If you went to school with Pinterest and Spotify, you would have to be pretty rad to hang out in their lot. Inc.com just released their list of the 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs under 30 for 2012. These young entrepreneurs are working hard to prove that playlists and pinboards aren’t the only cool startups in school.
The list includes startups that are solving major problems:
- Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, co-founders of Codecademy, are teaching people how to code
- Desiree Vargas Wrigley, co-founder of Giveforward, is helping people raise money for medical bills
And, mastering mobile:
- Geoloqi– provides location tracking for people in potentially dangerous situations for U.S. Department of Defense contractors
- Heyzap– Revolutionizing mobile gaming
Here are a few of those killer startup students who are graduating with “cool kid” honors.
University Parent Media
When Sarah Schupp was attending The University of Colorado at Boulder, she found a disconnect between parents and campus life. She decided there should be an easier way to keep parents in the loop, this creating University Parent Media, putting many of the empty-nest parents at ease.
Jesse Thomas and Leslie Bradshaw are both behind Jess3, a creative agency focused on social media strategy that makes awesome data visualization for clients such as Google and ESPN, using stop-motion animation and even puppetry.
Ben Milne got really fed up with interchange fees online, and started Dwolla to send and receive cash on your phone for no fee (under $10) and 25 cents after. Now, the company processes $30-$50 million per month in transactions. Check out Ben’s blog to see his fun “Buy me a coffee” button that takes users to Dwolla and allows them to… well… buy Ben a coffee.
Rachel Weeks brought her college-branded clothing line, School House, from her manufacturer in Sri Lanka back to the U.S., creating jobs, (2,700 jobs in North Carolina), and definitely landing her on the cool list. School House’s “Green Supply Chain” uses locally sourced, eco-friendly textiles.
Big Easy Blends
Ok, I’m partial to N’awlens companies as it’s my birth city after all. And, if the company is cocktail-based, then you’re definitely making the cut. Congrats, Craig Cordes and Antonio LaMartina’s portable frozen cocktail company Big Easy Blends—welcome to the cool kid club.
Amy Jain and Danielle Yacobovsky quit their cushy finance jobs and created BaubleBar, an online private-label jewelry retailer, selling beautiful bling for up to 60% less than physical stores. The company just raised $4.5 million and projects $11 million in 2012 revenue.
The Unreasonable Institute
Tyler Hartung, Daniel Epstein, and Teju Ravilochan are social enterprise pioneers. They founded The Unreasonable Institute, an accelerator dedicated to funding social enterprise companies that are solving world problems–crowdfunding is used to raise tuition for the for the companies. Helping companies make the world a better place will definitely make the list for me.
Check out the complete “30 Coolest Entrepreneurs Under 30” from Inc.com here.
Right, so that only gives me three and a half years to fund, build, launch, iterate, improve and create a killer startup to make this Under 30 list. Better get crackin’.