Arts alumni named to Forbes 30 under 30 list

Friday, December 7, 2018

From manufacturing and industry, consumer technology, healthcare and more, at least 11 of Waterloo’s alumni and former students have earned spots on the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list — including three students who majored or minored in Arts. The list, which represents innovative minds from Canada and the United States, stretches across 20 categories for a total of 600 people.

We're proud of our Arts alumni who made this year's list!

Nohémie Mawaka (BA ’13)

Nehomie Mawaka
Age: 27

Company: Founder, Stats Congo

Education: Faculty of Arts—French

Category: Healthcare

Having grown up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nohémie Mawaka says she witnessed far too many women being forced to accept their current life circumstances because there was no other societal alternative. This included women being forced to stay in horrible marriages out of financial dependency and her aunt dying of AIDS since no medication was available in the Congo until the early 2000s.

It’s for this reason Mawaka dedicated her life to public health, founding Stats Congo in 2017, the first Congolese national maternal and newborns health centralized database. Mothers and newborn populations in the Congo face one of the highest mortality rates in the world. Stats Congo also hopes to help hospitals move into the digital space and ultimately become paperless.

Before founding Stats Congo, Mawaka interned for the World Health Organization (WHO), where she gained extensive experience in global disease epidemiology. You can read more about Mawaka and her work on her personal website, a platform that also provides audiences with pragmatic tools for health, entrepreneurship and inspiration. Mawaka is also author of “Unleash your confidence.”

Praveen Arichandran (BA ’13, BASc ’13)

Praveen Arichandran
Age: 28

Company: Director of Growth, Tesla

Education: Faculty of Arts — Economics and Faculty of Engineering — Computer Engineering

Category: Marketing & Advertising

Praveen Arichandran joined Tesla’s executive team as head of growth in 2016 at the age of 25. According to Forbes Magazine, Arichandran has lead Tesla in non-traditional marketing and advertising models based on a word-of-mouth approach that builds digital tools to reward owners for sharing Tesla products with their friends. Arichandran is reportedly the youngest executive hired by Elon Musk at Tesla. 

Prior to his role with Tesla, Arichandran held the positions as product manager and data analyst of growth at Facebook, quantitative/technical equity researcher at BMO Capital Markets, and engineer of software and hardware at AMD, which is an American multinational semiconductor company that develops computer processors/related technologies for businesses and consumer markets.

Henry Shi (BCS ’14 / BSC’ H ’14/Economics ’14) 

Henry Shi
Age: 26

Company: Co-founder, SnapTravel

Education: Faculty of Mathematics—Computer Science and Economics

Category:  Consumer Technology

SnapTravel allows you to find and book hotels over Facebook Messenger and SMS text. Co-founded by Waterloo mathematics alumnus Henry Shi in 2016, SnapTravel uses an AI system to scour sources in order to find the best hotel deals. SnapTravel will also call hotels the day of check-in to negotiate free upgrades for their customers.  So far, the company has raised more than $9 million in venture funding.

Committed to Waterloo excellence, SnapTravel has hired at least four Waterloo co-op students since 2017 and employs at least another four Waterloo alumni. Prior to launching SnapTravel, Shi worked for companies including Google Inc. as a software engineer, Bloomberg Sports as a software developer, and created a college-based app called uMentioned that allows users to connect/make friends with people nearby. Shi is a former Co-op Student of the Year award recipient (2012), top Co-op Student in Canada recipient (2012), and recipient of a national scholarship provided by the University of Waterloo.

Read the full list of alumni on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List