20 UC Berkeley Rising Stars Make Forbes 30 Under 30 List

Adapted from original article in UC Newsroom by Harry Mok: UC rising stars make Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Twenty people with ties to UC Berkeley are among “America’s most important young entrepreneurs, creative leaders and brightest stars” on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

From 15,000 candidates identified by its reporters, Forbes chose 600 people for its 2016 30 Under 30 list based on “their game-changing quotient along various dimensions, such as impact, use of cutting-edge technology or creativity, scalability or adaptability.”

Forbes picked 30 people in 20 categories: Arts & Style, Finance, Consumer Tech, Sports, Hollywood & Entertainment, Retail & Ecommerce, Education, Music, Games, Venture Capital, Media, Manufacturing & Industry, Enterprise Tech, Food & Drink, Social Entrepreneurs, Law & Policy, Science, Marketing & Advertising, and Energy and Healthcare.

The 19 with an affiliation to UC Berkeley who made the list span many of the categories and have strong representation in business, science and technology:


Consumer Tech

UC Berkeley alumnus and Berkeley Founders’ Pledge member Gagan Biyani co-founded Sprig, a mobile app for ordering healthy meals that are delivered to your door.

UC Berkeley alumnus David McIntosh is the CEO and co-founder of Riffsy, a keyboard for iPhone and Android devices that lets users search for and add GIFs to messaging services and social media.



The idea for WriteLab came to Matthew Ramirez, a former English Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley, when he was teaching and had more than 120 papers to grade each semester. He co-founded WriteLab to incorporate an algorithm into an app to help teachers grade papers.



UC Berkeley visiting scholar and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab researcher Marcus Lehmann is the project lead for CalWave, an effort to harness ocean waves to generate renewable energy. CalWave has received incubation support from across Berkeley’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, including Cyclotron Road, the CITRIS Foundry, and the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.


UC Berkeley alumnus Austin McGee is a co-founder WellDone, which develops technology to help bring clean water to the developing world.


Enterprise Tech

Peter Ballis was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient and focused on large-scale data management for his doctorate in computer science from UC Berkeley. He will start as an assistant professor at Stanford in fall 2016.

UC Berkeley alumna Nanxi Liu founded Nanoly, which has a patent on a polymer that keeps vaccines working without refrigeration, and she is CEO and co-founder of Enplug, which makes digital display software.



Suono Bio CEO Carl Schoellhammer received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley. While a Ph.D. student at MIT, he developed Suono’s product, a tiny plastic device that delivers drugs to the gastrointestinal tract.


Law & Policy

Dipayan Ghosh is a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley’s School of Information. He recently joined Facebook as a privacy and public policy adviser after serving in the White House as a technology and economic policy adviser.

UC Berkeley School of Law graduate Joe Mornin is the founder of Bestlaw, a free open-source app that gives lawyers access to legal research.


Manufacturing & Industry

UC Berkeley alumnus Kevin Chan is the founder of Maderight, which helps designers ensure that their clothing is not manufactured in factories using child labor or violating other standards.


Marketing & Advertising

Tai Tran joined Apple full-time when he was a senior and UC Berkeley and is the Digital Marketing Program Manager, leading the launch last year of the company’s first social media account, @AppleMusicHelp on Twitter.


Retail & E-Commerce

UC Berkeley alumna Doreen Bloch founded Poshly, which allows users to enter contests to win beauty and lifestyle freebies. Bloch has stayed connected to Cal through the Berkeley Founders’ Pledge, tapping Berkeley resources now and committing to give back when she can.


Science & Research

Colin Carlson, age 19, graduated from college at 15 and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, where his research focuses on how climate change will impact parasites.

Materials scientist Qian Chen was a Miller Institute fellow at UC Berkeley and is now an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research expertise is in “soft matter,” a new class of materials that are self-replicating and can evolve on their own.

UC Berkeley computer science assistant professor Sanjam Garg is researching a method to keep software code functional but indecipherable to anyone trying to hack it.


Social Entrepreneurs

UC Berkeley alums Paul Duan and Eric Liu are the co-founders of Bayes Impact, which works to provide solutions for social problems through data science.

PhD candidate Anoop Jain founded Sanitation and Health Rights in India to address two problems: over 100 million Indians lack access to safe drinking water and about 600 million defecate in the open. 


Venture Capital

UC Berkeley alumna Kristina Shen is a vice president at Bessemer Venture Partners, co-authors the firm’s “State of the Cloud Report,” and serves as a board observer at several companies.

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