For the first time ever, Forbes’ 30 Under 30 produced a “local Toronto” list, which features four individuals with connections to the University of Waterloo. The list highlights some of the most entrepreneurial minds in Toronto, who work in industries like technology, finance, health, sports and the arts.

The game-changers named to this inaugural list have been making a significant impact with their businesses across the finance, creative and health-science industries.

Griffin Keglevich (BCS '20) and Ruslan Nikolaev, Co-founders, Float

Category: Finance

Float was founded by Keglevich and Nikolaev during their fourth year at Waterloo. Touted for being the best way to manage corporate spending, Float prides itself on simplifying spending so companies and teams can focus on growing their business. Float’s products are a derivative of a typical credit card, with services aimed specifically to meet the needs of businesses. For example, the manual inputting of transactions and scanning receipts that come with preparing expense reports are made obsolete with Float’s software that automatically matches receipts to transactions.

Float also offers smart cards that let users spend, track, approve and reconcile CAD and USD expenses on one, user-friendly platform. The company was created out of work the two former students did with the University of Waterloo’s startup incubator, Velocity. To date, Float has garnered over $37 million CAD in investment funds from Golden Ventures and Tiger Global. Some of Float’s 3,000-plus corporate clients include Neo Financial, Knix, Clutch, and Nerva Energy.

Just last year, the pair was named among the C100 fellows – a fellowship that empowers 20 of Canada’s most promising early-stage founders through mentorship with the world’s most innovative companies.

Pim Manaswiyoungkul, Co-founder, HDAX Therapeutics (BSc '16)

Category: Health

Having raised over $800,000 in investment, HDAX Therapeutics is developing a targeted therapeutics platform for the safe and efficacious treatment of HDAC-driven pathologies such as neuropathies and neurodegenerative disorders.

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a type of damage to the nervous system – specifically, it is a problem with your peripheral nervous system. Patients suffer from a variety of symptoms, depending on the peripheral neuropathy type. Some common symptoms include pain, cramps, muscle weakness, sensation loss, and paralysis – due to nerve damage from chemotherapy, diabetes, injury or genetics.

Built on over five years of academic research, the company is developing the first-ever therapy for peripheral neuropathy, which affects over 30 million people worldwide. With no medicine on the market to slow or reverse the disease’s progression, some PN patients are likely to be dosed as early as 2025, through HDAX’s ground-breaking medicine. 

HDAX has already filed multiple patents and partnered with top cancer research clinics worldwide.

Kyne Santos, Creator (BMATH '21)

Category: Creative + Math

Math can be interesting, artistic and fun  it really is all about perspective. Just ask the “math queen” or any of the 1.5 million followers on Kyne Santos’ TikTok page.

During the pandemic – when many were thinking of creative ways to live under lockdown restrictions – Santos found a niche by blending her passion for math and drag. The convergence of these two worlds turned out to be the perfect recipe for some of the most interesting ways to look at and appreciate math.

Santos’ TikTok content garners millions of views, but when she’s not helping young people solve math problems on the platform, she’s also busy speaking at schools and math conferences. A former contestant on Canada’s Drag Race, Santos now hosts a STEM podcast called Think Queen, in partnership with eOne, and covers topics from astrology to biology to tech and everything in between.

Most recently, Santos completed a photoshoot for her first book called Math in Drag that is poised to be released in 2024 through Johns Hopkins University Press.

View the complete Forbes Toronto 30 Under 30 list.