This story originally appeared in the spring 2014 Harker Quarterly.
Three Harker grads made Forbes magazine’s coveted “30 Under 30” lists, which showcase young movers and shakers working in various fields.
Sharing the spotlight with notable young celebrities such as snowboarder Shaun White, actress Olivia Wilde and activist Shiza Shahid are three talented Harker grads: Neil Mehta ’02, Surbhi Sarna ’03 and Ilya Sukhar ’03. The third-annual issue was released Jan. 6.
To compile the prestigious lists, Forbes consulted with experts in 15 industries to select the top 30 in each category, totaling some 450 individuals (all under 30 years of age) who are making things happen. The magazine started working on the project in the fall, by choosing the categories and assembling the panel of judges.
A leading source for reliable business news and financial information, Forbes is well known for its listings and rankings. On the cover of its “30 Under 30″ issue, it calls the individuals who made the lists “450 game-changers in 15 industries who are building tomorrow – today.”
Here is a look at the three Harker alumni who made the “it” lists:
Neil Mehta ‘02, Founder of Greenoaks Capital
Neil Mehta ’02 is the managing director of Greenoaks Capital Management LLC, a global principal investment firm dealing in private equity, venture capital, real estate and public market opportunities.
Prior to that, 29-year-old Mehta was a senior investment professional at Orient Property Group Ltd., a Hong Kong-based real estate investment and development firm financed by D.E. Shaw, a premier $20 billion global hedge fund and investment firm based in New York.
Forbes listed Mehta in its finance category, crediting him with managing some $600 million, investing in industries ranging from e-commerce to insurance. The magazine also noted that he “hit home runs” with early investments in a Palo Alto-based software company called Palantir and a South Korea-based e-commerce company named Coupang.
“I owe a lot to my colleagues, friends and family. We still have a long way to go at Greenoaks, though,” said Mehta, adding that he was proud and impressed to see so many Harker alumni on the list.
Surbhi Sarna ’03, Founder of nVision Medical
Surbhi Sarna ’03 was last year’s alumni speaker at Harker’s eighth annual Research Symposium, which drew more than 400 attendees. There, she shared the story of how she suffered from painful ovarian cysts in her early teens, which caused her to later become determined to create better conditions in the field of female health.
To this end, the 28-year-old founded the venture-backed nVision Medical in 2009 to develop technology to help gynecologists more quickly detect ovarian cancer. To date, her company has raised some $4.5 million from Catalyst Health Ventures, Draper Associates and Astia, a group that assists female entrepreneurs.
“It is a great honor to be chosen as one of Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30.’ I know Harker has a lot to do with my drive to be an entrepreneur, and I’m grateful for all of the teachers who inspired me while I was there,” she said of her placement in the medical category.
Ilya Sukhar ’03, Co-Founder and CEO of Parse
Ilya Sukhar ’03 made the news several months ago when Facebook acquired his company, Parse, of which he served as co-founder and CEO. Currently, Sukhar runs the Parse business at Facebook, where he also works on platform products.
“There’s a lot of people I really admire on that list, so it’s a nice honor for me to be included,” reported 28-year-old Sukhar, adding, “I got back to work pretty quickly, though.”
Sukhar, who is listed in the tech category, said he got the idea for Parse after he experienced the pains of building a mobile app. According to Forbes, he has since turned Parse into a critical service for mobile developers that now provides the back-end infrastructure for more than 180,000 apps, including those built by Ferrari, The Food Network and Sesame Street. Facebook bought Parse in April 2013 in a deal reportedly valued at $85 million.
Sukhar delivered this year’s alumni address at the Harker Research Symposium. To read more about Sukhar and his work, see http:// news.harker.org/entrepreneurial- alumni-forge-their-own-career-paths/ where he is featured in a previous HNO story.
To view the Forbes “30 Under 30” lists, see http://www.forbes.com/lists/.