The Forbes’ 30 Under 30s 2021 list for the North American region is out and we spotted three Pakistanis featured among 600 trailblazers.
“As North America settles in for a long pandemic winter, there are bright spots on the horizon. Hundreds of them,” reads Forbes’ statement.
“The 600 young entrepreneurs, activists, scientists and entertainers featured in our 10th Annual Forbes 30 Under 30 give everyone reason to hope. Some are defying the odds and building businesses despite COVID-19; others are helping to fight the illness, serving on hospital frontlines or working with AI to discover new drugs,” it said.
“Collectively, our Under 30 trailblazers have raised over $1 billion in venture funding and are proof positive that ambition and innovation can’t be quarantined,” added Forbes.
Asad J Malik
The 24-year-old is the chief executive officer of Jadu AR – a mobile app that helps create holograms. Malik moved to the United States from Pakistan in 2016 for college and is a pioneer in using augmented reality for storytelling. “His breakout project ‘Terminal 3’ featured young Muslim immigrants and a collaboration with Magic Leap called ‘A Jester’s Tale’ explored the personification of AI,” says Forbes.
Now based in Los Angeles, California, Malik is working with Verizon to build educational AR experiences with 5G and his app Jadu turns TikTok stars and musicians into holograms.
Danish Dhamani co-founded Orai [‘Oral AI] with Drexel University classmates Aasim Sani and Paritosh Gupta in 2017.
A Pakistani native who grew up in East Africa, Dhamani was terrified of speaking in classroom presentations and job interviews when he moved to the US.
“Between corporate clients including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Comcast and IBM and individuals who pay $10 per month, 5,000 active monthly users record themselves speaking and receive feedback such as how many times they say ‘um’,” says Forbes.
“The Philadelphia-based startup has raised $2.3 million in seed funding and expects to become profitable in 2021.”
Faizan Bhatty co-founded Halo Cars with Kenan Saleh while studying at the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 as a way to create new ad space on rideshare vehicles and a way for Uber and Lyft drivers to earn more money.
“Smart digital screens sit atop cars enabling the display of hyper-targeted ads,” said Forbes, adding that startup-competition awards funded prototypes and a pilot and $500,000 from angel investors followed.
The company sold to Lyft within a year of its inception.