Forbes 30 Under 30 has selected two rising stars from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business for its newest class, announced on Jan. 3, 2017. Hungry Harvest cofounder and “Shark Tank” dealmaker Evan Lutz, a 2014 Smith School graduate, appears on the social entrepreneurs list, and Starwood Capital Group vice president Akshay Goyal, a 2010 Smith School graduate, made the cut in the finance category.
“Now in its sixth year, the 30 Under 30 offers an annual opportunity to embrace the optimism, inventiveness and boldness of youth,” Caroline Howard writes for Forbes. Overall, judges culled 600 honorees in 20 categories from a pool of more than 15,000 nominees.
Lutz appeared on ABC’s reality show “Shark Tank” on Jan. 8, 2016, and received a $100,000 investment from Robert Herjavec for a 10 percent stake in Hungry Harvest. The company, started at UMD with support from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, collects surplus produce destined for waste and delivers it to local families and businesses at discounted prices.
“We’ve discovered more and more why food goes to waste as this business has progressed,” Lutz says. “It’s been amazing to see this movement gain steam.”
Hungry Harvest was a finalist in the university’s 2014 Do Good Challenge, an eight-week competition designed to inspire Terps to support their favorite social causes. “I knew we were going to start Hungry Harvest after college,” Lutz says. “But the Do Good Challenge gave us validation that our idea would really work.”
Lutz, a Baltimore native, studied marketing at the Smith School and received the "Social Entrepreneur of the Year" award from Dingman’s inaugural Rudy Awards. He discusses his entrepreneurship journey in episode eight of Dingman’s podcast series, Bootstrapped (27:06).
Goyal made his mark at the Smith School in different ways. He participated in the QUEST Honors and Gemstone programs, and served as an equity analyst in a class that manages the Lemma Senbet Fund.
“It provides an immersion in making real investment management decisions with real assets,” says Smith School professor Sarah Kroncke, who teaches the Senbet course for undergraduates and the companion Mayer Fund course for second-year MBA students.
She attributes Goyal’s quick rise in finance to his intelligence, passion and humility. “He has a really good combination of qualities that served him well as a student,” she says.
Goyal, 28, became the youngest vice president in Starwood’s history when he was promoted at age 26. “Goyal focuses on hotel acquisitions and has helped drive over $7 billion in deals,” Forbes reports. “He recently worked to sell over 240 hotels across the United States to Chinese insurer China Life for $2 billion.”