Graduates are honored for achievements in entertainment, industry, social impact, science, technology, and finance
Six Tufts graduates, two from the School of Engineering and four from the School of Arts and Sciences, are among the young leaders and entrepreneurs in the Forbes 30 under 30 Class of 2023.
From the world of entertainment to consumer technology and game-changing innovations with social and environmental impact, those selected for the lists in different industries “provide plenty of reason to believe that tomorrow will be brighter than today,” reported Forbes.
At a glance, here are the Tufts graduates who are bringing new meaning to being a “Light on a Hill.”
Eni Akintade, A16, a motion picture literary agent at United Talent Agency, has earned a spot in the Hollywood and Entertainment list for “spotlighting the next generation of talent.” Akintade’s deals, according to Forbes, include Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions. The accolade is not her first: In 2018 Akintade was also a “Hollywood power player” who made Variety’s “10 Assistants to Watch” list.
A pacesetter in Consumer Technology is Noah Elion, A18. Earlier this year, Elion launched Lovd (“Your marketplace for pre-Lovd tech and electronics”). Serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Hoboken, the innovative used-goods business includes pickup and delivery.
Alex Rappaport, E17, EG19, is recognized under Manufacturing & Industry for his work at ZwitterCo, the startup he cofounded with other Tufts students, which now provides industry partners with membrane products that can handle a range of organic compounds in wastewater--including fats, oils, proteins, complex sugars, starches--more effectively than standard filtration systems. The company, which was launched with support from the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, uses filtration technology developed by Ayse Asatekin, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. “All of our network and learning on how to do this came from Tufts. We are a true Tufts company,” Rappaport said in a 2019 interview with Tufts Now.
Abuzar Royesh, A16, is one of 30 Social Impact leaders tackling problems affecting the environment, social justice, education, nutrition, and other pressing issues. His is co-founder of a startup called Pastel, providing software and apps to assist small retailers worldwide with bookkeeping and sales tracking processes, among other features. Pastel, which is based in Nigeria, recently raised $5.5 million. Royesh also has been instrumental in helping Afghan schoolgirls.
Natalie Rubio, EG22, a cellular agriculture scientist at Ark Biotech, is included on the Science list for her research advancing cellular agriculture, or meat grown from cells cultivated in a laboratory. During her time at Tufts, Rubio contributed to pioneering work being conducted under Stern Family Professor David Kaplan. Read more about Rubio’s research at Tufts in The Conversation and Tufts Now.
In Finance, Kinjal Shah, A15, a partner with Blockchain Capital, is a standout in the new world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which allow consumers to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of them using blockchain technology. She was instrumental in a pivotal funding round for Upshot, an NFT analytics platform. She also is a cofounder of Komorebi, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that invests in crypto founders who are women and underrepresented minorities.