Founders 

Here is a list of successful founders that are featured in our book. Click our name/face to connect with us! 

 

Grace Gong

Grace Gong is the creator of “The Last Key To Success, the secret recipe by founders under 30.” Check her out on GraceGong.com. She also writes for Thrive Global

Mary Jo Madda

Mary Jo is Senior Editor at EdSurge. Previously, she taught middle school math/science with Teach for America (Houston corps '09), KIPP Houston, and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where she also served as an administrator, curriculum coordinator, and decathlon coach. Following her years teaching, she worked on the ScratchED team at the MIT Media Lab, and served as an Education Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Harvard University Innovation Lab while piloting an educational media start-up. Mary Jo has an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Northwestern University. Most recently, she was featured on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list for 2016.

Stafford Sheehan

Dr. Stafford W. Sheehan is a scientist, inventor, founder of Catalytic Innovations, and former CEO of Dream8 Inc up to its acquisition. His technologies are used by energy and manufacturing companies around the world to reduce global CO2 emissions and improve their impact on the environment; these include processes for non-fossil fuel generation, CO2capture and conversion, and coatings that improve energy efficiency in metal refineries. He received his PhD from Yale University in physical chemistry, which he pursued after his first startup’s exit and a pivot toward renewable energy technology development.

Rose Wang

Rose is the co-founder and CEO of Six Foods, a company that makes healthy, delicious, and sustainable foods with insects. She is a Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneur, ELLE USA Impact Award winner, Echoing Green climate fellow, MassChallenge Gold Winner, Harvard Dean's Design Challenge winner, and TEDx speaker. Rose worked in strategy and marketing at Abercrombie and Microsoft. In college, Rose managed HSA Cleaners and The Harvard Shop through Harvard Student Agencies, managing an annual budget of $1.5M. She also has a passion for education and sits on the board of an education non-profit, Wema Inc., in Kenya. She is Rose is a graduate of Harvard College and plans to matriculate to Harvard Business School in 2018 as a part of the 2+2 program.

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Brian Powers

Brian Powers grew up in College Park, Maryland, enjoying hobbies such as selling tickets to fellow kindergartners to go to the moon, as well as more healthy hobbies like soccer and basketball. Hoping to coach Brian to finally say the "r" sound correctly, his speech therapist taught him the word "entrepreneur," and Brian never doubted what'd he'd be thereafter, even if he couldn't yet pronounce the word. Buoyed by incredibly supportive parents and an overachieving sister, at St. John's College High School, Brian started a junk removal service called Junk Runners and a rock band called Paper Planes with friend and current TemperPack co-founder James McGoff. Brian went on to study Finance at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, did completed a year of investment banking at Moelis & Company, and then returned to the real world to take college project TemperPack full time with James and fellow co-founder Charles Vincent. Based in Richmond, Virginia, TemperPack designs and manufactures sustainable insulation that replaces plastic foam for the e-commerce food and biopharma industries. Brian now lives in Richmond, Virginia, which after much practice he now can pronounce correctly.

SHRUTI SHAH

Shruti Shah was a co-founder and COO of Y Combinator backed Move Loot, an online full-service marketplace for buying and selling used furniture. She has been honored by Forbes as a 30 Under 30 in Retail and E-Commerce and the Aspen Institute as an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar in reimagining capitalism.  Shruti's work with Move Loot was featured in numerous publications including Forbes, the NYTimes, TechCrunch, Bloomberg Business Week, and more. Before founding Move Loot, Shruti was a Teach for America Corps Member in Baltimore where she taught 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade. Shruti earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Entrepreneurship, and she earned her Master of Science in Education with a focus on Urban Education from Johns Hopkins University.

Louis - Victor Jadavji 

Louis-Victor Jadavji (or "LV") is an entrepreneur with a focus on wellness and 3D-printing. LV co-founded Wiivv in the summer of 2014. Wiivv has since raised US$8M in venture capital, has a team of 30 people in Vancouver and San Diego, and its inaugural product - a custom fit 3D-printed orthotic insole - is the most successful consumer 3D-printed product of all-time. LV believes that Wiivv’s custom wearables will one day usher in the era of bionic human beings. This year, he was selected to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for Manufacturing and Industry, the youngest on the list at 22.

Courtney is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature. After leaving her job as a power systems engineer at NASA to work for her own startup company, she uncovered a passion for building startup communities and encouraging women to pursue careers in tech and entrepreneurship.

Courtney co-founded the Akron-based clean energy startup, Design Flux Technologies while an undergraduate in Electrical Engineering at the University of Akron. While serving as Chief Operations Officer, Courtney was named a “Forbes 30 Under 30” for her contributions within the organization in 2016. She has also been called one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Cleantech by Midwest Energy and one of Crain’s “Twenty in their 20s”. She also received the ComEd Female Founder Prize for 2015 through the Clean Energy Challenge. 

After spending 7 years with Design Flux Technologies, Courtney decided to fully-commit her career to supporting founders. Today, she has the opportunity to utilize her talents in relationship-building and advocacy to build an up-and-coming startup ecosystem in NE Ohio. She does this through her work as Executive Director for Launch League, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase startup success by establishing connections between founders and local resources.

Courtney loves sharing her stories of founding a cleantech company, especially with young entrepreneurs and women in tech. She travels around the globe speaking on the topics of entrepreneurship, women in tech, and clean energy.

Patrick Slade

Patrick Slade is the co-founder of PSYONIC, a bio-tech startup that develops advanced prosthetic hands at low-cost for patients around the globe. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 in healthcare and having won the Cozad New Venture Competition and Samsung Innovation prize he is enabling amputees across the globe with hands that improve their quality of life. Currently as a graduate student at Stanford studying robotics and machine learning his research is supported by NSF and Stanford fellowships.

Tim Hwang

Tim Hwang is a technology entrepreneur and Senior Advisor for Government Innovation with experience building early-stage organizations and understanding complex policy issues. He currently serves as the Founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a tech company that utilizes open data and artificial intelligence to create next-generation legal software. FiscalNote has raised $28M+ to date from NEA, Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang, Steve Case, and Renren. Tim previously served as the President of the 750,000-member National Youth Association and founded the social enterprise Operation Fly, Inc. for which he was given the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Prior to heading up the NYA, he was elected to serve as a member of the MCPS Board of Education, overseeing a budget of over $4 billion for 150,000 students, and was one of the first field organizers for President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Tim holds a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and is currently on leave from Harvard Business School.

JOEY PRIMIANI

Joey is founder and CEO of Superfuture Labs, a design studio in downtown Palo Alto, California.

Superfuture's mission is to advance humanity through technology, art and design. They are the creators of the popular iOS and Android mobile apps such as Life, Sketch, Kiwi and Spaces. Adhering to design principles that make the products both a tool and a toy — beautiful, simple, fun, playful and friendly. He holds the patent for “Content sharing application utilizing radial menus”. In 2016, he was recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 in consumer technology category.

Currently, he serves on the boards of fashion technology company Studio XO, Collective Consciousness app Entangled, the IceBreak, Retinad VR and astronaut training facility Star Harbor Academy. Prior to Superfuture, Primiani co-founded the company Backplane, a platform that allows like-minded people to connect across their shared interests. He created Lady Gaga's official fan community website, LittleMonsters.com. It is a place where fans come together and share their artwork and stories, as inspired by Gaga. To date, it raised $18.9 million in a Series A funded by Lady Gaga, Eric Schmidt, Troy Carter, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, Google Ventures, Ron Conway SV Angel.

Andrew Scheuermann

Andrew Scheuermann is the CEO and cofounder of Arch (formerly called WellDone Technology), developing connected devices for the industrial internet of things. They are on a mission to make it as simple and powerful to build physical applications for smart physical infrastructure as it has been to build apps on the smartphone for the last decade. Before cofounding Arch, Andrew did ten years of research on power and energy devices ranging from single molecule machines, high-power switches, and nuclear weapons to hydrogen fuel cells, solar cells, and artificial photosynthesis cells—all-in-one devices that convert solar energy directly into chemicals and fuels. From 2012 to 2014, he was part of the early team that helped build StartX, the Stanford Startup Accelerator, that is consistently ranked as one of the top startup accelerators in the world.  StartX’s founders have raised well over $1B in funding and StartX itself has invested around $100M across 200 companies as of Q4 2016.  Andrew personally cofounded the StartX hardware program, led Stanford campus engagement, and cofounded an early stage incubator called Mentor Labs that served over 70 companies.  In 2015, he cofounded a startup called Deliberate that connected people from 40 different countries via video conversations about important global issues such as climate change and social justice.  Andrew earned a B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Economics from the University of Florida and an M.S. and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford.  He has coauthored 18 scientific publications, including work published in Nature Materials, where he developed a novel theory of leaky capacitors and applied it to artificial photosynthesis breaking the world record for silicon photoanode efficiency.  He was recognized as one of the Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy and despite feeling that his career has only just begun, is honored to offer his reflections thus far on how to build a great company.

 

Kevin Chan

Kevin Chan is a serial entrepreneur currently working on Maderight, a Y Combinator and StartX backed startup that is democratizing ethical manufacturing in the fashion industry. He has been honored by Forbes as a "30 Under 30," Cadillac as an entrepreneur "Daring Greatly," and The White House as a "Champion of Change.” His views and work are regularly featured in top industry publications from TechCrunch to Business Insider to The Business of Fashion. Kevin also advises a number of startups and is a mentor at StartX, LAUNCH, and Cardinal Ventures. He received his degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jessica Hendricks Yee

Exposed to design and travel from a young age, Jessica Hendricks Yee was born in Paris and grew up outside Manhattan with eyes glued to the cases in her mother’s jewelry shop. Fascinated by indigenous cultures and spirituality, she traveled to Cambodia to teach English. She was mesmerized by the tangled synthesis of both the beautiful and heartbreakingly violent past of this small Buddhist country in the wake of genocide, and the reality of human trafficking. Combining her love of jewelry and philanthropic spirit, Jessica was inspired to create a collection to celebrate this unique community, and connect courageous women across the globe. Hendricks Yee and The Brave Collection have been featured by Vogue, Glamour and MSNBC, selected as a 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30, and invited to the White House as one of 60 young entrepreneurs to witness President Obama’s speech encouraging support of Emerging Global Entrepreneurs. 

Laura D'Asaro

Laura D'Asaro is the co-founder and chief operations officer of Six Foods, a company that works to normalize insect consumption as a sustainable source of protein. Laura's journey in social entrepreneurship began at age fifteen, when she raised $14,000 through her lemonade stand to build a playground for her community. At nineteen, she co-founded Wema Inc., an education nonprofit in Kenya, and co-founded Six Foods at 23. Laura's inspiration for Six Foods stemmed from the fact that she has been an off and on vegetarian her whole life, struggling with the moral and environmental aspects of eating meat. She first ate a caterpillar from a street vendor in Tanzania and realized that insects could be that sustainable protein she was looking for. Laura sent an article to her college roommate (now co-founder), and a few escaped crickets in her dorm room later, Six Foods was born. In addition, Laura has broken multiple world records, including the longest book domino chain and fastest time to crawl one mile. She is a 2013 Harvard college graduate.

TOM BRADY

Tom Brady is a co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer at SkySpecs, an Ann Arbor, MI, based company developing software and services for enterprise drone deployments. Tom has worn several hats at SkySpecs ranging from its CFO & bookkeeper to the leader of the company’s product development efforts. At SkySpecs, Tom has been through two fundraises, two product launches, written thousands of lines of code, and played a lot of foosball.

Prior to founding SkySpecs, Tom earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering. While at the University, Tom was a team lead for the Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (MAAV) team. During Tom’s time with MAAV, the team developed a drone that could autonomously explore buildings. The founding team of SkySpecs worked together on MAAV for three years before eventually launching SkySpecs in 2012. Tom enjoys brewing beer, scuba-diving, golf, good food, and Michigan Wolverines football. 

Danny Ellis

Danny is the cofounder and CEO of SkySpecs. After pursing and obtaining two degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, Danny and his cofounders were presented with the opportunity to forego the normal engineering career path and instead join an incubator at the University to attempt to commercialize the autonomous drone technology they had been working on during graduate school. Danny turned down job offers at SpaceX and Northrop Grumman to give the startup path a shot. Four and half years later, Danny has been recognized in the 2014 Detroit Crain's "20 in their 20s" and the 2016 Forbes' "30 under 30" awards. Danny and his team have been working in drones for over 8  years, long before the world became fascinated with them. Danny is a Techstars alum and current mentor. Danny is passionate about helping other startups, particularly ones that involve some form of hardware, succeed. 

Mike Townsend

Mike Townsend is the co-founder and COO of HomeHero, a home care provider that leverages smart technology and human compassion to extend the health system into the home. After University of Connecticut, Mike moved to Singapore to work as a design engineer for Brookstone (OSIM), then a mechanical engineer at Exelis Corporation designing Radar Defense & Surveillance systems.  

Mike began his startup career by founding ZingCheckout which was acquired by BigCommerce and then founding Flowtab in 2012 with Kyle Hill. Under his leadership, HomeHero has provided over 1 million hours of care to thousands of families and raised $23M in venture capital since its start in 2013. He was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Healthcare in 2016 and actively speaks at healthcare and technology events worldwide. He hosts Around The Coin, a podcast discussing startup news, marketplaces and behavioral philosophy, is an active writer on Medium, and contributor to The American City Business Journals. Mike is a competitive Ironman Triathlete and enjoys meeting other highly-motivated entrepreneurs in the healthcare and technology space.

 

SARAH GUTHALS

Sarah Guthals is a social software engineer and entrepreneur that focuses her life on providing access to high quality computer science education to kids everywhere. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, San Diego in 2010, 2012, and 2014 respectively. With an immigrant single-mother who is a 4th grade teacher, Sarah has experienced a low-income upbringing focused on learning and education. Her life has given her the dedication and inspiration to design products, software, and companies that focus kids like her. 

 

Sarah co-founded ThoughtSTEM, co-created LearnToMod and CodeSpells, and wrote many books for kids around creating digital artifacts, with and without code. In 2016 she was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science for her work in Computer Science Education. In May 2016, she joined a large software company, GitHub, with the goal of creating a professional experience for kids under 13 to create, share, contribute, and collaborate on digital artifacts from all around the world. She continues to work with UCSD to develop online and in-person courses to teach teachers how to teach computer science in K-12 schools, and she promotes the next generation of builders through books, videos, and mentoring. 

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Tarun Gangwani 

Tarun Gangwani is an award-winning product and design professional whose work has been used by millions of people around the world. Tarun’s perspectives and work have been featured in major news publications, including the New York Times, CIO.com, Tech.Co and Forbes. Throughout his career, his focus has been solving real human problems with the state-of-art in technology, from cloud computing to artificial intelligence. Today, he works to bring these two capabilities together with Grok, a platform that helps businesses save time and money by reducing application downtime and proactively resolving IT incidents. 

Tarun enjoys writing about technology trends and product design, meeting inspiring people, and having new experiences through travel and culture. On the side, he is an avid coffee enthusiast who roasts beans from all over the world in order to perfect his craft. He and his wife reside in California. He is a proud Indiana University alumnus, with degrees in cognitive science and human-computer interaction design. 

Yehia Abugabal

Yehia Abugabal is an Egyptian Oncologist and a visionary entrepreneur. He is the Founder of the International Cancer Research Center. He is also a speaker for cancer awareness; working to foster the science of oncology , spread awareness for cancer , patient education, and education for young doctors in Egypt and Middle East. He has been recognized as one of the "Top 30 most influential people,most rising stars, and change makers in the world by Forbes magazine 30 under 30 list which included as well people like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Emma Watson (Actress/activist), Malala Youzafazi (Nobel Price winner) and others, He was also recognized in the 2016 Arabian Business top 100 most influential Arabs in the world, as well as his recognition by the American chamber of commerce's "Stars of Egypt" and his work was featured in media (TV and news) outlets. (Wikipedia page of Yehia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehia_Abugabal)

Sercan Topcu

Sercan Topcu is an award-winning marketer who the USCIS has deemed as having extraordinary ability in his field. He is the youngest Turkish citizen to receive the O1-A Visa, and the only social entrepreneur from Turkey to be selected to the Forbes “Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30” in 2016. He is also the only Turkish citizen to make it to the World Finals for the world’s largest social entrepreneurship competition, The Hult Prize, in 2015. As a co-founder and the CMO, Sercan has been with Tembo Education since day one developing and executing marketing and branding strategies. With his contributions, Tembo has been selected into the MassChallenge Accelerator in Boston, and they presented at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES’16) and the Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP’16). Tembo has also won the Sustainable Florida Small Business Award and the John W. Henry Foundation Social Impact Scholarship. Sercan is honored to be a part of such a great team, and he is excited to see the impact that his work with Tembo Education will have on the lives of children worldwide.