From promoting viral internet videos to creating DIY printing technology, the finalists for Entrepreneur magazine's Emerging Entrepreneur of 2013 contest come from a diverse range of industries.
The "Emerging" category is one of three awards in the annual Entrepreneur competition, along with "Established" and "College". The finalists were selected for their impact on their industries, communities and employees.
As a sign of the success experienced by our contest winners, one of this year's Emerging Entrepreneur finalists was previously a College finalist in 2010.
The winner of the Emerging Entrepreneur of 2013 contest will be profiled in the January issue of the magazine and honored at the 2014 Growth Conference in New Orleans.
Get to know the finalists for the Emerging Entrepreneur of 2013 contest and cast your vote.
Josh Opperman, I Do Now I Don't
The idea for I Do Now I Don't, an online marketplace for used or unwanted engagement rings, was born out of Opperman's own failed relationship. Sellers get above-market returns on unwanted jewelry while buyers get normally high-priced jewelry at a discounted rate. Aside from saving consumers money, Opperman also believes that reusing and reselling unwanted diamonds lessens the environmental impact of diamond mining. To that end, every Earth Day the company gives its users the chance to donate a portion of its profits to an environmental charity of their choice.
Read more of Josh Opperman's story, watch his entry video, and vote for him here.
Kevin Lustig, founder of Assay Depot
Lustig founded Assay Depot on the belief that empowering scientists will improve innovation and expedite drug discovery for the world's rarest diseases. Assay Depot is a cloud-based drug research website that allows both professional scientists and interested laypeople to access research services and experts quickly and for free. The site has users in 126 countries and contributes to thousands of science projects every year. An enterprise version of its software has been adopted by the National Cancer Institute and by four of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. In 2012, Assay Depot partnered with the community hackerlabs BioCurious and GenSpace to create two Open Science Challenges that awarded grants to promising citizen scientists.
Read more of Kevin Lustig's story, watch his entry video, and vote for him here.
Jesse Genet, founder of Lumi
Lumi printing is a DIY print process that's an alternative to screen printing and doesn't require expensive equipment or chemicals. The process is made possible by Inkodye, a photographic fabric dye Genent manufactures in Los Angeles. Genet is passionate about sharing her grassroots approach to business with others, coaching other entrepreneurs on crowdfunding, as well as teaching regular classes on Skillshare.com.
Read more of Jesse Genet's story, watch her entry video, and vote for her here.
Phillip Nappi, founder of Peter Nappi
Nappi was inspired to create Peter Nappi, a luxury Italian footwear company based in Nashville, Tenn., after discovering that his grandfather (for whom the company is named) shared the same passion for leather craftsmanship. "Our goods are crafted, not produced, and we value traditions over trends," he says. "We've taken old-world styles and made them relevant. Today's consumer wants more than a label. They want an experience; they want to be part of a story." Peter Nappi gave a percentage of its sales during the Christmas season to several charities through their "Ti Voglio Bene" campaign (Italian for "We want you to be well").
Read more of Phillip Nappi's story, watch his entry video, and vote for him here.
Alexander Debelov, founder of Virool
Virool is a self-serve platform that helps turn short advertising videos into viral hits. It distributes videos across its network of Facebook apps, mobile games and blogs. Virool works with over 115,000 advertisers and helps them promote their videos to their target demographic. Virool videos reach 1 million viewers each day. The company also helps promote videos that aim to do social good, such as a Toyota-sponsored video called "Meals Per Hour," and one meal to the food bank in New York City for every view the video received. Debelov and Virool are also featured in the Young Millionaires story in the September issue of Entrepreneur magazine (look for it online on August 20).
Read more of Alexander Debrlov's story, watch his entry video, and vote for him here.