In Forbes’ ninth annual “30 Under 30” list, released Dec. 3, featuring the latest class of 600 young entrepreneurs, risk-takers and game changers who are redefining what it means to innovate and lead by example, several Indian Americans and South Asian Americans were featured in the Law & Policy, Education, Finance, and Healthcare category. (See separate India-West stories on Indian American honorees in the other categories.)
In Law & Policy, Indian American Matthew Asir, 22, founder of the Legal Bullet; Ritika Dutt, 28, co-founder of Botler AI; Karthik Ganapathy, 28, partner at mvmt communications; and Varshini Prakash, 26, co-founder of Sunrise Movement, were named honorees.
Forbes notes that Asir founded the Legal Bullet during his freshman year at the University of Chicago. The organization, a combination of proprietary legal tech and a network of immigration attorneys, promotes legal immigration and immigrant entrepreneurship by making legal services accessible and affordable.
Dutt launched Botler AI because she believed tech could play a critical role in providing legal support to people dealing with sexual violence and misconduct. Available 24/7, the online tool triages users' cases and provides guidance, according to the Forbes report.
After working on Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign and running communications for Keith Ellison, Ganapathy co-founded mvmt, a communications shop dedicated to progressive Democratic candidates running on ambitious platforms, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, the Forbes report said.
Prakash is co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, a climate change nonprofit that rocketed to fame in 2018 after staging a sit-in at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office to back the Green New Deal. This September, her group organized the Global Climate Strike, mobilizing more than 3 million people in 150 countries to hit the streets to demand climate change action, the Forbes report said. A first-generation college graduate, Prakash saw firsthand the devastation wrought by floods in her parents' home country of India. Along with cofounder Evan Weber and six others, she launched Sunrise to organize legions of young people to fight for climate reforms. With $6.5 million in funding from foundations and grassroots donations, Sunrise has 50 full-time staff and outposts in more than 200 cities.
Samyr Qureshi, 26, co-founder of Knack; and Rukhsar Neyaz, 26, co-founder of Stellic, were among the Education category honorees.
Qureshi and Dennis Hansen’s Knack is a website where college students connect with others on campus for tutoring and mentoring at a 20% cut. After three years it is in 50 school across the U.S. with an army of 5,000 tutors. Both founders are graduates of the University of Florida.
Neyaz and Sabih Bin Wasi, two international students (from India and Pakistan, respectively), founded Stellic out of the frustration they faced after enrolling at Carnegie Mellon. Stellic takes a unified, AI-driven, student-centric approach to create pathways to graduation. With the platform, students can build their plans; advisers can identify students at risk of dropping out; and administrators can leverage the data to predict course demand and advising performance, Forbes said.
Moiz Khan, 29, a Pakistani American analyst at Palestra Capital, was named a Finance category honoree.
Khan is driving $1 billion of investments at Palestra Capital, a strong-performing $3.5 billion hedge fund. He focuses on financial technology and vertical software stocks.
In Healthcare, Kunal Parikh, 29, research associate at Johns Hopkins University; Vijay Ramani, 29, principal investigator at U.C. San Francisco; and Sana Raoof, 29, researcher at Harvard University, were named to the list.
Parikh leads a team at Johns Hopkins aimed at finding and commercializing biomedical solutions for unmet medical needs. A serial entrepreneur as well as a researcher, Parikh founded his first company, Core Quantum Technologies, in college. He has also recently created another company, Eyedea Medical, which aims to improve access for corneal transplants, Forbes said.
Raoof is a researcher focused on reducing the burden of tobacco-related disease and lung cancer in America. During her Ph.D. research, she characterized evolutionary drug-resistance in a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer and discovered a drug combination that might prevent resistance. Her expert testimony has led to changes in smoking laws in different jurisdictions, the Forbes report said.