Founders of 2 Hopkins Startups Named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30
For the third consecutive year, Forbes has recognized innovators and entrepreneurs with ties to Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures on its exclusive 30 Under 30 list. Receiving the honor this year were the co-founders of Healthify — Manik Bhat, Eric Conner, Dan Levenson and Alex Villa — and Osmosis co-founder Shiv Gaglani.
The seventh annual edition of the Forbes list showcased 30 honorees for each of 20 categories. This year, Forbes received more than 15,000 nominations for its 600 slots, meaning fewer than 4 percent of nominees were recognized for their achievements.
Over sixty percent of health is determined by social needs like access to food, jobs, childcare and housing. For Healthify’s work to ensure health care organizations address the root cause of many health issues, Forbes named the startup’s four co-founders to its 30 Under 30 for Healthcare.
Manik Bhat, Eric Conner, Dan Levenson and Alex Villa co-founded Healthify as Johns Hopkins undergraduates, and now its technology connects 4 million Medicaid recipients to the social services they need to live a healthy life.
“[Healthify believes] there is more to health than healthcare and we’re fundamentally rethinking how healthcare organizations and communities work together to help people thrive,” according to the company’s website. “We came from a background of working with vulnerable populations in Baltimore and are focused on building next generation technology to move the needle on healthcare outcomes and cost for these populations.”
Now based in New York, Healthify relied on resources provided by Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) to progress from its earliest stages. The Healthify team participated in the 2013-2014 Social Innovation Lab cohort and took advantage of resources the university provided to student entrepreneurs. Forbes reports that Healthify has raised $9.6 million to date and that it works with some of the nation’s largest insurers.
What started as a side project to help classmates has landed Shiv Gaglani on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Education. Through Osmosis, Gaglani is developing a personalized platform available on the web and as an iPhone app to help students who aspire to become health professionals. The platform serves those studying medicine, nursing, dentistry and other health professional fields perform better in the classroom, on board exams and in the clinic.
The inspiration for Osmosis, a member of the 2013-2014 Social Innovation Lab cohort and now a FastForward startup, came in 2011 when Gaglani and co-founder Ryan Haynes were studying to become doctors at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Each saw an opportunity to improve upon the “cram-and-forget” cycles that negatively impact students’ long-term retention. The pair created an online platform to help their classmates study and saw the impact that peer collaboration could have on each student’s performance.
“Medical school is based on the ‘sage on the stage’ model, where knowledge is handed down from professors to students,” Gaglani said in an interview with Johns Hopkins’ Fundamentals. “But in every class, there is a handful of students who are natural teachers themselves, and will probably end up being professors one day. Osmosis lets other students benefit from these natural teachers because it enables knowledge to diffuse (hence ‘Osmosis’) between students, as well as from the professors to the students.”
Other Hopkins honorees
Galbut, who graduated with her MBA from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2015, is the managing partner of SoGal Ventures, a firm she co-founded to invest in ventures from the United States and Asia that have diverse teams. Through the New York-based firm, Galbut has invested in at least 50 companies, including FastForward startups, and has had two exits. In 2015, prior to SoGal Ventures, she co-founded A-Level Capital — a student-led venture capital firm that supports Johns Hopkins students and young alumni pursuing entrepreneurship.
Lee received his bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from The Johns Hopkins University in 2011. Siberner received her Johns Hopkins degree in biophysics in 2013. They were part of a team that co-founded 3T Biosciences. The Silicon Valley-based company is using machine learning to predict the chemicals present in cancer cells but not normal ones.
Wu, who earned his master’s in physics and Ph.D. in condensed matter and materials physics, received recognition for his studies related to topological materials, an area of interest for building the next generation of quantum computers. He received an award from the American Physical Society for his research on the electrodynamics of topological insulators.
History of success
Healthify’s co-founders and Gaglani are just the latest to be honored on a Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Last year, Fusiform co-founders Param Shah and Alex Mathews were named to the publication’s 30 Under 30 for Manufacturing and Industry. Shah and Mathews, who co-founded Fusiform as Johns Hopkins undergraduates, received the award for their work to improve the process by which custom orthotics are made.
Since receiving the award, Shah and Mathews have expanded the technology’s scope, improving efficiencies for all manufacturers involved in digital manufacturing. The pivot resulted in a new name for the company, FactoryFour, but orthopaedics will operate under the Fusiform brand. Since co-founding their company, Shah and Mathews have raised close to $1 million.
As undergraduates, Shah and Mathews participated in the 2015-2016 Social Innovation Lab cohort.
In 2016, Forbes named David Narrow to its 30 Under 30 for Pharma and Healthcare for his work as the CEO of Sonavex. The startup has raised more than $4.2 million to develop a technology that improves outcomes for surgical patients. Sonavex uses imaging technology that allows clinicians to find blood clots before they cause problems.
Narrow, who earned his master’s degree in biomedical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in 2013, grew Sonavex in a FastForward innovation hub before moving the company to its own space in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood.