Inc. releases the 30 under 30 list every year. The list highlights 30 emerging business leaders in the USAunder 30. The 2012 list is largely dominated by entrepreneurs engaged in mobile app development or EE commerce platforms of one sort or another. Another interesting trend with this list is that everybody on it is between 25 and 30 years old. In the past, the list had a wider range pages. This is indicative of GenY growing up and establishing themselves in the business world. Another interesting trend with 2012’s 30 under 30 is that they are in touch with the conscious aspects of running a business. To them it is not only important to earn a profit, but it is also important that that profit be made in a way that impacts the community positively.
While all of the people who made it on the list are incredible, we were especially impressed with these young, emerging business leaders:
Nathan Sigworth - co-founder of PharmaSecure. His company partners with pharmaceutical producers in India to print unique serial numbers on drug bottles. Consumers can then check that serial number to verify that the medication is authentic. The service is helping both consumers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Consumers can be assured that the medication they are buying is authentic, drug manufacturers are protected from losing market share due to counterfeit medications.
Kfir and Elram Gavrieli partnered with their sister Dikla (32) to create a product to meet the needs of fashionable women. They invented Tieks, a flat leather ballet-like shoe that a woman can fold up and tuck into her purse as a handy alternative to suffering in high heels or sporting less – than - fashionable sneakers. The idea was born when they realized that their sister and so many other women out there would love to have a comfortable, fashionable, convenient shoe to switch to during commutes, or extended evenings instead of wearing their foot-brutalizing heels. Tieks are made of leather and fold up into a pouch that fits into the purse.
Desiree Vargas Wrigley –co-founder of GiveForward.
GiveForward is an online platform that allows individuals to crowdsource funding for medical emergencies and other personal fundraising needs. It is different than KickStarter or IndieGoGo because it focuses more on the needs of an individual rather than a creative or business endeavor. Its niche is helping people raise funds for medical care, veterinary care disaster recovery, funeral services and other unexpected and unpleasant expenses that everybody experiences from time to time.
Rachel Weeks – founder of School House. Initially, Rachel started her business in Sri Lanka while there on a Fulbright Grant. What made her business different was that she paid her factory workers, mostly female, livable wages - effectively tripling wages in the factory. While she was satisfied with her work in Sri Lanka, she also recognized that there was a powerful market for ‘Made in the USA’ products, especially for her own generation. She has focused her business on making collegiate athletic wear for females, and now takes orders from universities such as Duke University.
Allison Lami Sawyer – co- founder of Rebellion Photonics. This young entrepreneur has managed to secure over 2.4 million from military and industrial contracts for an in-demand fluorescent imaging camera. The camera can see chemicals on a microscopic level and takes pictures at 30 frames per second. The camera was designed by Robert Koester and is sought after by medical, military, and chemical companies that have the need to detect leaks quickly. Not only does the company produce the cameras, but they also install the cameras and charge for their services on a monthly basis.
There are patterns among all these young entrepreneurs. Besides all being under 30, every single one of them spotted a need in the marketplace and delivered a product or service to meet that need. What is exceptional about these young entrepreneurs is that a few of them had the sort of business experience typically required to engage in such large endeavors. Yet, they have been successful. It will be interesting to see what comes of their endeavors and to see what innovations the next crop of 30 Under 30 bring to the world.
Abhipraya Subedi is a professional, adjunct professor, editor, doctoral candidate and adult mentor in the Fairfax County Public School System. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.