Danielle Fong for Forbes

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Forbes 30 Under 30: Danielle Fong

December 19, 2011

A two-time dropout, Fong is working on a potentially game-changing energy storage system backed by leading green tech investor Vinod Khosla. Fong dropped out of junior high as a 12-year-old to enter Dalhousie University in her hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. At 17, she entered a Princeton PhD program, studying nuclear fusion before quitting to pursue her startup dreams in Silicon Valley. She realized energy storage could help achieve similar goals and, as she puts it, “was an easier problem to solve.” At age 20, Fong co-founded LightSail Energy, which has invented a compressed air storage technology that is scalable, portable, clean and economical. The idea is to make it possible for intermittent sources of renewable energy like solar and wind to go mainstream, and revolutionize power grid design.