Each year the Forbes 30 Under 30 list highlights some of the most innovative minds in North America working in 20 fields including energy, health and entertainment. The 2021 list includes eight standouts with connections to the University of Waterloo.  

From gamers with business game to apps that help bring us together, these are the alumni and former students who are making an impact. 

John SantosJonathon Dos Santos  

Company: Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Stromcore Energy  

Education: Faculty of Engineering 

Category:  Energy 

If you’ve ever ordered from a large-scale online retailer, it’s a safe bet that somewhere along the line, a forklift in a warehouse helped to get that product to you. As these fleets increasingly go electric, companies have expressed concern about the efficiency and durability of the lead-acid batteries that dominate the industry.  

Jonathan Dos Santos (BASc ’14) knew there was a better way. So in 2015, he co-founded Stromcore Energy, a company using the latest in electric vehicle technology to produce universally compatible lithium-ion batteries for heavy-duty vehicles like forklifts. The battery packs are designed to be recharged in less than an hour, with 24 hours of use per charge, and can be monitored remotely. Stromcore’s batteries may also be game changers for cold-temperature facilities. A heating mechanism allows the product to operate reliably in freezing temperatures, without sacrificing efficiency. Dos Santos expects that Stromcore will reach $20 million in sales this year, boosted by deals with big players including Ford and the Hyster-Yale Group. 

Jack ForbesJack Forbes 

Company: Co-founder and CEO, Kopa 

Education: Faculty of Engineering 

Category: Consumer Technology 

When Jack Forbes (BASc ’16) first arrived in California’s Bay Area for a co-op term, finding suitable housing proved to be a challenge. So when he got back to Waterloo for his final year of study in 2016, he used an engineering project to put his idea for a housing app in motion.

The following year, Forbes connected with co-founder Courtney Sabo and the pair decided to dedicate themselves to  Kopa full-time. 

The company allows its users to find short and medium-term apartment rentals or seek out the perfect housemate. The platform also offers verified hosts the ability to post listings and manage tenants and payments. Kopa graduated from Y Combinator in spring 2019 and has earned over $1 million USD in venture capital seed funding. Today they have more than 20,000 units available in for rent in cities around the United States.  

fuzz buzz

Sabera Hussain, Everest Munro-Zeisberger and Andrei Serban 

Company: Co-founders, Fuzzbuzz 

Education: Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Mathematics 

Category: Enterprise Technology 

FuzzBuzz co-founder Everest Munro-Zeisberger was a Computer Science student working with the Google ClusterFuzz team when a lightbulb went off. Fuzzing — a software testing methodology that allows developers to test their code for critical bugs — was accessible to big companies, but Munro-Zeisberger wanted to make it accessible for all, regardless of size. Back in Waterloo, he teamed up with fellow Computer Science student Andrei Serban and Liberal Arts student Sabera Hussain to build a platform that would enable developers and security teams to build a continuous feedback loop that can iterate thousands of times per second, 24 hours a day, to find obscure bugs and vulnerabilities. 

The trio knew they were on to something in 2018 when their pitch at the winter Velocity Fund Pitch Competition earned them $25,000 dollars. Since then, the Fuzzbuzz team has graduated from Y Combinator and landed a $3.6 million CAD seed round to continue to scale their business. 

Sachin MongaSachin Monga  

Company: Co-founder, Cocoon 

Education: Faculty of Engineering 

Category: Consumer Technology 

Sachin Monga spent seven years at tech giant Facebook before setting off on his own in 2018 to build Cocoon.

Billed as a “private and cozy corner” for friend groups and families to connect, the app launched in November 2019 and introduced its paid 2.0 version in 2020. Cocoon allows private groups to exchange messages, but also to video chat, share photos, locations and statuses and even flight information. 

Monga and his co-founders are Y Combinator alumni who raised $3.2 million USD from investors excited about Cocoon’s potential. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing friends and families to embrace new, digital ways to connect, the app has seen its profile boosted: it was featured as the App of the Day by Apple and Product Hunt. Cocoon was also spotlighted on NBC’s The Today Show in December 2019, as part of its Sunday Spotlight. 


Artem Pasyechnyk 

Company: Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Canix 

Education: Faculties of Engineering and Mathematics  

Category: Enterprise Technology 

In 2018, Artem Pasyechnyk (BSE ’14) left Facebook to partner with Stacey Hronowski, an engineering consultant who had worked with some cannabis companies and identified the challenge of regulatory compliance. Together they founded Canix, a software designed to help retailers with cultivation, compliance regulation and daily operations. Canix provides seed-to-sale support for large and small operations, including inventory management, financial and yield reporting, sales data and more. The platform integrates with other enterprise resource planning softwares, including metrc, a regulatory track-and-track system employed in 15 states.  

Currently serving more than 750 facilities, Canix is a Y Combinator graduate from the summer 2019 class and has raised $1.5 million USD to date. They also won TechCrunch’s 2020 Startup Battlefield competition, earning $100,000 in prize money. 

Jeremy WangJeremy Wang 

Company:  Streamer, Disguised Toast 

Education: Faculty of Mathematics  

Category: Games 

With everyone hunkered down at home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, streamers like Jeremy Wang (BMath ’15), better known by his handle “Disguised Toast,” continued soar in popularity. In November 2019, Wang signed a deal with Facebook Gaming, making him the first English-speaking creator to commit to the live streaming platform. Wang has been a popular streamer for years, since starting his broadcasts of Hearthstone and Teamfight Tactics back in 2015, and the deal (for an undisclosed sum) brings his gaming exclusively to his more than 1.2 million Facebook followers.  

He’s not just hitting it big on Facebook Gaming though. Videos of his gameplay are also available on YouTube, where more than three million fans are tuning in to watch him take on the biggest games, including recent hit Among Us.