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written by Susan Doucet
YEC Members Named to 2017 Forbes ’30 Under 30′ List
Congratulations to the YEC members included on the 2017 Forbes "30 Under 30" list!
On the first business day of 2017, Forbes announced its annual “30 Under 30” list, a prestigious list of “entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers.” Among this year’s honorees are eight YEC members: entrepreneurs working to improve infant healthcare, creating on-demand delivery services, designing watches and more.
The 600 “30 Under 30” honorees were selected from more than 15,000 applications. The honorees span 20 categories, including art and style, healthcare, energy, manufacturing and industry, and marketing and advertising. Forbes calls these honorees “the most definitive gathering of today’s leading young change-makers and innovators in the U.S.”
Meet this year’s YEC members included on the 2017 Forbes “30 Under 30” list. Congratulations to you all!
Wade Foster, 29, is the co-founder and CEO of Zapier, an automation engine that integrates the web apps such as Slack and Gmail. Wade is included on the list alongside Zapier Co-Founder Mike Knoop, 27. Founded in 2011, Zapier has raised more than $2.5 million from investors.
Vivek Kopparthi, 27, is the co-founder and CEO of NeoLight, a healthcare company that creates “technology solutions that treat infant medical conditions within the first few days after birth.” The company’s Skylife device treats jaundice at home, compared to in the hospital. NeoLight has also patented and plans to release this year a treatment for infant hypothermia.
Jake Kassan, 25, is the co-founder of MVMT, a company founded by two college students who wanted to create stylish, less expensive watches for millennial consumers. (Jake is included on the list along with his co-founder, Kramer LaPlante, 25.) The two co-founders dropped out of college in 2013 to build MVMT; in 2016, the company earned $60 million.
Ajay Yadav, 29, is the founder and CEO of Roomi, a free service that helps people find rooms and roommates. Founded in 2013, Roomi has raised $7 million and has grown its New York debut to serving people in major cities across the U.S. and Canada.
Eden Chen, 29, is the founder of Fishermen Labs, an innovation lab that focuses on app and website development, virtual reality and augmented reality for brands and startups. Fishermen Labs’ clients include Sony, United Nations, NFL and NBC. Eden founded the company in 2014 and is also a founder of design, branding, and marketing agency Knife and Fox.
Bobak (Bobby) Emamian, 29, is the co-founder and CEO of Prolific Interactive, a Brooklyn-based agency founded in 2009 that was also included on the Inc. 5000 list in 2016. The agency has $10.2 million in revenue and counts SoulCycle, Rent the Runway, Sephora, Lululemon, David’s Bridal and HSN among its clients.
Rafael Ilishayev, 23, is the co-founder of goPuff, an on-demand delivery service. Rafael is included on the list alongside goPuff Co-Founder Yakir Gola. The two co-founders have raised $8.25 million in VC backing for the online convenience store that promises to deliver thousands of items to your door in 30 minutes or less.
This is the sixth year Forbes has produced its “30 Under 30” list. YEC members have been included on past lists, including in 2016 and 2015. As part of its “30 Under 30” list, Forbes features “All-Star Alumni,” notable past honorees. This year, Jeremy Johnson, co-founder of Andela, and Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, co-founders of Back to the Roots, were included as alumni.
Jeremy made the list in 2013 and 2014. In 2016, Andela raised $24 million from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the fund run by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan; this was the initiative’s first lead investment.
Nikhil and Alejandro were on the list in 2012. Since then, Back to the Roots has expanded significantly; this past year, the company raised $10 million led by Acre Venture Partners.
Photos clockwise from left: Wade Foster, Vivek Kopparthi, Jake Kassan, Ajay Yadav, Eden Chen, Bobby Emamian, Kevin Yamazaki, Rafael Ilishayev.