Forbes 30 Under 30 is an annual list recognizing 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in each of a designated 20 industries. Discover how this year’s leaders are embracing digital.
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In a year plagued with uncertainty, the annual Forbes 30 under 30 winners give a more optimistic shine to the future of business. Over the past year, companies and consumers alike have found new ways to use digital mediums to fill in for, or even expand upon, traditional products and processes. In this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 groupings, the leaders of tomorrow’s business are showcasing just what today’s tech can do.
From across the United States, Forbes received over 15,000 nominees for this year’s distinction. From investment to retail, these young entrepreneurs, executives, and business leaders are highlighting top trends and innovations in their industries. So whether you’re evaluating future investment opportunities or looking for innovative new ideas for your business, it’s wise to look to them for the direction of the market.
Jessie Zeng and Mo Zhou, at Choosy
Choosy cofounders Jessie Zeng and Mo Zhou know that Instagram has become the new runway in the fashion world. People are looking to their discover feeds and favorite influencers for fashion, styling tips, and inspiration and they’ve found a way to capitalize on it.
“Millions of people are expressing their buying intent over social media”, explains Zeng.
Choosy is a fashion “e-tailer” that designs and sells 25 new products per month based upon trending styles on Instagram. The company’s algorithm scans social media posts to find the looks that are getting the most traction and recreates those styles. Choosy is expected to hit $6 Million in sales and has raised $10 million in funding capital.
Saoud Khalifah, at Fakespot
As COVID-19 keeps stores locked down, online shopping continues to rise. From fashion to food, more and more individuals are turning to marketplaces like Amazon to order both day-to-day and specialty items. Unfortunately, as usage rises, so do the scams.
Entrepreneur Saoud Khalifah was shocked to have fallen for one of these scams after ordering a vitamin supplement that had multiple five-star reviews. He realized that if bots are posting fake reviews then an algorithm should be able to pick up and filter out those reviews. Off of this idea, Khalifah founded Fakespot.
Today, over 15 million people have used the tool across platforms such as Amazon and Sephora. Inspired by this success, Khalifah has created a partner product called Sentinal to help enterprises identify fake reviews on their products. To-date the company has raised $1.3 million in funding capital.
Finance Embraces Digital
Amber Feng, at Stripe
Amber Feng is the Head of Financial Infrastructure at Stripe, a digital payment platform used by the likes of Shopify and Lyft which was most recently valued at $35 billion. Feng started with the company back in 2012 when it was only a 10 person team. Today, she’s heading a 100 person team that is working on Stripe’s digital corporate credit card. Already serving tens of millions of customers through the Stripe Connect payment system, the credit card division is looking to expand the reach of this digital company in the financial services market.
Paul Gru, at Upstart
Paul Gru is bringing big data into finance and is making it work. Cofounding his company Upstart in 2012, Gru is focused on applying today’s data analysis techniques to lending. Upstart is an online lending company that helps people refinance their credit card debt. Gru leads the data science team which uses machine learning and unconventional data (i.e. your college degree) to assess borrower risk.
According to a CFPB study, the Upstart analysis model has been massively successful, approving approximately 27% more loans than the traditional model all while yielding an average of 16% lower APRs for approved loans.
Emerging Enterprise Technology
Kanjun Qiu, at Sourceress
The reality of job searching is online. Through sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed, companies and applicants are constantly at work to curate the best profile through which to present themselves to the public.
But it’s not only on these work-specific platforms where potential employers may be recruiting talent. Kanjun Qui’s company Sourceress uses artificial intelligence to scour the web, from job sites to social media, looking for flags that predict an individual’s capacity to succeed in a certain role. Her team then reaches out to these potential candidates personally for a first interview.
This targeted and personalized recruiting tactic was only accessible for large companies able to run their own HR department. As a result, top talent across industries tended to get snapped up.
“We’re trying to democratize access to talent. Otherwise, big companies with big resources are always going to win the talent war.”
Sourceress works with partners such as Medium and Ginko Bioworks and has raised $13 million worth of capital from investors such as Y combinator.