Age isn’t everything, especially in Silicon Valley.
In fact, several of the most successful people in the startup world are still in their 20s.
Culled from our list of the 100 most inspiring people in Silicon Valley, here are 21 startup founders and CEOs doing amazing things — and they’re all under 30.
Along with Morgan Springer and Matt Kent, Gagan Biyani, 28, and Neeraj Berry, 27, launched on-demand fresh-food delivery service Sprig in November 2013. As CEO, Biyani's mission is for Sprig to become 'the easiest way to eat healthy in the world.'
Former Google head chef Nate Keller leads the in-house kitchen staff that prepares each meal delivered by Sprig. Currently, the service offers three meal options daily and aims to deliver the food in 15 minutes. In April, the company raised $US45 million in funding, which spurred its expansion to Chicago from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cofounders, Campus Job
Founded by former Googler Liz Wessel and JJ Fleigelman, who are both only 24, Campus Job is a marketplace for college students looking for internships and jobs. About 90% of the positions offered on Campus Job are paid, and the startup sees 10,000 new college-aged users signing up weekly.
Campus Job was born out of a campus-rep company that the pair had started at Penn; it's an alternative to a college career service center and Symplicity, a job board employers have to pay for postings on. It recently went through the startup accelerator Y Combinator and raised over $US9 million in May, bringing its total funding to $US10.3 million.
Twenty-nine-year-old Vogt, a Y Combinator alum, created driverless car company Cruise to enable any car to become driverless. 'We're trying to reuse as many concepts and behaviours as you already have in your car, such as a single button to control the cruise control,' says Vogt. 'Whatever speed you're going becomes the target speed.'
So far, Cruise raised one undisclosed seed amount, back in January 2015. The system costs $US10,000 and can be installed in a few hours.
Cofounder and Chief Product Officer, ZenPayroll
In April, ZenPayroll, a payroll-processing startup, raised a $US60 million series B round led by Google Capital. The company was launched in 2013 by 28-year-old Tomer London, along with Josh Reeves and Edward Kim, and is already used by 10,000 small businesses. ZenPayroll also has quite the laundry list of angel investors, including celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Jared Leto, and former head of the US Small Business Administration Karen Mills.
As chief product officer, London oversees all product development, ensuring that the design stays in line with the company's vision.
Founder and CEO, Pebble
Earlier this year, 28-year-old Migicovsky's Pebble smartwatch smashed through its Kickstarter goal almost instantly, raising nearly $US14 million by the end of March -- the most-funded Kickstarter campaign in history.
The company's marketing strategies are pretty ingenious as well, especially with the introduction of the Apple iWatch to the market. In the fall, Pebble slashed the price of its smartwatch to $US99, just before the launch of the iWatch, and the new features it's introducing to the next generation of the watch, the Pebble Time, are key aspects missing from the iWatch.
Founder and CTO, Docker
Docker is one of the most buzzed about things on the internet, and for good reason. The open-source software, developed by 28-year-old CTO Solomon Hykes, gives developers the tools to build and distribute apps so that they work across multiple platforms. This technology is revolutionising how companies view and build applications, and companies such as Yelp and eBay are adopting Docker at a fast pace.
In total, it has raised $US150 million through three rounds of funding, with investors including Insight Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and AME Cloud Ventures.
Founder and CEO, Brit + Co.
Touted as the 'Martha Stewart of Silicon Valley,' Brit Morin, 29, specialises in the intersection of tech and DIY -- and it's lucrative. Morin launched Brit+Co, a lifestyle website that features crafts, fashion, and decor, in 2011, and so far it's raised $US27.6 million in funding from investors including Oak Capital, Intel Capital, and Marissa Mayer.
Before diving into her own site, Morin grew her love for the tech world as an employee at Apple and Google, where she worked on iTunes and Google Maps, respectively.
It's never been easier to share live video with your friends and followers. Just open Meerkat, click 'stream,' and share whatever you're doing. The popular live-streaming app, founded by 27-year-old Ben Rubin and 29-year-old Itai Danino, along with Uri Haramati, launched in March and has already raised $US18.2 million in funding and garnered nearly 2 million users.
However, Meerkat is facing fierce competition from Twitter's Periscope, another live-streaming app. Despite Perisciope's advanced features, like the ability to replay videos, Rubin is confident there's space for both to thrive. When he found out Twitter was launching its competition, he says 'it was Saturday -- all the team went back to the office to get ready to dive in.'
Robinhood, a sleek mobile-brokerage app, is making it possible for anyone to invest, not just Wall Streeters. Unlike rival investment apps E-Trade and Schwab, which charge $US7 to $US10 per trade, Robinhood is free to use. In May, it raised $US50 million in a funding round led by NEA. Previous investors include big-name VCs and celebrities including Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto.
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street Movement, 29-year-old Vlad Tenev, along with partner Baiju Bhatt, created the app to 'democratize access to the financial markets.' And good news for their mission: It's now available for anyone to use.
Founder, Product Hunt
For tech enthusiasts, Product Hunt is a daily addiction. The community review site constantly surfaces new products, and many consider it a direct competitor to blogs like TechCrunch. Last October, the site raised $US6.1 million in a Series A round of financing from investors including Andreessen Horowitz.
Founder Ryan Hoover is only 28, but already commands a ton of power in the tech world for becoming the face of the site. He's been known to flood Twitter with conversations about new products, consistently engaging people with the site.
Recently, Product Hunt also began branching out from tech; it launched Snoop Dogg's new album in May, and many speculate it will continue to feature nontech products.
DoorDash, a startup that delivers food from local restaurants, raised $US40 million in March from a round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Unlike other meal-delivery services, DoorDash provides its own drivers, which makes it possible to order from restaurants that aren't available on places like GrubHub. The company was founded by 26-year-old Stanley Tang and 24-year-old Andy Fang, along with Tony Xu and Evan Moore.
DoorDash is about more than just meal delivery, though. It places a heavy emphasis on the logistics side of things, and hopes to create an infrastructure that can be used to deliver anything.
Often dubbed 'Uber for groceries,' Instacart eliminates the need to ever set food in a grocery store. Founded by 29-year-old Apoorva Mehta, along with Max Mullen and Brandon Leonardo, the service will deliver your full load of groceries, hand-picked by a personal shopper at local stores like Whole Foods and Costco for just $US3.99 plus your bill.
The startup is valued at $US2 billion, notably bringing in a $US220 million round of funding in December, following a $US44 million round led by Andreessen Horowitz in June. And it's still on the rise: Instacart is in 15 cities and plans to continue growing in those places while expanding to others.
Greg Duffy, 27, joined Google's Nest team in June 2014 when the tech giant purchased Dropcam, the Wi-Fi-camera company he cofounded with Aamir Virani, for $US555 million. Dropcam builds webcams for video surveillance, along with a cloud where people can store the videos. Under Nest's umbrella, the companies recently released an updated version of the Dropcam -- called Nest Cam -- that provides a surveillance camera, digital thermostat, and smoke detector all in one.
However, Duffy left Nest earlier this year, Tweeting: 'I grew up at Dropcam, and I'm going to miss it dearly. But there are exciting things on the horizon.'
In September, Apple announced partnerships with a number of retailers and payments companies for its Apple Pay service. Among them was Stripe, a five-year-old mobile-payments startup founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison, ages 26 and 24, respectively.
Virtual reality company Oculus was acquired by Facebook in March 2014 for $US2 billion. Since then, 22-year-old founder Palmer Luckey and cofounder and CEO Brendan Iribe have had a busy year. Oculus revealed its final Oculus Rift headset, announced a partnership with Microsoft, and divulged that the Oculus Rift headset will finally be available in the first quarter of next year.
As a result of the Facebook deal, Luckey's net worth sits at more than $US500 million.
Box, which offers online storage and document collaboration tools for enterprises, went public in January, and investors ate up its stock. The company, founded by 29-year-old Dylan Smith and 30-year-old Aaron Levie, opened at $US20.20, up 44%. Its IPO was priced at $US14. On its first day, it closed at $US23.23, up 66%.
The IPO turned Smith into a multi-millionaire worth around $US41 million, estimates Business Insider's Julie Bort.
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