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Ben Pasternak
Ben Pasternak.jpg
Ben Pasternak at Heureka Conference in Berlin, June 2016
Born 6 September 1999 (1999-09-06) (age 22)
Nationality Australian
Education Reddam House, Moriah College
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Co-founder & CEO of SIMULATE
Parent(s)
  • Mark Pasternak (father)
  • Anna Pasternak (mother)

Benjamin Pasternak (born September 6, 1999) is an Australian technology entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of SIMULATE, an American nutrition technology company, that has raised US$57M in investment to date. SIMULATE's signature product, NUGGS, is a plant-based chicken nugget simulation, that launched in July 2019. Previously Pasternak founded Monkey, a popular social networking app that enabled teenagers to video chat with like-minded people.

Pasternak was named as one of the world's most influential teenagers by Time in 2016. In 2021, Pasternak was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.

Early life and education

Pasternak was born in Sydney, Australia, to Anna Pasternak and Mark Pasternak. He has a younger brother, Jake, and a younger sister, Maya. Pasternak was raised Jewish in Vaucluse, eastern Sydney. He was educated at Moriah College and Reddam House.

Pasternak developed a passion for developing software at the age of 13. He designed his first publicly launched mobile app, Impossible Rush, while bored in science class at school. He showed the idea to his online friend Austin Valleskey, an iOS engineer from Chicago. The pair completed building the game in a matter of hours. The game went on to be downloaded millions of times and peaked at No. 16 on the US App Store (iOS) top charts, in front of Tinder and Twitter at the time.

In January 2015, Facebook and Google both offered Pasternak internship opportunities. Months after declining both opportunities, Pasternak dropped out of high school, at the age of 15, and relocated to New York City to accept an offer to receive venture capital funding for his first company, Flogg. Ben was recognized as one of the youngest people to receive a round of venture capital in technology, at the age of 15.

Career

Flogg

In April 2015, Pasternak founded Flogg, a social networking app for young people to buy and sell. Pasternak's early success had caught the attention of venture capital firm Binary Capital. Binary agreed to lead a round of venture capital funding in Flogg before the app had launched. Binary were joined by other investors including Greylock Partners, John Maloney and Paul Bricault. Flogg launched in April 2016 and was temporarily the No. 1 trending app on the US App Store (iOS). In late 2016, Flogg shut down due to lack of profitability.

Monkey

In November 2016, Ben co-founded Monkey, an app that enabled teenagers to video chat with like-minded people. Monkey had raised US$2 million in funding. By January 2020, the app had over 20 million users and had enabled over 20 billion calls. The app peaked at No. 1 on the US App Store (iOS). On 1 December 2017, social networking company Holla, announced that it had acquired Monkey for an undisclosed sum.

SIMULATE

In early 2018, Ben founded a new startup called NUGGS. NUGGS is a chicken nugget simulation made out of plant inputs. The company later rebranded to SIMULATE. In December 2020, Forbes reported that SIMULATE has raised US$11 million in funding from investors including McCain Foods, Alexis Ohanian, Robert Pittman and Lerer Hippeau. SIMULATE's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable nutrition.

Personal life

Pasternak lives in the Soho neighborhood of New York City.

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