20 young entrepreneurs you need to know in 2016

Top 5 Struggles That Hold Entrepreneurs Back

These young and notable entrepreneurs are making a difference in the arts, retail, media, and technology.

You don't need decades of experience to launch a company.

In fact, Millennial entrepreneurs are making a huge impact in various industries, including tech, consumer finance, fashion, and retail.

On Monday, Forbes published its fifth annual list of the most influential people under the age of 30, across 20 categories. The honorees were chosen by a star-studded panel of judges, including Jessica Alba and Tory Burch for retail and e-commerce, and Shonda Rhimes and Kelly Osbourne for Hollywood.

Famed investor Chris Sacca was the judge for the venture capital category, where the investor-turned-founder Rami Rahal was one to make the cut.

Below, in no particular order, are the most notable entrepreneurs from the list:

Art and Style

Lauren Conrad, 29

The entrepreneur is probably best known for her roles on the hit reality TV series Laguna Beach and The Hills, but she's also a successful fashion designer and author, and the co-founder of the Little Market, a distributor of handcrafted pieces made exclusively by women.

Venture Capital

Rami Rahal, 29

Rahal heads up Blue Cloud Ventures, a VC firm based in New York City. Blue Cloud has raised $65 million across two funds, investing in startups like Vidyo, BTI Systems, Tapad, CloudBees, Jazz.co, and Lattice Engines.

Consumer Technology

Marcela Sapone, 29

Sapone is the co-founder and CEO of Hello Alfred, maker of an on-demand chore app with moderately priced services ($32 a week). The company, which she started with fellow Harvard Business School alumna Jessica Beck, has raised a total of $12.5 million.


Andrew Gertler, 27

Gertler is the founder and CEO at AG Artists, a management startup based in New York City. He takes credit for discovering musician Shawn Mendes in 2014, another Forbes honoree.

Hollywood and Entertainment

Xavier Dolan, 26

The Canadian director and producer rose to international fame in 2014, when he won the Jury Prize at Cannes for his film Mommy. This year, Dolan can count his music video for Adele's smash hit song "Hello" as another success: It garnered a record 27.7 million views in just 24 hours.


Jewel Burks, 26

A Google expat, Burks is now the co-founder of PartPic, a company that lets users find and order an automobile or drill press part via smartphone. PartPic has raised $1.5 million in funding. Burks and co-founder Jason Crain got the opportunity to meet President Obama at the inaugural White House Demo Day in 2015.

Retail and E-Commerce

Tyler Haney, 27

Haney, who hails from Boulder, Colorado, started Outdoor Voices in 2012, an activewear fashion brand based in New York City. The company has raised more than $8 million in venture capital funding, including from General Catalyst Partners.


Vicente Fernandez, 24

After graduating from the University of Chicago, Fernandez in 2012 launched SportsManias, which aggregates news, tweets, standings, and rumors related to sports games in real time. The company has raised $4.5 million in funding so far.


Jeroen Cappaert, 27

Cappaert left his job as a researcher with NASA to co-found Spire Global, a satellite data company based in San Francisco. It landed $40 million in a June 2015 funding round, bringing its total capital raised to nearly $80 million.


Vlad Tenev, 28

Tenev started Robinhood, a stock-trading app, along with co-founder Baiju Bhatt in 2013. To date, the startup has facilitated more than $2 billion in trades, free of commissions.


Emerson Spartz, 28

Spartz is the co-founder of Dose Media, a positive-only news site that clocks 50 million monthly visitors and has scooped up $25 million in funding so far. He also founded MuggleNet, a Harry Potter fan site.

Marketing and Advertising

Ross McCray, 24

McCray's startup, VideoAmp, bills itself as the go-to solution for advertisers hoping to attract eyeballs on the Web. With VideoAmp, clients can better understand how users respond to video ads across multiple devices. The Santa Monica, California-based company has raised more than $17 million in funding, with clients such as Microsoft and Peet's Coffee & Tea.


Matthew Ramirez, 26

Previously a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Berkeley, Ramirez went on to launch WriteLab, a startup that teaches students how to write via a series of algorithms. The company has raised a total of $2.5 million in funding, and the platform is now being used in 53 schools nationwide.

Social Entrepreneurs

Christopher Gray, 24

Gray launched Scholly, maker of an app and website that connect college students to scholarships, in 2015, along with co-founders Nick Pirollo (26) and Bryson Alef (24). Scholly now has more than 600,000 users, and has facilitated $20 million in scholarships.


Dakin Sloss, 25

Sloss's company, Tachyus, uses machine learning to tell drill operators how and where to engineer wells. Tachyus launched in 2013, and its technology now assists more than 6,000 wells in 13 fields.

Health Care

Josh Bruno, 29

Bruno is the co-founder of Hometeam, maker of an app that pairs home health aides with seniors in need of care (and all of those aides are employees, not contractors). The company has raised $36 million in funding to date.


Jordan Maron, 23

Maron, much like YouTube sensation Michelle Phan, has managed to parlay his fame into business. The hit YouTuber--better known by his alias, CaptainSparklez--launched a gaming studio called XReal, which now counts nine million YouTube subscribers, and has 3,000 videos that have been watched more than two billion times.

Law and Policy

Timothy Hwang, 23

Hwang is the co-founder of FiscalNote, a startup that uses data from things like congressional regulations and court rulings to predict future legislation and court cases. The company has raised more than $18 million in venture capital funding.

Food and Drink

Annie Lawless, 28

Lawless co-founded Suja Juice, an organic juice company currently valued at more than $300 million, with sales expected to reach $70 million this year.

Enterprise Technology

Ian Crosby, 29

Crosby's startup Bench, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, provides an accounting solution for small businesses. Bench helps startups manage financial statements, track expenses, and plan their taxes, and raised $15 million to do so.

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20 young entrepreneurs you need to know in 2016
Co-founders of Birchbox, Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp attend the opening of the Birchbox flagship store on July 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Birchbox)
Rent the Runway co-founders Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman attend the 4th Annual Fashion 2.0 Awards at SVA Theater on March 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive officer of Slack Technologies Inc., smiles during a Bloomberg West television interview at the Vanity Fair 2015 New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel speaks onstage during 'Disrupting Information and Communication' at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
Nic Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru are the Co-Founders of SweetGreen in Washington, D.C. on October 17, 2011. Jane Black's November column is about SweetGreen and its efforts to stay true to its roots as it grows to be a regional and national chain. Nic Jammet, the young, charismatic co-founder, who is working hard to make sure that they still feature local products from small farms, even in wintertime. They have gone from 1 store in 2007 to 10 today, including several in the Philadelphia area. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Soylent CEO Rob Rhinehart holds a bag of finished product inside a warehouse in Oakland, California where the company runs its business on September 09, 2013. The 24-year-old software engineer developed Soylent, a homemade nutrient concoction, designed as part meal-replacement drink, part thought experiment, providing every necessary nutrient while challenging societys current perception of nutrition. (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) Casper Co-Founders & Chief Executive Officers T. Luke Sherwin, Jeff Chapin, Neil Parikh, and Philip Krim attend Casper's LA celebration at Blind Dragon on July 9, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Casper Sleep Inc.)

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