Forbes has released its annual list of “30 Under 30” and we are all ecstatic about this new batch of the world’s most promising young innovators, entrepreneurs, and inspirational leaders.
Featuring 600 individuals across 20 categories from more than 15,000 nominations this year, the prestigious list boasts of brilliant minds and personalities who are “challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation”.
The class of 2017 includes many game changers notably in the fields of science, technology, and engineering. Below are among the youngest, showing us that no one is ever too young to achieve real success in innovation.
Perhaps one of the next biggest college dropouts, 23-year-old Aditya Agarwalla from India proved that technology could pave a way for social entrepreneurship especially in agriculture. After developing an app called Kisan Network, he was able to mobilize a faster way to connect the farmers and institutional buyers. This allowed a lower cost on the buyers’ end and better deals for the sellers. It’s been less than a year that Kisan Network is used and yet it has already moved more than 1 million pounds of crops.
Chemical engineering student Keiana Cave has researched on BP’s Gulf oil spill at Tulane and went on to develop methods of detecting toxins. She is looking at Chevron for the oil dispersant she developed that could shape the future of oil spill cleanup. So far, the 18-year-old innovator has raised $1.2 million from the oil company to fund her work at University of Michigan.
The future of the aeronautics and aviation industry is secure thanks to the likes of Cody James. One of the youngest in the Manufacturing and Industry category, he is a 21-year-old dropout from the Oregon Institute of Technology, but already worked as a robotics programmer at Boeing and Textron. Now, Cody is under a contract with Avcorp, a Canadian company that builds and designs airframe structures for some of the world’s leading aircraft companies.
Hailed as the “Mark Zuckerberg of guns”, Kai Kloepfer spent the last three years developing a handgun that features a fingerprint reader built into the grip. At only 19, the MIT engineering undergraduate spoke at a San Francisco tech confab to introduce the biometrically-activated firearm under his startup company he calls Biofire Technologies. Known to be an evangelist, Kai dreams of a world free from gun violence.
There’s a new flashlight soon to be shelved in hardware shops that gives off light from the heat emitted by the human hands. Such is the invention of 19-year-old Ann Makosinski, who introduced the Hollow Flashlight to the world about three years ago. Her aim with the thermoelectric flashlight is to reduce the number of single-use batteries that are thrown in landfills.
Maanasa Mendu is the youngest innovator in this list. When she was 13, this girl who now attends Mason High School rightfully won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for creating a piezoelectric “leaf” device. Her innovative design called HARVEST has the ability to convert sunlight, wind, and rain into renewable energy. Taking inspiration from her trip to India, she developed the device to provide for people without electricity or clean water.
High school junior Gabriel Mesa is crazy about piezoelectrics. The 16-year-old has attended science fairs, notably the White House Science Fair, with his inventions including the Carbon Battery and Stimuped. The former creates an environmentally sound mechanical battery from piezoelectric materials and graphene; while the latter helps with diabetic neuropathy through a piezo-powered treatment.
19-year-old Matt Salsamendi founded a Seattle-based startup called Beam that allows video game-streamers to interact with their audience. Not only that, the interactive livestreaming platform also lets viewers to control certain parts of the game being streamed. Being a convenient tool that goes along with Xbox Live, Microsoft acquired the company from Matt eight months later it was launched.
Wanting to provide a treatment for his brother who had an untreated concussion, Rohan Suri made use of his computer science classes to develop an eye-tracking device that uses a $50 headset and a smartphone. Through the onboard video camera, the app records the eye movement in response to visual stimulus and evaluates the recording to give information about the severity of an injury. Rohan, at 17, is the founder of Averia Health Solutions.
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna is a girl who is more than the student who got accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. The 18-year-old Harvard student was among the 40 finalists in Intel’s Science Talent Search, a congregation of selected students’ best precollege science projects. She presented her piece on adding a nanoclay ingredient called attapulgite to cement slurries, which improves the undersea cement seals that keep offshore oil wells from leaking.