Forbes 30 Under 30 2021, Consumer Technology: Simulate Founder and CEO, Ben Pasternack
Ben Pasternak, 21
“Chicken nuggets are already integrated into internet and meme culture. It’s easy to create a fun brand around it.”
Thanks to Pasternak, vegetarians can feel happier about homemade Happy Meals. His startup, Simulate, makes Nuggs, a vegan version of America’s favorite Frankenfood. “Chicken nuggets are already integrated into internet and meme culture,” Pasternak says. “It’s easy to create a fun brand around it.” Based in New York and primarily sold online, Nuggs is on track for $8 million in revenue this year. The Australia-born Pasternak began building iOS games at 14 and dropped out of school at 15. By 18, he had built and sold Monkey, a video-chat app with 10 million users. Simulate, his latest venture, has raised more than $15 million from Lerer Hippeau, Alexis Ohanian and McCain Foods. Ever the programmer, Pasternak continually tweaks his plant-based poultry. Nuggs has tested thousands of formulas and released nine versions to the public. Next on the menu? Veggie hot dogs.