Veeraj Shah '21 and Jonathan Maa '18

Veeraj Shah '21 and Jonathan Maa '18 are the two School of Public Health Terps recognized for DC Inno's "25 Under 25."

October 13, 2020

Washington, DC is full of talented and ambitious young people, and the organization DC Inno recognizes a select group through their annual list of top innovators in the Washington region who are all under 25 years old. DC Inno, which calls itself, “your source for local innovation,” features local news about innovation in technology, startups, higher education and more. 

This year’s list recognizes several Terps, two from the School of Public Health: Veeraj Shah, a 21-year-old majoring in biological sciences and health sciences, policy and technology, and Jonathan Maa, a 25-year old public health science alum.

Shah ’21 is the co-founder and co-CEO for Vitalize Inc, an app startup centered around behavioral economics to improve clinician wellness. 

He and Sanketh Andhavarapu, a 19-year-old studying neuroeconomics, neurobiology and physiology at the University of Maryland, founded Vitalize this past March.

The University of Maryland Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s Terp Startup summer accelerator program was instrumental in developing Vitalize. The program helped Shah and Andhavarapu to secure grant funding. 

Now, they are starting initial beta testing with a group of 60 clinicians — aiming to equip health care professionals with resources to prevent burnout. Some of these tools include mindfulness modules, meditation tracks and an anonymous support community. 

Currently, the company is developing two point-of-care tests for health care providers and organizations looking to screen for Covid-19, according to The Business Journals.

Jonathan Maa ’18 is the chief operating officer for Maxim Biomedical, his family’s medical diagnostics company in Rockville, Maryland. Maxim was founded in 2005, and Maa has been working there since 2012. 

Maa and the Maxim team are working with the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics program. NIH provides Maxim with regulatory, commercial and manufacturing support, and helps to arrange more clinical testing.

Maxim also hopes to apply for tests approval from the Food and Drug Administration this month. The company is aiming to produce roughly 1.5 million tests each month by the end of the year,
as well as to scale past four to five million tests every month into 2021, according to The Business Journals.

Additionally, Maxim is hiring, forming manufacturing partners and creating an at-home Covid-19 test and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a rapid HIV test for the national testing program. 

In addition to Shah and Maa, three other Terps are among the distinguished list of young innovators.  

We’re so proud of our Terps for this honor, and we can’t wait to see the great things that are to come with Vitalize and Maxim!


Related Links

DC Inno’s 25 Under 25 list