This Penn wunderkind's startup won $25K at Forbes Under 30 Summit - Philly


Oct. 19, 2016 12:17 pm

This Penn wunderkind’s startup won $25K at Forbes Under 30 Summit

We see you, Rohan Shah.
Rohan Shah (far right) at the Change the World Competition at the 2016 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston.

Rohan Shah (far right) at the Change the World Competition at the 2016 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston.

(Photo via Rough Draft Ventures' Twitter)

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Rohan Shah was PennApps executive director, but he is PennApps Fellows executive director. [10/20/16, 1:28 p.m.]

Ever since his high school days, Rohan Shah has been on the up and up.

Back in 2014, the Downingtown East High School grad was one of the dozens of high school hackers who infiltrated the PennApps hackathon. Shortly after, he joined PennApps Fellows, which placed him at an internship with adtech company 50onRed. He then started at Penn and became PennApps Fellows executive director. And then interned at Facebook.

Now he’s running a mobile equity crowdfunding platform called Slice Capital that just won a runner-up prize at the “Change the World” startup competition hosted by the annual Forbes Under 30 Summit, held this year in Boston after two years in Philly. The company won $25,000 from Rough Draft Ventures, General Catalyst’s student-oriented venture firm that co-sponsored the competition. Read about Slice Capital, which has yet to launch, in CNBC.

Just a reminder, Shah is 20.

He pitched at Fanueil Hall to Peter Boyce of Rough Draft Ventures and Sound Ventures cofounders Guy Oseary and actor-turned-investor Ashton Kutcher, looking every bit the “chill” venture capitalist part with his baseball cap, dark denim jacket and plaid tie.

Boston-area construction startup Pillar Technologies and Berkeley, Calif.-based environmental startup Opus 12 won the top prizes: $200,000 from Rough Draft and Sound Ventures and an advertising campaign in Forbes.

Twine Labs' Joseph Quan pitches at the Forbes Under 30 Summit.

Twine Labs’ Joseph Quan pitches at the Forbes Under 30 Summit. (Photo by Wafai Dias)

More than 1,000 startups applied to pitch to the competition, according to Forbes. Ten startups were chosen, including two others with Philly ties. One was Kudzoo, the student rewards app cofounded by Chester County native Logan Cohen. The other was Twine Labs, the Wharton startup that ran a marketing stunt during the Democratic National Convention to connect people with their “political soulmates.”


We caught up with Twine cofounder Joseph Quan after the event, who said he wasn’t down about the loss and was excited to have made it to the finals. The company is now focusing on connecting people with jobs inside their existing companies.

“We want to get to a point with companies where they’re employing from within just as much as they’re employing from outside,” he told us.


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