Innovators Under 35 General Information

What is the difference between the regional lists of young innovators and the global list?

We believe that innovation can happen anywhere in the world. Since 2010, we have expanded our search for the most promising innovators by organizing regional editions of the Innovators Under 35 list. There are regional versions in Latin America, Europe, China, India, and Southeast Asia/Oceania. 

MIT Technology Review celebrates the winners of these regional lists through editorial stories and events in their native country or region. Regional winners must reapply to be considered for the global list..

Where do all the lists reside?

How is the list chosen?

Once all the nominations are in, the editors of MIT Technology Review winnow the group down to fewer than 100 finalists. The editors will solicit specific information from each finalist. This means that most nominees will not be asked for more information.

Do I have to participate in a regional competition to be selected for the global list?

No, that is not necessary.

Information for Nomination

I nominated someone for the Innovators Under 35 list and have not heard back from MIT Technology Review yet. What should I do?

You do not need to do anything. We will be in touch with the candidate directly if he or she becomes a finalist.

What are you looking for in the nominee description?

This should be a brief capsule summary of the technical work for which you believe the nominee deserves recognition, including an explanation of its impact, both within the nominee's field and in the wider world. Don't tell us that someone is innovative or accomplished in general. Point to something in particular that we can write about.

What is the age qualification?

The nominee must be under 35 by August 1st of the year of the award. For instance, if you are nominating someone now for the 2020 global list, he or she should turn 35 no earlier than August 1, 2020.

What do you mean by "affiliation(s)"?

This is simply the nominee's place of work or study. We provide multiple fields in case a nominee is both working professionally and studying for an advanced degree and in case a student or professor is founding a company. Please do not list professional memberships or the schools where a nominee has previously earned degrees. Past winners have come from startups, large companies, government agencies, and nonprofits, as well as from universities around the world. We encourage nominations from institutions of all types.

Whom should I list as references?

These should be advisors, supervisors, coworkers, or colleagues at other institutions who are familiar with the nominee's work and able to describe the work and its importance. These people should be willing and able to provide a short (approximately one-page) letter in support of the nominee, within two weeks of being asked.

Can a nominator be listed as a reference?

Yes! However, we might request a separate letter of support for the nominee.

Can I nominate candidates jointly—for example, a group of three cofounders?

Please submit a separate nomination for each individual.

Information Required from Finalists

How will MIT Technology Review contact finalists for additional information?

If you are selected as a finalist, you will be contacted by e-mail within two weeks of the competition's close. You will then have two weeks to submit all required materials and to ensure that reference letters have been submitted.

What information is required from finalists?

A current CV or résumé; a personal statement; date of birth (winners must be under 35 on September 30 of the year of the award); and the names of three individuals who can write brief reference letters, along with their contact information (email addresses and phone numbers).

What information should I include in my personal statement?

The statement should be a brief (300- to 500-word) first-person description of your work, including some technical detail about your innovation and how it could affect the world at large. It is also helpful to include links to media articles, peer-reviewed papers, company websites, etc.

What information is required for a reference letter?

Reference letters should be approximately one page long and should contain several paragraphs explaining how the writer knows the candidate and why he or she believes the candidate has done exceptional work.

In what form should a reference letter be submitted?

A reference can be completed and mailed on official letterhead or sent as an e-mail reply to the e-mail message that we will send.

What is the deadline to submit all required materials?

All materials, including reference letters, are due two weeks from the time finalists are notified.

Information for Existing Innovators Under 35ers

How do I provide more information for my profile?

We recognize that as time goes by, you may have updates and want to keep your profile current with the latest developments. We love hearing from our innovators! Please e-mail with any news, and let us know if you’ve moved organizations so that we can keep in touch.

Other Questions?

If you have any questions regarding the nomination process, please e-mail If you have any questions regarding the Innovators Under 35 community, email