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April 28, 2017updated 22 Jan 2018 12:34pm

Top 30 Under 30 in Cloud

The first ever CBR Top 30 Under 30 in Cloud recognises the best innovators and contributors to the Cloud industry.

By James Nunns

Across all industries there are pioneers. Those that have led the way and broken ground where others have feared to tread. The cloud industry is no different.

People from all walks of life have embraced the technology as a way to re-imagine how business and life is.

While cloud computing has now proven itself as a core piece of technology for many businesses around the world, the reality is that the industry is still very much in its early years.

There’s still debates over its security, ease of use, value, and a whole myriad of other issues. But while these are slowly overcome, there have been many that have embraced it.

Included in this list are some of the ground breakers, trend setters, and most influential people that work in the cloud industry.

They fulfill many different roles, with a wide ranging set of job titles, responsibilities and achievements, but one thing they all have in common is that they are one of the top people in cloud.

These are the people that CBR and many in the industry consider to be the top people under 30 in cloud.

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Jessica McKellar

McKellar has an extremely impressive resume, from an education at MIT, an internship as a Software Engineer at Intel, to an Engineering Manager at Oracle and Director of Engineering at Dropbox, after the company she founded (Zulip) was acquired by the company. 

McKellar is a start-up founder, software engineer and open source developer.

McKellar writes on her blog: “I enjoy the Internet, networking, low-level systems engineering, relational databases, tinkering on electronics projects, and contributing to and helping other people contribute to open source software.”

In addition to being a fantastic contributor to the technology community, McKellar is also a technical consultant for the popular HBO show Silicon Valley, was the Director for the Python Software Foundation, the 501c3 non-profit that stewards the Python programming language and community.

Jessica can be found Tweeting @jessicamckellar and on Github here.


Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering, Monzo

Oliver is the Head of Engineering for Monzo Bank, where he built an architecture that is in stark contrast to traditional banking architectures. The systems at Monzo including core banking systems are built in-house, in a distributed microservices style, all running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Its backend is fully-distributed, heavily using
Kubernetes and Cassandra, and Monzo Bank has built upwards of 200 services.

Oliver is very active on Twitter, with more than 14,000 tweets and 2,000 followers, and can be found tweeting about Monzo, technology and everyday experiences. Oliver has spoken at numerous conferences in the past year, including Kubecon Seattle and Berlin. He will also be speaking at CoreOS Fest in San Francisco in a few weeks.

Blog by Oliver about Monzo’s backend technology: Building a modern bank backend

Oliver can be found Tweeting @obeattie and the company @monzo


Raphael Arar, Designer & Researcher, IBM

In addition to being an award-winning artist with artworks shown at Gamble House Museum, Boston Cyberarts Gallery and more, Arar has worked with the likes of Apple, Google, The Smithsonian and Children’s Hospital. 

Currently he works as a designer and researcher at IBM Research and Adjunct Faculty at San Jose State University in its Digital Media Art Program.

Arar was previously the Lead UX Designer for the Apple + IBM Partnership.

The now 30 year old, fled the former Soviet Union and Egypt to escape religious persecution, immigrating to Ohio in the US.

Arar has played an important role in one of the most valuable elements of cloud technology – helping to make the user interface and user experience top notch.

Raphael Arar can be found Tweeting @rarar


Max Bennet, Cofounder, Bluecore

As cofounder of Bluecore, a company that aims to make customer behaviour easier to understand and actionable, Bennet takes up the role of head of product management
and design.

Bluecore has become one of New York City’s fastest growing start-ups in just four years, having been founded in 2013. The SaaS company can already boast a list of more than 300 retailers that use its product. On that list are the likes of Nike and Gap.

As a sign of its strength, the start-up has already raised around $28m from investors.

Bennett can be found Tweeting @maxsbennett and Bluecore @Bluecore.


Helena Horsburgh, Partner Manager, Dropbox

Helena works at Dropbox where she risen to become Partner Manager.

The former Catz student started out as an SMB Inbound Account Executive before quickly rising through the ranks to become Partner Account Manager in 2016. 

Helena was a founding member of the SMB team in EMEA, and built the company’s sales processes in the region from scratch. In the time she has been there Helena has developed their services for small and medium businesses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, helping them to collaborate effectively and drive more revenue as a result.

In 2016 Helena was a finalist as one of the rising stars of the year in the Women in IT Awards and again in the 2017 awards.

Helena can be found Tweeting @HelenaHorsburgh and Dropbox @Dropbox


Scott Britton, Cofounder, Troops.AI

Cofounder of Troops.AI, alongside Dan Reich, and Greg Ratner, Britton works at the focusing on sales and growth for the technology that’s billed as “a Slackbot for Sales Teams.”

The company aims to solve an age old problem of software, that it has been trying to get people to adapt to it, rather than the software adapting to the people. 

Basically, the company has set about making CRM data easy to use. It lets users push and pull data in and out of Slack so that it essentially becomes a sales hub.

The idea is that people are using messaging apps by the millions, so why not provide these workers with an artificially intelligent system that will help them perform CRM functions in the tools they are already using.

It’s a big market to go after and a tricky one to succeed in, particularly with Salesforce being such a success. But the New York based start-up has already raised over $9.6 million and it’s only been going since 2015.

Scott can be found Tweeting  @britton and the company @Troops.


Vanessa Hurst, founder and CEO CodeMontage

In addition to being the founder and CEO of CodeMontage, Hurst is also the founder of Developers for Good, and co-founder for Girl Develop It and WriteSpeakCode.

CodeMontage connects computer programmers with social-good projects that need volunteer coders, while Developers for Good also aims to assist with various non-profit projects. 

Through her work at CodeMontage, Hurst and the team have developed software such as Quill, the interactive grammar program helps teachers to assess the abilities of students and helps to provide personalised lessons based on the findings.

Her work around women in tech has also seen Hurst co-found Girl Develop It, a non-profit that’s been set up for both women and men to learn about software development.

Hurst is now also the Director of the engineering practice at Etsy.

Hurst can be found Tweeting @DBNess and Girl Develop It @girldevelopit.


Paul Clements, Senior Account Executive, SAP

SAP’s Senior Account Executive Paul Clements may have only been with SAP for six years, but he plays a significant role in partnering with our most complex and strategic retail customers including Kingfisher plc and Wilko retail, to help transform their business in the Cloud. Paul’s first taste of Cloud was through the SAP Sales Academy, where he was ranked first globally, out of over 300 other graduates, for his outstanding performance in customer sales.

Now at just 27-years-old, Paul has stepped up to become a trusted key strategic partner and technology advisor in this fast-paced industry. Alongside his current role, Paul has become a true ambassador for Cloud, volunteering as a mentor to the SAP Sales Academy trainees in his spare time to develop their skills in Cloud transformation. The company is said to see Paul moving quickly to fulfill his career goals of taking on more people leadership responsibilities, increasing diversity and leveraging the Cloud for customer transformation and success.

Paul can be found Tweeting @PaulFJClements.


Hiroki Takeuchi, GoCardless

Founder and CEO of GoCardless, Hiroki Takeuchi just sneaks into the 30 and under bracket by a matter of days, but that should detract from his achievements.

Founded with Matt Robinson, GoCardless uses smart technology to help businesses to accept and process direct debit payments.

In essence, the company has been helping to solve a problem related to SaaS companies, which is getting paid on a recurring basis.

GoCardless has devised a way to get paid via bank-to-bank online payments, and it has already expanded to France.

The company has already raised over $24.8 million and counts the likes of TripAdvisor, Box, and the Financial Times as clients.

Takeuchi can be found Tweeting @hirokitakeuchi and the company @gocardless.


Leigh Schvartz, Senior Consultant, Global Solutions Marketing, Avanade

Leigh is a senior consultant within Avanade’s global marketing team, responsible for providing marketing support for Avanade’s cloud business. In between work commitments, Leigh is a keen athlete and represents Team GB for his age group in the sport of Duathlon. 

Leigh’s interest in the cloud began in 2010 during his time at Loughborough University whilst studying Management Sciences, choosing to write his final year report on the various trade-offs companies make when using a public cloud service. The report, titled ‘Is Heaven Really in the Cloud’, was awarded a first, with 90%.

During University Leigh completed a year’s placement at Fujitsu and was then invited back to join their graduate scheme. Leigh had a number of roles at Fujitsu including providing product marketing support for Fujitsu’s cloud infrastructure solutions and private cloud integrated systems, helping both clients and managed service providers build private cloud solutions. Upon completion of the graduate scheme in 2014, Leigh was awarded “Graduate of the Year” for the 2012 intake.

Key aspects of Schvartz’s role include working closely with Avanade’s cloud leadership in authoring regular market intelligence stories and designing global campaigns which support the company’s vision.

Schvartz can be found Tweeting @leighschvartz


Madeleine ‘Bear’ Douglas, Slack

Douglas recently made the news when she made the move away from Twitter to head up Slack’s developer advocacy group.

Douglas has been at Facebook, Twitter and now Slack, clearly her expertise in building relationships with developers is in high demand.

The move to Slack highlights the company’s growing reach into the enterprise, something that Douglas will clearly play an important part of.

Douglas works with third-party developers with the idea of encouraging them to build on top of Slack’s tech, and there’s already around six million apps integrated with it.

Douglas tends to go by the name Bear, a nickname that her parents gave her.

Douglas can be found Tweeting @beardigsit and the company @SlackHQ ‏.


Andrew First, Cofounder, Leanplum

The former Google software engineer, Andrew First is the CTO and Co-founder of Leanplum, a company that aims to make experiences on mobile more personal by optimising user experience and through targeted messages.

The Duke University graduate has helped to grow Leanplum from its launch in 2012 to over 100 employees and over $46m in funding (as of 2016).

In 2016 the founders of the company reimagined Leanplum as a mobile marketing cloud that offers everything that a client would need to be able to retain their users after an app has been downloaded.

A bumped Series C of $29m shows this start-up to be a popular choice among investors.

First can be found Tweeting @afirst


Cecilia Stallsmith, senior manager, platform and partner marketing, Slack

A former employee of Box, Stallsmith is now at Slack as a senior manager of platform and partner marketing. 

Having joined Slack in 2015, Stallsmith has played an important role in the start-ups progression to becoming one of the leading collaboration platforms in the market.

The role she plays is an important one, helping to bring customers, developers, and partners on to the platform, including the likes of Salesforce and Google.

The Standford University graduate moved into the tech industry after being inspired by Box CEO Aaron Levie speaking in one of her classes. Stallsmith reportedly got a job at Box after emailing Levie to ask for an internship.

Stallsmith can be found Tweeting @CeciStalls and the company @SlackHQ.  


Andrea Pfundmeier, Cofounder, Boxcryptor

The co-founder of Boxcryptor with Robert Freudenreich, Pfundmeier has helped to grow the company to a team of 26 that can boast customers in over 190 countries. 

The company specialises in encryption software for cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and many more.

Serving as CEO of Boxcryptor, Pfundmeier is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Digital Start-up Economy of the German Federal Ministry of Economics.

Pfundmeier is an expert in data protection and is helping to make the cloud secure for all to use.

Pfundmeier can be found Tweeting @A_Pfund and the company @Boxcryptor.


Nick D’Aloisio

At just 21, D’Aloisio is one of the youngest on this list but has already proven himself to be one of the great tech entrepreneurs.

In his teenage years he invented Summly, an automatic summarization algorithm, basically it solved issues related to the way that news articles were presented on smartphones. The initial version was downloaded by over 200,000 users and a year after its launch he received $1m in venture funding.

In 2013, long before he turned 20, he sold Summly for a reported £30m to Yahoo.

In 2015 he left Yahoo to focus on his studies at Oxford and he is now said to be working on his next project.

According to his LinkedIn page this next project is in stealth but has already raised over $3.5m and has a team of 12 in London. There’s certainly a bright future ahead of D’Aloisio and he’s already had an academic paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Philosophical Psychology (Routledge).

D’Aloisio can be found Tweeting @nickdaloisio.

Who else is on the list?

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