Pitching ‘Under 30’

Chemistry student to pitch his scientific accessory company at Forbes 30 Under 30 summit

Tony Hoang, Ph.D. chemistry candidate. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)   

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 11, 2016) – What do actor Ashton Kutcher, a million dollars, and UAlbany student Tony Hoang have in common?

All three will be in Boston this weekend.

Hoang, a Ph.D. chemistry candidate and member of the RNA Institute, has been selected to pitch his scientific accessory company - Advanced Modular Instruments (AMI) - during the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 summit.       

The contest, which runs from Oct. 16-19, will be awarding $1 million in prize money to nonprofit and for-profit companies that have founders younger than 30. Kutcher is amongst several high-profile venture capitalists investing in the for-profit winner.

“Even though I am a scientist, I know how big of a deal Forbes 30 Under 30 is,” Hoang said. “Just being able to compete at this event is very humbling. It shows how much progress I’ve made as a student entrepreneur.”

AMI offers innovative technologies to enhance research in biology and chemistry labs. It has two products that are patent-pending, including a centrifuge machine attachment that helps scientists monitor the separation of particles.

Hoang is UAlbany's first student to participate in a Forbes pitch contest. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Hoang was one of the first students to work with UAlbany’s Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship program, which opened up shop in the Campus Center one year ago. He won $17,000 through Blackstone’s first University-wide business plan competition last April.

He’s also the first UAlbany student to participate in a Forbes pitch contest.

“UAlbany and the resources it offers have played an integral part in the success of my company,” Hoang said. “Without the guidance I’ve received through the University, there’s no way I would be preparing to pitch my company on the national stage.”

At the Under 30 summit, Hoang will be competing against hundreds of other young entrepreneurs. Boston College students and faculty are serving as first round judges. They will winnow the field to four contenders per category for the final round.

Jan Woodcock, UAlbany Blackstone LaunchPad executive director, has been working with Hoang to develop a 2-minue pitch. He’s also sending Blackstone graduates Anthony Escamilla ’16, Bradley Nwosu ’16 and Ben Rafael ’16 to Boston for support.

“Tony put together a great single product pitch to win our Blackstone Business Plan Competition last spring, then bootstrapped his winnings to finance and build AMI’s current products,” Woodcock said. “We are now pivoting his message to include AMI’s full portfolio. He’s well-positioned to make a solid impression at Forbes.”

The pitch contest is one of dozens of events planned for the Under 30 summit, which will convene more than 5,000 young entrepreneurs. Along with Kutcher, over 200 speakers will be featured including Jessica Alba, who founded Honest Company, model and author Chrissy Teigen, and chef Bobby Flay.

To learn more about Hoang, view this profile story on his company. Full details on the Under 30 Summit can also be found here.

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