5 Business Leaders Under 30
Stories of young people that have built prosperous careers in a world dominated by established interests can be motivating and inspiring. We often hear about the lives of the most high profile success stories (Mark Zuckerberg, anyone?), but there are countless other people around the world that have already made a difference before leaving their 20s. Out of those multitudes, here are five great examples of innovators and entrepreneurs:
1. Ankur Jain, 22, Founder of the Kairos Society
He’s younger than your little brother, but the student organization that he created in 2008 has blossomed into an incredibly influential platform for other young entrepreneurs to cultivate global projects. The Kairos Society is partnered with the United Nations and the New York Stock Exchange, and provides grant money and mentorship to undergraduate innovators in fields like clean energy, healthcare, biotechnology, and everything else you can imagine that will be relevant in solving all of the problems the world faces.
2. Victor Wong, 25, CEO of PaperG
At Yale he created a marketing phenomenon—automatic creation of targeted online advertisements for small local businesses. The service has been incredibly successful and achieved high acclaim, and now provides advertising for over 10,000 local companies. Victor has written for Forbes, spoken at
university conferences all over, and still looks like he’s 12.
3. Tracy Britt, 28, Financial Advisor to Warren Buffett
She’s blonde, she’s pretty, and she’s probably way smarter than you. After founding a not-for-profit education initiative during her Harvard undergrad called Smart Women’s Securities, she cold-called Warren Buffett once to see if he would meet with the student group and then later for a job. Now, she is chairwoman of several Berkshire Hathaway-owned companies. Tracy is the perfect example of partnered initiative and genius.
4. Deepti Sharma Kapur, 26, Founder of FoodToEat.com
I love food, and even more than that, I love when food is prepared quickly. This young lady has created an online service that allows people to pre-order at restaurants, food trucks, and street carts for free, and at the same time specializes in training immigrant vendors in using technology to market their
food. FoodToEat only charges them a few cents per order, but has made an incredible profit while promoting business for local vendors and happiness for hungry customers.
5. Drew Houston and Arash Ferdoushi, 29 and 27, Co-Founders of Dropbox
Okay, so this is two people, but these MIT classmates invented the coolest online service ever, a free program that allows users to access their files from multiple linked devices or from any computer at all by logging in online. Dropbox has revolutionized file storage for a lot of people, and has proved itself invaluable to me innumerable times as a student and world traveler. This partnership continues to be promising for future applications.
Aided by greater access to education, incredible advances in technology, and a spreading philosophy of do-it-yourself innovation, this generation has immense potential for progress. In every field imaginable, young people are distinguishing themselves as highly competent, effective, and creative leaders. Where will your skills take you?