Innovators Under 35 General Information

What is MIT Technology Review's global list of 35 young innovators?

Established in 1999 as the TR100, the annual list recognizes outstanding innovators who are younger than 35. The awards span a wide range of fields, including biotechnology, materials, computer hardware, energy, transportation, communications, and the Web. We are searching for individuals whose superb technical work promises to shape the coming decades. Our goal is to recognize the development of new technology or the creative application of existing technologies to solve problems. We also reward ingenious and elegant work that matters to the world at large—not just to peers in a particular field or industry.

MIT Technology Review showcases these global winners in our July/August issue and online at We also recognize the winners at the Emtech MIT conference in the fall of each year.

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

We launched regional editions of the Innovators Under 35 list in 2010. Now there are other regional versions, including Latin America, Europe, China, MENA (Middle East/North Africa), and Asia Pacific (which includes Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania). The winners of the regional competitions are encouraged to apply for the global list here. For a full listing of our regional competitions, visit

Where do all the lists reside?

How is the list chosen?

Once all the nominees are in, the editors of MIT Technology Review winnow the group down to fewer than 100 semi-finalists. The editors will solicit specific information from each semi-finalist via email. If you are a nominee and you have not received a request for additional information by the end of February, that means you probably did not make this year's list of semi-finalists and should apply again the following year. The semi-finalists' materials are forwarded to a group of several dozen judges with expertise in all areas of technology. Based on the judges' ratings, the editors then pick the final list of 35.

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 semi-finalist.

Can a nominator be listed as a reference?

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

What is the age qualification?

You need to be under 35 by August 1 of the year of the award. 

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 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 might be 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.

Can I nominate partners, for example a group of three founders, or a joint submission?

Please nominate your submissions separately, i.e. one submission for each nominee.

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 Required from Semi-Finalists

What is the deadline to submit all required materials for nominations?

If you are selected as a semi-finalist you will be contacted by email in February. We will then request that you submit additional materials, including reference letters.

How will MIT Technology Review contact semi-finalists for additional information?

By e-mail.

What information is required from semi-finalists?

Semi-finalists will be asked to provide a current CV or resume, proof of age (winners must be under 35 by August 1 of the year of the award), and the names and email addresses of three people willing to write reference letters. You’ll also be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire about the nature of your innovation and why it is important. You’ll also have the option of uploading a short video about your work, links to publications or articles about your work, and other supporting documents.

Reference Letters

What information is required for a nominee reference letter?

We ask that a reference letter contain several paragraphs explaining how you know the candidate and why you believe he or she has done exceptional work. If you are named as a semi-finalist your references will be contacted via email and asked to upload their letters.

Other questions? If you have any questions regarding the nomination process, please e-mail

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