American business magazine, Forbes, published for the 10th consecutive year its “30 Under 30” list, from which the Greek presence was once again not missing.
Four Greeks scientists and one Cypriot entrepreneur were included in Forbes’ list, which highlights the achievements of successful pioneers under the age of the 30 that excel in all areas of human activity and in many different industries.
The magazine acknowledges people making progress and innovations in various fields, such as technology, science, healthcare and dozens of other categories, promoting bright minds from around the world, who have managed to stand out even before turning 30 years old.
The famous list also named Greek NBA superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, as one of the most promising rising stars in the field of world sports, while in 2019, it created the “30 Under 30 Greece” list, separately from its international lists, to exclusively recognise the accomplishment of young Greek people.
To date, the Forbes lists have awarded 10,000 young entrepreneurs, leaders and pioneers in their respective fields, highlighting their ingenious ideas and their brilliant career paths.
Here are this year’s Greeks that stood out on the Forbes list.
George Kalligeros (Γιώργος Καλλίγερος)
George Kalligeros is the co-founder of ‘Pushme’, a start-up based on a recharging network of “micromobility” devices, or small means of transportation in the city, such as electric scooters and bicycles.
George was born and raised in Athens and studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath in the UK, where he also started his career as an engine designer for Bentley Motors. He later joined Elon Musk’s Tesla in California, before returning back to Bath University to study a Master’s degree with focus on bicycles as modern means of public transportation.
Along with his close friend, Dan Keene, George developed Pushme and started giving people the access to a newly built network of instant recharge stations, so that users can replace the batteries of their bicycles or scooters with new fully charged ones, in many different locations.
His idea, as well as its implementation, which has now spread to 4,500 locations and 85 cities around the world, was so successful that in early 2020, his business was partially acquired by the German company TIER, a fast-growing company in the field of electric scooters.
George currently lives in London and holds the position of Hardware Manager at TIER Mobility.
Marianna Kapsetaki (Μαριάννα Καψετάκη)
Marianna Kapsetaki is a doctor and medical researcher, originally from Heraklion, Crete, and is currently working towards her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Imperial College London.
She also completed her master’s in Performing Arts Medicine at University College London, where she received the Best Postgraduate Thesis Award, while also releasing a long list of publications in important international scientific journals.
She was awarded by Forbes for carrying out one of the largest studies on spatial memory in patients with stroke, and she stated that, “it is a great honour for me to be included in Forbes and it is a reward not only for my own efforts, but also for all those who have supported me.”
Giannis Assael (Γιάννης Ασσαέλ)
Giannis Assael, 29, grew up in Thessaloniki and graduated from the Anatolia College, before studying Applied Informatics at the University of Macedonia. With a full scholarship, he completed his Master’s in Computer Science at the University of Oxford, where he was honoured with the Tony Hoare Prize for the best performance of his year.
During his time in Oxford, Giannis and his colleagues developed a lip-reading system, called ‘LipNet’, that observes video images without the sound of a person talking, and writes down what that person says with 93% accuracy, just by watching the movements of the speaker’s mouth.
He is also a co-inventor of four different patents, and one of his latest projects uses neural networks to restore missing parts of ancient Greek texts.
Giannis is currently a Senior Research Scientist at Google DeepMind, where he uses machine learning to meet the challenges of artificial intelligence, and says that “my goal is to deal with problems that have not been solved yet.”
Konstantina Theofanopoulou (Κωνσταντίνα Θεοφανοπούλου)
Konstantina Theofanopoulou from Tripoli, a postdoctoral researcher at Rockefeller University in New York, was also distinguished by Forbes for her contributions in the fields of language and science.
After completing her studies in Linguistics at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, she then studied Language and Cognitive Science at the University of Barcelona, and later continued her research in bioinformatics, neurobiology of language, and evolutionary genetics in the USA.
Kyriakos Eleftheriou (Κυριάκος Ελευθερίου)
Additionally, the Forbes list included Cypriot, Kyriakos Eleftheriou, a 28-year entrepreneur in the field of technology, who is the co-creator of the internationally successful application, Terra.
Kyriakos and co-founder, Raouf Yousfi, created Terra in 2020 in London, and have helped thousands of people connect their health data to mobile applications, for easier health check-up procedures, tests, as well as emergency incidents and occasions.