Today's Top Entrepreneurs Under 40
Entrepreneurs under 40 are a special group; they have achieved significant standing at a young age, while setting the “entrepreneurial standard” for those striving for independent success. Regardless of their specific age, or the vertical they work in, these entrepreneurs are successful in ways we cannot always understand. They share similar characteristics, and the ability to put their goals -- and their businesses, first. On a daily basis, they are changing the very definition of success. While entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone; for the people in this article, it is the very cornerstone of their existence.
After researching and studying today’s top entrepreneurs carefully, we found that they have some characteristics that resonate from their very core. They are gifted examples of what it really takes to make things happen. From personal to professional sacrifices, each person on our list has given up quite a bit to get to where they are. From founders of organizations to C-Level management, they consistently have an ongoing impact on the way we do business today – while planning for tomorrow.
Here are 19 millennials we thought were poised to make a difference in 2018:
- Liao is CEO of a social media app called Moves Inc. He explains that it is a cross between Snapchat and Reddit, where users share media through the form of stories and instead of sending it to friend, they share it in different pocket communities. He had this idea freshman year of college and tested it by creating Snapchat accounts, taking submissions through a modified version of the app, and then uploading it to a story. He replicated this 76 times and gathered 40m daily views on Snapchat before converting those followings onto Moves where they peaked at #113 on the Apple App Store.
- Joey Hickson, 36 -- CEO, Integrate Social. Hickson earned the number 1 spot on the list because of his 30 million follower network on Instagram and media agency Integrate social. As CEO of a top media agency based out of California, Hickson works on many musical artists, influencers, athletes, and brands. Joey has grown such a large network over the past 7 years and is responsible for the rise of many peoples stardom to fame. “I love helping the world discover talents that have been unnoticeable and making the world brighter one post at a time.” With hearing mostly negative things in the world, I feel it’s important for my audience to scroll through their feed and see something swarm hearted and smile.” I love what i do and seeing people achieve their dreams!
- Benjamin Chester, 28 - COO, Bedly. After starting his first job at a sleep clinic in NYC, Ben realized there were a lot of people looking for a flexible furnished apartment that didn’t require a lease. To make some extra money, he secretly lived in the sleep clinic while he rented out his actual bedroom on Craigslist full-time. Fast-forward 3 years, Ben and his roommate have grown this concept into the largest co-living brand on the East Coast. Their philosophy is simple: apartment leasing is antiquated and doesn’t fit the lifestyle of modern renters. Instead of a lease, Bedly offers a membership that’s more like a social club. Members enjoy the ability to move freely between hundreds of locations and gain access to exclusive perks and community events. “At Bedly we’re building the future of housing. Ten years from now the concept of buying furniture, setting up utility accounts, and finding your own roommates every time you move will seem laughable. We’re working hard to make the 12-month lease a thing of the past.”
- Juan Hernandez is CEO of OpenFinance Network, a trading and settlement platform for the alternative asset industry. The platform serves as a conduit between issuers, investors, and industry stakeholders, offering streamlined access to liquidity and asset transfer efficiencies. Prior to entrepreneurship, Juan spent his career designing and developing financial exchange platforms, algorithmic trading systems and healthcare security networks. Hernandez says, “At OpenFinance Network, we anticipate a strong future for security tokens, and seek to make access to capital markets and unique investment opportunities easier for small companies and individual investors.”
- CEO and Founder of Lympo, Ada Jonuse, has put in the hard work and dedication to set herself apart from the rest. Lympo is a blockchain powered health and fitness app designed to reward users for their healthy living choices and exercise. Jonuse’s work is revolutionizing the fitness tracking game, putting her on the map of powerful and influential figures in blockchain. “The biggest promise of blockchain is to allow people to have the ownership over their data,” explains Jonuse. “I believe that the internet as we know it is about to end. Lympo will allow people to gather, own and control the precious data about their health and fitness, and be rewarded for achieving their fitness goals.”
- John Wise is CEO of Loci, an IP research and exchange platform. Wise has extensive technical and engineering management experience with a proven track record of successfully creating, developing, and implementing new products and services, managing organizational and product growth, and creating process improvements. Loci’s product, LOCIsearch, is a powerful and proprietary tool that inventors use to invent, stake, and sell their intellectual property. “Through LOCIsearch, inventors can also mark their proof of concept with a specific date and time that is stored on the blockchain,” explains Wise. “This mark constitutes a public disclosure and grants the inventor a 12-month grace period by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the filing of a patent application.”
- Cyrus Taghehchian is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spl.yt, an e-commerce blockchain protocol that serves as an infrastructure to create a public global inventory system and affiliate network. Cyrus specializes in technology strategy and implementations in the e-commerce and digital marketing space, including leading his previous companies through product and market fit phases. Cyrus entered the blockchain space in 2015, having taken several notable active involvements, collaboration and advisory roles within the blockchain community where he applies his unique business development perspective to promote blockchain and distributed ledger technology. “As an innovator, it’s important to shorten the feedback loop to learn quickly,” says Cyrus. “Fail fast and often. Technology like blockchain and decentralization is a great way to hypothesis test new ideas.”
- Kelley Weaver, CEO of Melrose PR and host of the crypto 101 podcast, Crypto Token Talk, believes that blockchain and cryptocurrencies have the power to transform society as we know it. Kelley launched the Crypto Token Talk podcast in order to educate people about the revolutionary capabilities made possible by this emerging technology, while her communications firm, Melrose PR, tells the stories of the most world-changing projects in the blockchain space. “I’ve seen and heard enough to be convinced that blockchain is here to stay,” says Kelley, “but the speed of adoption will depend on how well blockchain-based applications communicate their value to consumers. This is why I take Melrose PR’s role as a communications firm and the podcast as a resource so seriously. The industry needs strong storytelling to translate the tech-speak of project-teams to a mainstream audience.”
- Bogdan Stevanovic — Managing Director, Aquare. Stevanovic earned a spot on the list because of his projects with small- and medium-sized enterprises. Bogdan Stevanovic has spent the last 10 years working for a wide range of companies in the digital marketing industry. Currently situated in London, UK, and with over 400 projects under his belt, he’s been an entrepreneur, growth expert, marketer, founder and co-founder of various companies. These companies include a tech start-up specializing in tourism and two digital marketing agencies. "Online marketing can be difficult and complex, often overwhelming – especially when trying to choose an agency. If you are a start-up, aspiring consultant, growing business, traditional PR or marketing agency or anyone else working in digital marketing, then you’re in the right place."
- Chris Kovalik, CEO of Cointaxes, started Cointaxes with the aim of establishing confidence and certainty around digital currency. Chris noticed a need for trustworthy and automated tax services for cryptocurrency investments and developed a user-friendly tax preparation software to meet the crypto tax needs of individuals, businesses, and tax professionals. “We see global adoption of digital currencies as an inevitability,” says Chris. “The uncertainty lies in how effectively and smoothly this once-in-a-lifetime shift occurs. As a tax preparation service, we see it as our our job to help both citizens and governments around the world better understand how to use and treat digital currencies.”
- Cameron Fous: full time traveler, day trader, vlogger, content creator, entrepreneur, and host of the show #theprofile for IKNK FOUS4trading.com - 13 year veteran day trader and mentor. My team and I developed a 90 day Mentorship program teaching people the ins and outs of making money day trading the USA stock market. More importantly we sell time and freedom. As we only trade the market opens for 90 minutes/day and are free the rest of the day and are able to trade from anywhere in the world. I have been traveling full time since Feb 2017 IKNK.com (stands for iconic) I travel the world and take the world’s most iconic influencers, creators, and entrepreneurs on adventures and then interview them on location. We have shot episodes in South Africa, LA, New York, Bali, and Thailand. The show is called #TheProfile . The premise of the show is business, pleasure, and bliss. I dive deep into the stories of my guests and find out are they are achieving or striving to achieve success in those 3 categories.
- Pete Williams, Founder and Advisor, Preneur Group (www.PreneurGroup.com). At 37, Pete Williams is an author, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program, a Small Business ICON (Best-In-Class) Recipient, an Australian Business Award Winner for Marketing Excellence, and the co-founder of numerous businesses across multiple verticals. To Williams, “resuscitation marketing is one the most overlooked ways to generate an easy 12-15% boost in sales.” He also notes that, “if your goal is to double your business, the typical advice is to work more hours, spend more money, offer more products, or adopt more marketing tactics. The irony is, ‘more’ is rarely the solution.” Consistent, measurable business growth doesn’t require radical overhauls, massive investments or huge transformations. It simply requires riding the momentum of small “10% Wins” in seven key areas of your business. “The compound effect of seven 10% increases is the doubling of your businesses bottom-line. Whether you are a retailer, e-commerce store, or a white collar service provider, there are only seven areas that drive your profits, and once you identify what they are for you, you have a 7 Levers Framework that will transform your business.”
- W. Penn Little, CEO and Founder, Bar Nothin’ Capital Management, LLC (www.BarNothin.com). W. Penn Little is the embodiment of a “turnaround,” at age 34, in both his personal and his professional life. After hitting rock bottom in his early 20’s, he found his passion in the behavioral and mental healthcare (B&MH) industry. Working his way up the ranks from patient to janitor, maintenance, administrator, counselor, and finally, Partner, Little found his calling serving others afflicted with addiction. He received his MBA, made restitution, and became a millionaire entrepreneur in the consulting and healthcare investment business. As a staunch supporter of trauma informed care, and the true healing that stems from trauma resolution. Penn truly wants to “see what works, and is proven.” His relentless will and determination is both contagious and inspirational as a living testament to the power of recovery. Little encourages budding and would-be entrepreneurs to shift their focus from dollars to that of providing a quality product. “Make quality the goal. The ROI is a byproduct of quality.” He notes that he has never seen quality time wasted. “Don’t ever give up,” says Little, “no matter what anyone says, resilience is attractive. This is what makes a true leader.”
- Joel Beasley, Host , Author and CTO. (www.LeaderBits.io). Joel Beasley is the host of the #1 rated technology leadership podcast, Modern CTO. As a best-selling author and an entrepreneur who has interviewed literally hundreds of CTOs – from startups to Microsoft and T-Mobile, Beasley has distilled the successful skills of top technology leaders. Companies deploy these skills, according to Beasley, in the form of ephemeral weekly leadership challenges called LeaderBits. Beasley consistently encourages discipline. “Discipline is a pre-requisite to success in business. To do what needs to be done when you don’t want to do it is equivalent to a superpower,” says Beasley. When you provide the path to more, according to Joel, “30% of your people will take it. Pay attention to who is working for more and pull up those who constantly and continually improve.” From his experiences, he has learned that “people are the most motivated when they are leveling up in life. Provide them a way to grow by clearly describing what’s in it for them,” he says, and you will see them thrive.
- James Ferguson, Co-founder, Fuel Games (www.fuelgames.io) James co-founded Fuel Games, a blockchain company producing scalable infrastructure for video games. He also built and published Etherbots, a multiplayer game, which held the most successful launch sale ever for a game in the blockchain industry. Prior to co-founding Fuel Games, James was the lead engineer at a billion dollar e-commerce organization. He graduated from Sydney University’s Business School and Law School. At age 26, his experience and business acumen are light years ahead of the majority of entrepreneurs worldwide. “Growth compounds,” he says, “at an individual level. Focusing on continuous self-improvement provides the highest dividends in the long run.” When you are lucky enough to live in a time, like now, where free educational resources from world-class experts and Universities are available to everyone online, we should all be using them.
- Robbie Ferguson, Co-Founder, Fuel Games (www.fuelgames.io) At 21, Robbie Ferguson is the youngest entrepreneur on our list. After dropping out of Sydney University, where he was studying Computer Science and Law on a full scholarship, after graduating high school as the highest ranked student in Australia, he now works full-time on his company, Fuel Games. Earlier this year he launched his first best-selling title and now he has his sights set on transforming the entire blockchain industry. “Work harder than the competition, “ says Ferguson, “and ruthlessly prioritize your time. Keep leveling up in knowledge as fast as possible.” For Robbie, books and podcasts are his number one “go to” for learning tools.
- Uriel Peled, Co-Founder at Orbs (http://www.orbs.com) Orbs provides a blockchain as a service infrastructure for established consumer applications transitioning into blockchain. At age 35, Peled has raised over $120 million to date, and is a key advisor to several notable crypto projects. He was recently named one of Israel’s top 25 blockchain influencers and, prior to Orbs, he co-founded Visualead, an AR/VR startup that was acquired by Alibaba. Blockchain, according to Peled, “is a new disruptive technology that is creating opportunities for startups to explore new funding models and business opportunities. Regardless of whether it is suitable or not for a specific startup,” says Peled, “I recommend that all entrepreneurs become familiar with it.” In both of his previous startups, Peled notes that his biggest business successes came from Asia. “Asia is leading many technological verticals, such as e-commerce, fintech, blockchain, and more.” It is important for all startups to explore business opportunities in Asia, as well as in Europe and the U.S.
- Noam Copel, Founder, DAV Protocol (https://dav.network) As a Senior Executive, Investor, and Speaker in the fields of blockchain, cryptography, and decentralization, Noam Copel created the world’s first military grade software for mobile phones. Copel founded the DAV Blockchain-based transportation protocol, enabling a Decentralized, Peer to Peer, Global Transportation Network. Copel recommends that “when sending out emails or reaching out to people, always take their point of view, don’t tell them when you need from them, tell them what you can bring to them. If you can’t bring them value, seek other people in their network and work your way up.” He believes that you have to systematize everything. “Involve your entire team, make it easy for new hires to do their job, use software, and use checklists. It is all crucial for future scale and growth,” he notes.
Eyal Moshe, CEO and Founder, Hub Security (www.hubsecurity.io) Currently the CEO of Hub Security, the world’s most secure hardware for cryptocurrencies, Eyal Moshe also co-founded Chosen.fm and was a former executive at CA Technologies. “My only tip is about patience in business,” he notes. “Patience is power, so keep it to yourself. Patience lets you be smarter and gain a better perspective on things. Lastly, patience brings good karma. Those who wait meet the best opportunities. Yes, this is all hard to achieve; so, practice it every day, even with the smallest tasks,” he recommends.