Young Alumni Make 2018 Forbes List

Georgetown students want to change the world, and they are more than happy to stick their necks out to get the job done. Forbes magazine recently recognized eight young alumni in its 2018 "Thirty Under Thirty" list. Leading in fields from social entrepreneurship to food and drink, venture capital to consumer technology, these inspiring alumni stood out from thousands of nominations.

In their own words, several of the eight alumni talk about Georgetown, what's next, and lend a little advice.

Diana Tsai Rau

Diana Tsai Rau (F'12)
27, New York
Cofounded Veterati (link is external), a digital platform that connects veterans and their spouses with mentors and job opportunities
Category: Social entrepreneurs

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How did Georgetown prepare for what you are doing?
All credit goes to one spectacular professor who changed everything for me at Georgetown: Prof. Marc Busch. His class showed me that the business world and political world intersect, and challenged me to seriously refine my ability to problem-solve. Ultimately, being an entrepreneur is just being very good at getting down-and-dirty to solve real world problems. Unsurprisingly, Marc has been one of my greatest champions and mentors post-Georgetown—I'm very grateful for him!

Are you surprised that eight Georgetown alumni made the list?
Pleasantly, yes. Entrepreneurialism was sort of risqué and nonconformist during my time at Georgetown. Great to see leaders like Peter Mellen, Cherian Thomas, Devon George, and of course the fabulous Jeff Reid breathing life into the entrepreneurial tribe!

What are three things, personal or professional, that you want to accomplish in 2018?
Make the world a better place; make myself a better person; be a thoughtful, kind, and empowering friend and family member

How does Forbes inform you that you were selected? Who was the first person you told?
First person I told was my cofounder and husband, Daniel Rau. He's the first to know everything, big and small.

Any advice for future 30 Under 30 hopefuls?
Regarding aspirations for being 30 Under 30: let it surprise you; just focus on doing good work. General unsolicited advice: build a board of personal advisors (mentors). You're the sum average of the 5+ people closest to you—be thoughtful and intentional about that. Also find a lot of ways to give back. You're going to need to lean on a lot of people for help to make your vision a reality so invest often and a lot into giving back to others.

Best Georgetown memory?
Best fun memory: Body painting with my best friends and costuming as "Call On Me" 80s aerobics dancers to go to see Eric Prydz at U Street Music Hall. Best memory of Georgetown giving me the freedom to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams: when a few of my Georgetown professors let me skip all my classes to launch my first social venture and accepted my business plan in lieu of taking final exams.

Arthur Woods

Arthur Woods (B'10)
29, New York
Cofounded Imperative (link is external), which helps companies be more efficient by helping employees find purpose and fulfillment
Category: Social entrepreneurs

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How did Georgetown prepare for what you are doing?
Georgetown deeply shaped my outlook and abilities with the most well-rounded experience. I benefited from Jesuit mentorship, a wide variety liberal arts classes, the chance to live abroad for nearly a year, and a platform from which I launched my first company. The ways in which Georgetown prepared me go beyond developing skills and experience; Georgetown helped me form my values, build a strong community, and develop a vision for how I could make a difference

Are you surprised that eight Georgetown alumni made the list?
Not in the least bit. I was always inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic of fellow Hoyas. From public sector to private sector I'd expect nothing less than for us to have many movers and shakers disrupting the status quo.

What are three things, personal or professional, that you want to accomplish in 2018?
Expand our team at Imperative, learn to be a stronger manager, and build out a strong partner program for Imperative.

How does Forbes inform you that you were selected? Who was the first person you told?
I actually found out the same day as everyone else, when the article was published. It was a pleasant surprise, especially since it was still 2017 when the 2018 list was unveiled. I first told my mom, who has been my biggest cheerleader to date. I owe so much of the credit to her for her unwavering support.

Any advice for future 30 Under 30 hopefuls?
There is a Japanese word, Ikigai, that refers to working in a way that aligns what you love with your talents and what the world needs. My advice is to constantly push to align these things in whatever you do; this is when you are destined to achieve greatest things and do so with purpose.

Best Georgetown memory?
Singing the Tombs with the Georgetown Chimes.

Phil Wong, Ann Yang

Ann Yang (F'16) and Phil Wong (F'15)
23 and 24, Washington, D.C.
Cofounded Misfit Juicery (link is external), which transforms traditionally discarded "ugly" fruit into cold-pressed juice
Category: Social entrepreneurs

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Ann Yang (F'16) and Phil Wong (F'15) were both named to the Forbes list. Phil answers some questions.

How did Georgetown prepare for what you are doing?
Georgetown's social justice education has played a huge role in my life and Ann's. I think it's given us the language, perspective, and community to work on issues that we care deeply about. I had truly formative experiences through GU Impacts, studying abroad in Senegal, and the Alternative Breaks Program.

Are you surprised that eight Georgetown alumni made the list?
No! It's a testament to the fact that the good people at the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative are doing their jobs really well. The Georgetown entrepreneurship community is tight-knit and has been the source of some of our closest mentors.

What are three things, personal or professional, that you want to accomplish in 2018?
In 2018, we're hoping to launch our first non-juice product, add key hires to our team, and I'm personally hoping to talk our team into returning to a snowshoe race we did together last year.

How does Forbes inform you that you were selected? Who was the first person you told?
We got an email from Forbes when I was on the subway so I shot quick texts to Ann and to my mom. My mom drove samples of our juice from our distributor to the Forbes office when we were notified of our finalist status. Of course, she also gave birth to me and raised me, so it's safe to say I owe her a lot.

Any advice for future 30 Under 30 hopefuls?
Find something that you want to spend your life and your days working on; that is, something you care about from a macro perspective and will enjoy in the day-to-day.

Best Georgetown memory?
I lived in Nevils R-23 my junior spring with some of my closest friends. I'll carry memories of that semester with me for the rest of my life, and a lot of it was really basic, quotidian, but joyful stuff.

Elizabeth Galbut

Elizabeth Galbut (C'11)
28, New York
Managing partner, SoGal Ventures (link is external), which focuses on founding teams, especially women
Category: Venture capital

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Are you surprised that eight Georgetown alumni made the list?
Not at all! Georgetown's student body and alumni base is filled with exceptional intelligent and enterprising individuals from all over the world, so it's great to see alumni shining across all different industries on the list!

What are three things, personal or professional, that you want to accomplish in 2018?
Finish fundraising our first SoGal Ventures fund and invest in 15-20 additional next-gen startups; scale the SoGal Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to redefine the next generation of diverse founders and funders; embracing mindfulness and personalized nutrition to fuel my body and mind each day.

Any advice for future 30 Under 30 hopefuls?
I was a finalist for two years before I made the list this year. Keep building and scaling your business, and the recognition will follow.

Best Georgetown memory?
Cheering on our Hoyas basketball team at the NCAA tournaments!

Luke Schoenfelder

Luke Schoenfelder (C'12)
28, New York
Cofounder of Latch (link is external), a smart lock system
Category: Consumer Technology

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How did Georgetown prepare for what you are doing?
Georgetown prepared me to think about global, complex, multi-stakeholder problems. That is something that I draw on every day at Latch as we work with customers and partners around the world.

Are you surprised that eight Georgetown alumni made the list?
It's really exciting to have a new generation of Georgetown alumni pursuing entrepreneurship and their own businesses. I think that so many Georgetown students are great problem solvers and it's exciting to see more people applying those talents in new ways.

What are three things, personal or professional, that you want to accomplish in 2018?
One, I want to make more time for reflection. It's really easy to just jump from one thing to the next and let the noise of life prevent you from reflecting. I want to be better about that. Two, I want to spend more time outside of cities. I love my job, but I spend most of my time in cities (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Taipei, and London are the most frequent places I need to go). With globalization all of these places are becoming more similar than they are different. A small town 90 minutes outside of London has a more distinct culture than London and Hong Kong do in terms of day-to-day life. I want to spend more time in places outside of these mega cities. Three, I want to be intentional about the people around me. A good friend told me once that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I want to make sure that the people in my average are people I want to emulate and also make sure that I'm being a good participant in the other people's averages that I find myself in. It's a big responsibility and one I take seriously.

How does Forbes inform you that you were selected? Who was the first person you told?
I received an email from the Forbes team, but actually a friend texted me before I read the email. I was in the middle of a crazy trip and so I told my coworker I was traveling with first.

Any advice for future 30 Under 30 hopefuls?
These types of awards are really just byproducts of building things that matter. Focus on that and everything else will fall into place.

Best Georgetown memory?
My first company was focused on solving energy issues for emerging market utilities, and I was super fortunate to get to attend a dinner in Riggs Library and talk about energy policy with several heads of state during a USAID conference at Georgetown. There are few places in the world where academic leaders can give their students that sort of opportunity and it was an honor to be there and have those conversations.

Raza Munir

Raza Munir (B'11)
28, New York
Cofounded Climb Credit (link is external), which lends money and finances education costs for students attending vocational and technical schools across the country
Category: Education

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Raza Munir is a cofounder of Climb Credit, an innovative student lending program.

Mike Dee

Mike Dee (B'13)
28, New York
Cofounded Foodworks (now Pilotworks) (link is external), a culinary incubator that provides shared work space for chefs and food entrepreneurs
Category: Food and Drink

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Mike Dee is cofounder and CTO of Foodworks (now Pilotworks), which provides professional-grade shared work space and services that help build budding food-related businesses. Foodworks has helped nearly 200 businesses.