A Binghamton University alumnus has been listed under Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.
Ariel Katz, ‘15, is the founder and CEO of H1, an American health care data company that assists in advancing scientific development and helps bring well-matched patients and doctors together, according to the H1 website. The Forbes 30 under 30 list is an annually published list that highlights individuals who have achieved large accomplishments in their respective fields, all of them under the age of 30. Katz’s company has approximately 500 employees and is valued at around $1 billion, according to Katz.
Katz explained that the idea to focus on health care did not come from any particular objective. Instead, it was picked out of a previously established list of business ideas.
“One of the ideas was making moving profile pictures,” Katz said. “Another one was a marketplace for musicians. Eventually, we landed on health care, and that alienated some people who didn’t want to focus on that field.”
Matthew Winston Jr., executive director of alumni engagement at BU, commended Katz’s accomplishments, describing them as a representation of how BU produces successful alumni.
“[BU] produces alumni who are leaders and innovators in every endeavor imaginable,” Winston said. “They leave this University and enter the working world driven to solve real-world problems. Ariel and his work with H1 are a shining example of this. His accomplishments are impressive at any age, but especially so given how recently he had graduated from our University. The Alumni Association is very proud of Ariel.”
H1, the company that put Katz on Forbes’ list, uses health care data to connect people with doctors who best match their needs, whether that be based on specialization, location or more, depending on the needs of the patient. It also helps to facilitate connections between scientists and medical professionals, and works with organizations to facilitate goals, according to their website.
Heidi Pohlman, a freshman majoring in electrical engineering, said she felt having an alumnus on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list would positively impact the University’s reputation.
“I think it really shows that hard work pays off,” Pohlman said. “I’m really happy to go to a school with such successful alumni, and I think it really helps boost BU’s reputation.”
Katz recalled BU as being one of his first customers and hardest sells. Prior to H1’s formation, Katz ran a now-defunct business called ResearchConnection. ResearchConnection was a platform that connected students to research opportunities and allowed faculty to showcase their work and recruit students.
Katz said BU was one of the most difficult customers he has had to sell to, describing how in his effort to launch ResearchConnection, he at one point bought thousands of donuts to hand out to students who agreed to sign up for his service.
“We pitched the idea to [BU President] Harvey Stenger,” Katz said. “And he said, ‘This is never going to work.’ We pitched the idea to other [University officials] and they said the same thing. The [Department of Economic Development] gave us a chance. [They] got us an office.”
Kevin Borjigin, a sophomore majoring in political science, said he credits the University’s resources and connections to Katz’s success.
“I think it’s a product of BU,” Borjigin said. “[There are] a lot of great resources you can gain from being at this school, and a lot of really cool people you can meet that you’ll work with later in life. Also, [people here] get a really good education. They give really good entries into the business world.”
Regarding his current work, Katz said he believes access to health care data will be considered a human right in the future, much like how many consider health care a human right currently.
“You know how the right to health care is considered a political topic,” Katz said. “Access to health care information will be the next basic human right. Some countries are better at it than others. The [United States] is terrible. Israel is great at it.”