A total of fourteen people from UCL’s community - up from 11 last year - have been named in Forbes’ annual Top 30 Under 30 list of leading entrepreneurs and creatives in Europe.
The list is now in its seventh year, with members of UCL’s enterprising community increasingly prominent. This year, the 14 individuals feature in eight of the 10 total categories, which span Art & Culture through to Science & Technology. Many received support from UCL to develop their ideas, ventures and start-ups.
Alumna Arya Taware (BSc Urban Planning Design & Management 2015) made the Finance list as CEO of the Futurebricks platform, which provides funding for small and medium-sized homebuilders in the UK, managing a portfolio of £32.7m across 22 projects. She initially set up the platform as RealFunds, supported by UCL, with her fellow student Robin Karlsen, for which they won a UCL Bright Ideas Award in 2014.
Alumna Margot de Broglie (BSc Economics 2019) and her sister Alexia also made the Finance list for their financial education app Your Juno, which helps to empower women and non-binary people to improve their financial literacy through tailored courses, content and community discussion. They are currently in residence at The Hatchery incubator space in BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross, run by UCL Innovation & Enterprise. Drawing on the business support there, they raised £2m to build their platform, which accumulated 15,000 users in its first few months.
Current PhD candidate in Machine Learning in UCL Computer Science and alumnus Raza Habib (MSc Machine Learning & Computational Statistics 2016) was named in the Technology category. He is the co-founder of Humanloop, which helps businesses to solve problems through human-artificial intelligence (AI) cooperation, based on research from the UCL AI Centre. Humanloop was spun-out with assistance from UCL Business (UCLB), the commercialisation arm of UCL and a part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise. The company benefited from UCLB’s Portico Ventures scheme which offers a rapid process for the licensing of non-patented UCL intellectual property into founder-driven spinouts.
Dr Atheer Awad (UCL School of Pharmacy) was named in the Science category. Alongside colleagues in the School of Pharmacy’s Basit Lab, and collaborators in the UCL spinout FabRx, she uses 3D printing to rethink how drugs are manufactured to account for individual patients’ needs. Using computer-aided design software, she has created 3D medicines with Braille patterns and different shapes to help visually impaired patients, as well as personalised dosages, such as combining multiple medications within pellets, to simplify administration.
Between 2014 and 2021, 331 new graduate businesses were started at UCL. Collectively they have raised over £226 million in investment and created over 6,600 jobs. Around 66 of those businesses were started in 2020 and 2021, attracting £77.5m in investment and creating over 1,900 jobs.
Dr Kathryn Walsh, Executive Director, UCL Innovation & Enterprise, said: "I’m delighted to see more enterprising individuals from our community being recognised for their creativity, hard work and determination. These exceptional leaders are transforming their chosen areas and their ideas are already having a tangible impact on industry and society at large. I’m excited to see what they can achieve in the future."
Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement), said: "I’d like to congratulate all the UCL staff, students and alumni who are recognised in this prestigious list. They are testament to the incredible diversity of talent, creativity and ideas that come from our community and their achievements reflect UCL’s thriving community of entrepreneurial students and alumni. I wish them continued success in the future."
The full list of UCL individuals in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list:
Nadira Amrani (BSc Architectural Studies 2014) is a BAFTA-nominated director who works on her own independent films, TV series and music videos
Arya Taware (BSc Urban Planning Design & Management 2015) is founder and CEO of the FutureBricks platform, which provides funding for small and medium-sized homebuilders in the UK
Margot de Broglie (BSc Economics 2019) and Alexia de Broglie founded Your Juno to close the gender gap in financial literacy
Sebastian Widmann (BASc Arts and Sciences) is Head of Strategy at Komainu and Industry Associate at the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT)
Zane Saleh (MSc Economics and Policy of Energy & Environment 2015) is CEO of Lexxola, a sunglasses brand worn by 50,000 customers including A-list celebrities
Dean Celaj (BSc Information Management for Business 2019) founded Akademi.al, a video platform that aims to improve the education system in his home country of Albania
Yuvraj Boparai (BA Philosophy 2016) is a serial entrepreneur, volunteer, mentor and currently Head of Gaming Marketing for Snap Inc
Dr Atheer Awad is Research Fellow in the UCL School of Pharmacy and uses 3D printing to rethink how drugs are manufactured
Nikhil Sehgal (BSc Mathematics with Economics 2014) is founder and CEO of Vastmindz, which uses AI and computer vision tech to measure heart rate changes
Raza Habib (MSc Machine Learning and computational statistics 2016) is a PhD candidate in Machine Learning at UCL and co-founder and CEO of AI startup Humanloop
Johannes Landgraf (MSc Computer Science 2017) is cofounder and co-CEO of the developer-led open source startup Gitpod