University of Maryland alums Adam Behrens, Evan Lutz, Mackenzie Burnett and Dan Gillespie are among the “leading young change-makers and innovators in the U.S.” who were selected for the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
According to Forbes, the list, now in its sixth year, highlights “30 game changers in 20 industries all under 30 years old -- 600 in total -- who are challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, entertainers, educators and more. . . . Their goal is nothing short of breaking the status quo and transforming the world.” The 2017 selectees join a power-packed group that includes such previous 30 Under 30 honorees as billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel, Oculus VR’s Palmer Lucky, Global Citizen cofounder Hugh Evans, and theSkimm’s Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin.
The publication notes that competition for the 2017 list was more intense than ever with 15,000+ nominations for the 600 spots: an acceptance rate under 4 percent.
A. James Clark School of Engineering alumnus Adam Behrens (Ph.D. Bioengineering; B.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) was named to the 2017 Healthcare list in recognition of his recent efforts to advance the development of vaccines and diagnostic testing. Currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the lab of serial biotech entrepreneur Robert Langer, Behrens is taking on germs in the developing world with two projects: an effort to make vaccines that don't require refrigeration, and a push to develop diagnostic tests that can detect infectious diseases at patient's bedsides. During his UMD undergraduate and graduate years of study Behrens worked under the guidance of Fischell Department of Bioengineering Professor and Associate Dean Peter Kofinas on the development of blood-clotting gel designed to quickly stop bleeding, and a low-cost alternative to sutures for use in a surgery.
Evan Lutz, a 2014 alumnus of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, was recognized on Forbes’ Social Entrepreneur list as CEO and Co-Founder of Hungry Harvest, which buys "ugly" and surplus produce from farms in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and delivers boxes of fruits and vegetables via a subscription based model to customers in and around Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Hungry Harvest was created to simultaneously address two problems: (1) 20 percent of U.S. produce goes to waste, while (2) 50 million people in the country are food insecure. To date, they've recovered 1.1 million pounds of fresh produce and donated over 300,000 pounds of it. For every box of produce they deliver they donate 1 pound and sell 3 pounds at a lower cost to help families in need. In January of 2016, Evan Lutz was the 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year" for UMD’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship; and in January of 2016 he appeared on Shark Tank and received a $100,000 investment from Robert Herjavec for a 10 percent stake in Hungry Harvest.
Mackenzie Burnett (B.A. Government and Politics, B.A. International Relations) and Dan Gillespie (B.S. Geographical Information Systems), selected in the Enterprise Technology category, cofounded Redspread, a collaborative software deployment tool startup, at UMD in 2015. A graduate of seed funding accelerator Y Combinator, Redspread was acquired in October 2016 by San Francisco, Calif.-based CoreOS, a platform for simplifying container management. At CoreOS, Burnett is head of product and Gillespie leads upstream Kubernetes development. Burnett is also executive director of Interact ATX, a nonprofit that helps connect young technologists and thinkers. While at UMD, Burnett and Gillespie helped cofound the UMD student hackathon Bitcamp. Burnett also served as executive director of Startup Shell, a student created and run incubator for UMD student startups.
January 9, 2017