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Laos, Mongolia, Kazakhstan Among Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Debuts

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The annual Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2019 list has been issued, and it sees several nationalities make a well-deserved debut on the Forbes honor roll, with some tech projects gaining significant recognition. Among the usual suspects from China and Japan, this year’s entries feature first-timers from Central and Southeast Asian countries like Laos, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Arranged into 13 different categories covering traditional areas as Arts, Finance and Venture Capital, Media and Advertising, and Entertainment and Sports, it also sees some tech-centric categories such as Enterprise Technology, Big Money and Social Entrepreneurs.

It is of some interest to note that many of the innovators in this year’s selection are focused on building long-term positive impacts in developing and emerging markets. From using technology to improve their individual sectors, to helping small and medium enterprises grow sustainably in food and energy industries, many young people have broken the Generation X and Millennial tropes of focusing only on short-term successes.

HealthMatch founder Manuri Gunawardena, for example, used her frustrations in locating patients to join trials for potentially lifesaving treatments to build a new “matchmaking” solution. Her startup, HealthMatch, uses machine learning and clinical data to match pharma companies and researchers with suitable patients, and vice versa. The 25-year old Australian says:

“We are automating access to clinical trials globally and dramatically improving the future of healthcare by lowering barriers to research and development.”

Another Forbes honoree is Cambodian Richard Yim, who co-founded Demine Robotics to help tackle one of the country’s oldest problems: removing and decommissioning hundreds of thousands of unexploded ordinance leftover from past conflicts.

Also 25, Yim hopes that Jevit, the world’s first remote-controlled robot capable of lifting a landmine from the ground without detonation, will find successful use with Demine Robotics. His own personal tragedy of losing an aunt to a landmine explosion more than years ago inspired his contribution in a country that has recorded over 64,000 mine casualties since 1979.

Yim hopes to deploy Jevit to other similar former battlegrounds such as Afghanistan and Iraq, where civilians still deal with the deadly remnants of war:

“I truly believe in building a business that will change the world for the better.”


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