Boston shines on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists

LiquiGlide's Dave Smith was one of many Boston-area innovators to make Forbes' 30 Under 30 list. Photo: JOANNE RATHE/GLOBE STAFF
LiquiGlide's Dave Smith was one of many Boston-area innovators to make Forbes' 30 Under 30 list. Photo: JOANNE RATHE/GLOBE STAFF

Earlier this week, Forbes released their annual 30 Under 30 lists, which size up the most promising young “game changers, movers, and makers.” Once again, their lists prove something we have always known: that the Boston area is home to some of the most innovative young people in the game.

Here is a sampling of some of the standouts from this year’s list.

Venture Capital:

Nitesh Banta and Peter Boyce II – Rough Draft Ventures

Rough Draft Ventures helps student entrepreneurs start companies with investments up to $25,000.

Neil Chheda and Krishna Gupta – Romulus Capital

Romulus Capital has raised over $50 million to invest in startups.

guarav jain

Gaurav Jain – Founder Collective

A former product manager with Google’s Android platform, Jain is now a principal at Founder Collective, a firm that focuses on seed investment.

Holly Maloney – North Bridge

Maloney is a later-stage investor at North Bridge and focuses on high-growth companies.

Stephanie Weiner – Bain Capital Ventures

After helping to found Dorm Room Fund while a student at UPenn, Weiner joined Bain Capital Ventures, where she focuses on financial technology, retail technology and compliance startups.

Manufacturing and Industry:

Gabe Blanchet and James Byron – Grove Labs 

Grove Labs revolutionizes aquaponics, providing affordable, refrigerator sized units to grow fruits and vegetables year round.

Chris Haid – NVBOTS

NVBOTS has developed 3D printing technology which allows greater automation of the machines.

Blake Sessions and Arron Acosta – Rise Robotics

Rise Robotics develops biology-inspired robotics parts for the aim of lowering the cost for more advanced systems.

Retail and e-commerce:

Aman Advani and Gihan Amarasiriwardena – Ministry of Supply

Ministry of Supply, founded out of MIT and launched on Kickstarter, uses NASA technology to make dress shirts that manage heat and moisture.

Social entrepreneurship:

Sarah Kearney – PRIME Coalition

PRIME Coalition connects investment opportunities in climate change to potential philanthropists.


Samuel Shames – Embr Labs

Embr Labs is developing Wristify, a bracelet which heats and cools intermittently to help with user comfort and to save buildings heating costs.

Dave Smith – LiquiGlide

LiquiGlide creats permanently slippery surfaces, and has applications in wind turbine technology.

Deckard Sorensen – NBD Nanotechnologies

The Namib Desert Beetle has a shell that collects water vapor, and NBD Nano attempts to harness the processes that underlay this marvel of evolution to create coatings that simultaneously attract and repel water molecules.

Sara Volz – Student, MIT

While a student at MIT, Volz built a lab in her bedroom to research the biofuel potential of algae.


Nikhil Agarwal – Assistant Professor, MIT

Professor Agarwal has created a mathematical model to explain the seemingly-unfair residency match system in hospitals.

Alex Bick – M.D.-Ph.D. student, Harvard Medical School

Bick is using computers to analyze genetic data published in Science, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Nature Genetics.

Evan Daugharthy, ReadCoor

Fresh from inventing a new method to sequence RNA, Daugharthy’s company ReadCoor is attempting to commercialize a new kind of diagnostic test.

David He – Quanttus

Quanttus is attempting to revolutionize heart monitoring through wearables that detect imperceptible motions that indicate vital signs.

Alison Hill – Research Fellow, Harvard

Hill developed mathematical models to predict the potential curative worth of HIV medication.


Christopher Lee – Recon Therapeutics

Recon Therapeutics is developing a syringe that allows powdered drugs to be mixed using a pressurized water system.

TJ Parker – PillPack

PillPack sends pre-sorted medications to pharmacies in order to help patients remember which drugs to take and when.

Armon Sharei – SQZ Biotech

Sharei developed a new technology to deliver materials into cells and founded SQZ Biotech to commercialize his invention.

Mark Slaughter – Cohealo

Cohealo has created an online marketplace for medical equipment in order to counter risings costs.

Carol Suh – GlaxoSmithKline

Suh, an innovation fellow at GlaxoSmithKline, focuses on regenerative medicine through the use of stem cell technologies.


Dave Bisceglia – The Tap Lab

The Tap Lab develops location-aware mobile games, including the upcoming Bigfoot Hunter.

Amy Robinson – EyeWire

EyeWire is a 3D puzzle game that actually helps researchers map neural circuits.

Dawn Rivers – Mechamagizmo

A former lighting artist at Harmonix, Rivers’ company Mechamagizmo helps develop small indie games for larger companies.

Food and Drink:

Nicholas Rellas and Justin Robinson – Drizly

Drizly is an online alcohol delivery service, partnered with 150 retailers.

Enterprise Tech:

Fadel Adib – Ph.D. student, MIT

Adib helped create WiTrack, a Wi-Fi that helps tracks movement through the use of radio signals.


Canan Dagdeviren – Postdoctoral associate, MIT

Dagdeviren is developing body-powered chips for use in pacemakers and other technologies.

Satoru Emori – Postdoctoral scientist, Northeastern University

Emori has focused on developing new methods of controlling magnetism with electricity, for use in more efficient computers.

Eran Hodis – M.D.-Ph.D. student, Harvard University-MIT

Hodis has discovered one of the common mutations in cancer, a pair of mutations in the genome of melanoma cells.

Patrick Hsu – Postdoctoral fellow, Broad Institute

Hsu works with a protein called Cas9, which he engineered to edit DNA with excellent accuracy.

Henry Lin – Undergraduate student, Harvard University

Lin has authored three different papers in astrophysics, with diverse research in asteroids and analyzing industrial pollutants in Earth-like planets of other solar systems.

Sabrina Pasterski – Ph.D. candidate, Harvard University

Pasterski, merely 21 years old, was the first woman to graduate at the top of her undergraduate program in 20 years and is now a Ph.D. physics student with two published papers to her name.

Steve Ramirez – Ph.D. candidate, MIT

Ramirez has created false memories in rodents, by switching negative memories for positive ones.

Jason Sheltzer – Ph.D. candidate, MIT

Sheltzer is studying gender hiring discrepancies in the sciences, discovering that top men hired women less frequently than less famous researchers.