given out. For now, Scholly only pairs students with privately funded scholarships. Next up? Connecting students with public university scholarships.
Yash Mulgaonkar, 27, PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania
Early in his career, Mulgaonkar developed the world’s smallest autonomous drone. He’s since been focused on how to make drones and other robots accessible to everyone by developing rapid fabrication methods for them. He’s also focused on training robots to work together so they can accomplish tasks more efficiently.
Ari Weinstein, 21, co-founder and CEO, DeskConnect
Weinstein earned kudos at a 2012 LinkedIn hack day with his DeskConnect, a pair of iOS and Mac apps that provided the same feat of sharing files across multiple devices as Apple debuted later with AirDrop. DeskConnect was featured on the Mac App Store at launch and quickly became the #1 most downloaded app — a position it held for nearly two weeks. Weinstein is now behind Workflow, an Apple Editor’s Choice and Design Award-winning task automation tool. He dropped out of MIT to become a Thiel Fellow.
Karishma Shah, 25, program manager, Google [x]
Shah was the youngest hire at Alphabet Inc.’s Google [x], Google’s so-called moonshot factory, where the search giant places smart people to come up with far-out technologies that can be applied to the world’s biggest problems. At the age of 21, the UPenn grad cofounded a natural language processing project at Google [x], led operations for the Project Wing drone delivery service in Australia, and is now program manager for Google [x]’s rapid prototyping team. She won Mark Cuban’s Movers & Changers competition with her startup in college, and led global partnerships for SolveforX.com.
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