Presenting our third annual 30 Under 30, a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields under the age of 30. This is an exhilarating time to be young and ambitious. Never before has youth been such an advantage. These founders and funders, brand builders and do-gooders aren’t waiting around for a proper career bump up the establishment ladder. Their ambitions are way bigger — and perfectly suited to the dynamic, entrepreneurial, and impatient digital world they grew up in. Meet the 450 prodigies reinventing the world right now.
Some are household names like Lena Dunham, LeBron James, Tumblr’s David Karp, and Maria Sharapova. Others like Lucas Duplan, Meg Gill, and Divya Nag are superstars in their own realms. Clinkle founder Duplan, 22, has shocked Silicon Valley with his ability to raise $30 million from the likes of Richard Branson, Peter Thiel and Andreessen Horowitz for an unreleased secret product. Gill, 28, is cofounder of Golden Road Brewing, one of the fastest growing breweries in the U.S.: it produced 15,000 barrels last year and expects to double output this year. Nag, 22, a Stanford University dropout, is working with a $20 million grant to create heart cells in a petri dish to test new cardiac drugs.
How good are we at picking tomorrow’s superstars? Pretty solid. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, cofounders of Snapchat, our 2014 cover profile, raised $50 million at a near $2 billion valuation in December and is reported to have turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook. Karp, 27, 2013’s cover, sold his company to Yahoo! for $1.1 billion in May. Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom, now 30, on 2012′s list in social media, netted $1 billion after a sale to Facebook in April 2011. Power producer Megan Ellison, 27, developed a blockbuster portfolio of 2013 films, including American Hustle and Her, both Academy Award favorites this year. These two films box officed some $83 million to date, in addition to over $130 million for her 2012 Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty.
A walk through of the process: There are 15 categories of 30. The categories are Art & Style, Education, Energy & Industry (new this year), Finance, Food & Drink, Hollywood & Entertainment, Law & Policy, Marketing & Advertising, Media, Music, Science & Health Care, Social Entrepreneurs, Sports and Tech. Each list was vetted by a panel of three expert judges in the field. Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer, Harvard Professor George Church, ex-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Flickr cofounder Caterina Fake, and Chef Alice Waters are among the many notables that assisted FORBES reporters in determining the final 30 for each category out of field of nominations that in some cases hit triple digits.
The class of 2014 of 30 Under 30s is in, too. Bruno Mars’ exclusive playlist on Peter Asbill and Elliott Breece’s Songza is a perfect example of this. As is much sought-after marketing animator Khoa Phan, who created a special Vine video. Two-time 30 Under 30 alumnus Ronan Farrow returned as a judge for this year’s class in law and policy.
In each category, there are short bios of each of the 30, along with links to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for those who want to share. Also check out the videos: We interviewed 15 of some of the most fascinating members of the list and walk readers through the selection process.
Product/Design: Nina Gould, Kai Hecker, Johnny McCampbell, Audrea Soong, Andrea Spiegel, Christian Wolan
Photo: Merrilee Barton, Jane Colihan, Michele Hadlow, Meredith Nicholson, Gail Toivanen
Reporters: ART & STYLE: Susan Adams, Hannah Elliott; EDUCATION: Caroline Howard; ENERGY & INDUSTRY: Christopher Helman, Joann Muller, Aaron Tilley; FINANCE: Nathan Vardi, Agustino Fontevecchia, Halah Touryalai; FOOD & DRINK: Randall Lane, Vanna Le; GAMES: David M. Ewalt; HOLLYWOOD & ENTERTAINMENT: Dorothy Pomerantz, Kate Pierce; LAW & POLICY: Daniel Fisher, Miguel Morales; MARKETING & ADVERTISING: Jennifer Rooney; MEDIA: Jeff Bercovici, Emily Inverso; MUSIC: Zack O’Malley Greenburg; SCIENCE & HEALTH CARE: Matthew Herper, Andrea Navarro; SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS: Erin Carlyle, Prerna Sinha; SPORTS: Tom Van Riper, Alex Morrell; TECH: Steven Bertoni, JJ Colao, Andy Greenberg, Connie Guglielmo, Kashmir Hill, Alex Knapp, Alex Konrad, Ryan Mac, Parmy Olson, Bruce Upbin
Photographer: Jamel Toppin; Creative Style Director: Joseph DeAcetis; Producer: Robyn Selman; Production Assistant: