Dakin Sloss, 25


The modern oil and gas industry has equipped every nook and cranny of their operations with sensors. But the voluminous amounts of data, including second-by-second records of temperatures, pressures and flow volumes, generated by this equipment are still not totally understood. Twenty-five-year-old Sloss is building a business around that problem with his software startup Tachyus. His software combines machine learning with physics-based modeling to inform operators how best to engineer their wells—where to drill, how much to drill and using what method. Sloss says the software boosts production about 20% on average, and he has raised $20 million in venture financing. Founded in 2013, Tachyus’ software is already being used on 6,350 wells operating in 13 fields, mostly in California.

Before Tachyus Sloss cofounded OpenGov, a software company to modernize how government agencies run their finances. At one point Sloss had ambitions in academia, with plans to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. “I got sick of how slow academia moved,” he says. “I wanted to build something that had a more real-time impact on the world.”