Top Entrepreneurs and Companies To Look For in 2019
Dan Hughes – Founder of Radix DLT
Dan Hughes is a successful UK entrepreneur who was one of the first developers for NFC Technology and contactless payment services. He discovered Bitcoin in 2012, tested its limits, and recognized that it was too slow for commercial applications. He made it his mission to build a scalable platform that delivers the true promise of the blockchain to the masses and formed Radix.
Radix is blockchain without the blocks. A fast, simple and scalable decentralized platform that has none of the drawbacks that blockchain has. With a scalable, decentralized architecture that is already built for mass adoption, Radix does not slow down when more users join the network, so it has no glass ceiling.
Visa processes 24,000 per second, Bitcoin only 6 transactions per second. Right now Radix pushes 8,000 transactions per second in Alpha and predicts much higher speeds for their official launch at the end of Q1 next year.
They will not hold an ICO, believing that the most ethical & transparent way to proceed is to only allow tokens to be bought publicly when they have delivered a working platform to the public.
Radix has been under the radar until now, but expect big things in 2019.
Talia Arnold – Co-Founder and Head of Strategy, Exverus Media (www.exverus.com)
After ten years climbing the ranks within traditional media agencies, Talia found she was hungry to break free from the typical client-agency relationship mold. With an infant son and a desire to crush the industry norm of unrewarding 12 hour workdays, in 2014 she partnered with agency veterans, Bill Durrant and Jack Win. Together they formed a company whose mission is to market products that are improving people's lives, and turn them into widely recognized brands.
Talia’s expertise in digital media and analytics helped convince over a dozen brands to partner with Exverus, often instead of larger agencies. Early on, Talia saw the need to invest in machine learning and AI software so Exverus’ clients could accurately measure the impact of their marketing campaigns--whether Exverus was placing the advertising buys or not—and enable one source of truth from all analytics, accessible for all clients regardless of their size. Exverus would always operate from it’s namesake, which literally means “from the truth.”
Now Talia recognizes the next phase of the company is about growth – specifically its human resources. “When I think about what’s next for my career and Exverus Media, it’s going to be less about taking care of the work and more about taking care of our people. We want this to be the best experience of our careers, and I think if we can live up to that, our clients will benefit too.”
Ross Johnson, 26 – Co-Founder, Trill Media
Ross earned a spot on the list as a result of creating an industry leading Instagram growth agency called Trill Media. In just 1.5 years, Ross and his partner Rachel have generating millions of targeted followers for their clients while bootstrapping their way to a 7 figure business.
Their proprietary strategy has been revered by entrepreneurs and brands all over the world as one of the most effective ways to generate an authentic audience of raving fans. Using this method of growth, some clients have been able to generate up to 50,000 followers per month.
In an industry full of automated relationships, Ross believes that having a different approach that is more intimate and authentic is the secret to generating a quality audience Instagram. Instead of using fake engagement, Trill Media utilizes real human interaction to create an exceptional result for their clients.
Rachel Bell, 23 – Co-Founder, Trill Media
Rachel has earned a position on this list not only for her success as a social media strategist and marketer, but also as a woman who has risen quickly in a male-dominated industry. Her Instagram growth agency, Trill Media, specializes in helping entrepreneurs, influencers, and celebrities grow their online communities by using the power of targeting and authentic connection.
She has created a disruption in the social media growth industry by combining proven growth hacking techniques with human touch to optimize the impact of her organic marketing. Using her proprietary method, she consults some of the world's top brands and influencers to create a loyal tribe, not just more followers.
“So many entrepreneurs forget that in order for social media to work for you, you need to be social," Rachel told me. "It's all about networking, connecting, and teaching. The issue is that many brands don't have time to network because they're busy creating content - so they're left with amazing content, but nobody consuming it. We bridge the gap and do the growth and networking for them."
Sunniva Holt – Founder of Sunniva Holt International
Holt is a Self-Made Multi-Millionaire, Serial Entrepreneur, Author of Two No.1 Best Selling Self Help books, Mindset Coach and International Speaker. She is the founder of Sunniva Holt International, a company dedicated to providing personal development and training to millions of people globally.
Sunniva specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, coaches and conscious business owners rapidly accelerate income & impact, and build powerful personal brands. She provides laser focused insights & customized strategies that address your specific & individual challenges to accelerate results across the board.
Sunniva has invested more than two hundred thousand dollars on her own personal development and business journey and takes pride in continuously learning and growing from key industry leaders.
Victor Teruel – Co-Founder and CEO of Moda Casting
Moda Casting is a mobile app that connects models and brand ambassadors directly to businesses. The Moda Casting app is a location based booking platform that partners with different modeling and staffing agencies as an on-demand marketplace for talent.
After nearly a decade in the fashion industry, Victor has been a leading advocate in fighting sexual harassment and abuse in the industry. He has led his company to partner with Project Consent and other non-profits and is known for donating a portion of his company’s profits to further support their cause.
Victor been featured in print and media outlets including Mogul, Buzzfeed, the good men project and gritdaily. Some have described his app as the ‘Uber’ for models and for revolutionizing the modeling industry.
“The broader objective is to be able to create a larger environment than just providing models and brand ambassadors. We want to one day lend the platform for all kinds of creative work that is part of the gig economy. My goal is to make Moda Casting a global player in providing talent. A platform where professional talent, budding musicians, make-up artists, photographers, and even dancers can find work on-demand.”
Larry Nolan – Founder and CEO of Hardcore Fitness
From high school dropout and 2x ex-felon to Founder and CEO of a 2x Inc5000 Awarded Company. Started as a personal trainer as my first job and had to use a fake ID to do so (at age 16 and requirements then were 18+) got burned out with the corporate fitness scene and pursued other things but fitness always remained my passion.
“Decided at 23 to quit my PR job and go back to fitness and make it work this time no matter what. Started back at a corporate gym but knew I could do better even if I had no clue how I’d accomplish it so went out to a park with my mother and my now wife as my two clients and went for it.
No funding, no clue what I was doing, and never had a big break just kept grinding year after year. Here we are 12 years later grossing over 8 figures with gym locations from California to Florida, employ hundreds of people, been voted best gym or best boot camp in EVERY city we have a location, and just launched our franchise model this year with 276 applicants in the first week of announcement! Have multiple patents on unique pieces of group training fitness equipment and display systems you won’t see anywhere else and excited to completely change the face of group fitness!”
Sel Demirci – CEO and Founder of ToteBagFactory
Sel Demirci is the founder and CEO of ToteBagFactory. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s of Business Administration and is a beloved husband and father. Sel is passionate about helping the environment, both in his personal and professional life. He has founded several companies and brands with the same goal of saving the environment.
To date, Sel’s biggest accomplishment is ToteBagFactory (TBF), a company that supplies brands, small businesses and hardworking individuals with reusable tote bags. ToteBagFactory has provided promotional bags to over 100 thousand major brands including HP, YouTube, Kellogg, Sketchers, and Macy’s. In the last 5 years, TBF has sold over 100 million biodegradable, reusable tote bags.
Dr. Vincent Depasquale
Dr. Vincent Depasquale is the co-founder of NSI Stem Cell Therapy. For years, he has authored articles and columns for several publications writing on topics such as nutrition, exercise, weight-loss, and wellness. He also lectures frequently on nutrition, diet, and supplementation particularly in regards to complex metabolic conditions such as thyroid and diabetes.
Dr. Depasquale’s passion for improving health utilizing drugless, non-surgical, and conservative methods are at the very core of the NSI Stem Cell paradigm.
After his mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Bryan Charles, wanted to find some way to help. He began researching nutritional treatments for Parkinson’s, and these efforts lead him to become a certified Health Coach and to enroll in a Master’s program for Applied Clinical Nutrition. While studying nutrition, Bryan discovered that nutritional recommendations only have value if they are applicable to the individual’s life. Brian wanted to make sure that his mother would have access to high-quality, ketosis-optimized meals that not only would improve her health but that she would actually enjoy eating. And he wanted to take it a step further — to make the meals available to the whole world. Ketoned Bodies, a fully prepared national keto meal delivery service, was born out of this resolution.
Ketoned Bodies is Bryan’s first e-commerce business and the results have been nothing short of amazing. Ketoned Bodies is already recognized as one of the top national keto brands, and within their first year of shipping keto meals nationally, Ketoned Bodies generated well over a million dollars in sales. Within their second full year of business, Ketoned Bodies will do almost 2 million dollars in sales, and plans are already in place to have the meals in retail locations nationwide.
Dr. Josh Axe – Axe Wellness
While running his functional medicine clinic in Nashville in 2008, Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, wanted to create a digital audience who could benefit from his health advice, programs and products. He created DrAxe.com and started blogging in his free time.
In 2014, Dr. Axe sold his practice and dedicated himself full-time to his website. By early 2015, he had gained 800,000 unique site visitors and boasted a several best-selling products and programs.
In 2016, Axe Wellness ranked #1 in the state of Tennessee, #3 in the health industry and #35 nationwide on the Inc. 5000 list for fastest-growing companies. By 2018, DrAxe.com was the #1 natural health website in the world, with over 15 million unique visitors every month. Most recently, he co-founded Ancient Nutrition, which provides protein powders, holistic supplements, vitamins, essential oils and more to the modern world.
Dr. Axe has authored the books "Eat Dirt,” “Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine" and the upcoming “The Keto Diet” (Feb 2019). Through all of his successes, his mission remains constant: to help people get healthy by empowering them to use nutrition to fuel their health.
Jonathan Peters – Vegabond Marketing
Johnathan Peters deserves a top spot on our list because of his revolutionary innovations to the digital marketing industry. Unlike many other agencies, Vegabond Marketing Inc. uses a unique proprietary system that gives companies the ability to grow track and manage all their marketing efforts almost completely autonomously.
By leveraging the latest software and technology, they could create a system that builds trusting relationships with their audience while consistently generating new evangelical customers.
"What we have is the closest thing to being able to systematize art.
Being able to cater to the individualistic identities of our clients, while also implementing an autonomous, replicable results is nothing shy of digital marketing art; that's exactly what we specialize in."
Johnathan Peters is not your typical CEO. Follow him on his move from Detroit to the beaches of Puerto Rico where Vegabond Marketing Inc was officially established @Vegabond_John
John Navien, 36 – Founding Partner, Navien Financial
John earned a spot on the list by being Boston’s relationship guy. He has built a business on the skills he learned as a Golden Glove Boxer: “fight to see good people”. John creates lasting relationships and serves as a linchpin, a vital connector to his network, which creates energy and awareness for the organizations with which he represents in his insurance business and non-profit organization development.
Through his campaign, "Doing Well by Doing Good", John utilizes his position on the Governor’s Finance Committee and leverages his network to help develop funding that supports non-profits in the Commonwealth who focus on creating resources for children in impoverished areas like The Base (Roxbury) and developing the arts (BYSO).
“Creating comm-UNITY within groups of children that never existed before is a priority to create an abundant future for Boston. I am armed with the network to create the change and I plan to utilize it in 2019 and beyond.”
AI has become a crucial component of analytics, thanks to its ability to rapidly and autonomously parse massive data sets – and provide answers to complex queries in seconds. For Sisense, AI is a core ingredient in its expansive business intelligence and analytics suite.
The business intelligence tool provider continues to develop new ways to weave AI, machine learning, and natural language processing to its tools.
The Sisense platform uses AI heavily in initial data collection, scrubbing, and analysis, taking massive data sets and preparing them for natural language queries via voice and chat interfaces.
Perhaps more importantly, Sisense’s AI engine constantly scans through even prepped data to find anomalies, patterns, and potential opportunities. Sisense’s $80-million Series E funding round in September has been earmarked for global expansion initiatives.
Cybersecurity has also greatly benefited from AI as its predictive and reactive capacities make it an ideal asset in preventing breaches and attacks. However, one of the biggest problems in cybersecurity is that errors tend to fall largely on the human side of the equation.
HoxHunt attacks this problem with AI and a gamified platform that trains users to detect even the subtlest social engineering attacks and hacks.
The company’s AI provides users with simulated threats and rewards them for responding properly to potential attacks. The platform continuously changes its methods and simulates the various ways attackers may strike.
HoxHunt can track team members’ progress and tailor its simulations to better suit their needs dynamically. Users are rewarded for reporting simulated threats, as well as real threats, and are encouraged to always be alert. The company recently closed a Series A funding round, and is gearing up for major expansion in 2019.
Tatau leverages blockchain technology to drastically reduce these costs and provide anyone with access to powerful AI processing at a reasonable cost. Tatau’s platform is built on a crowd-sourcing model which takes users’ under-utilized computing resources (especially focused on GPU capacity) to provide rendering and analytic power for AI projects.
The company seeks to democratize this processing power and create a marketplace of AI-processing capability where companies, organizations, and researchers can use what they need and remain flexible.
Tatau’s AI engine is flexible enough, so that companies can use exactly the computing power needed. Most importantly, uses its own version of proof-of-work consensus, which combines users’ computation participation to reward them for lending their processing power to the network.
The world is witnessing a quantum leap in the quality of numerous computer vision applications ranging from autonomous cars to augmented reality. These applications and more are becoming possible due to a family of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms popularly known as deep learning.
However, deep learning powered applications require massively parallel processors with very high power consumption to meet industry required accuracy levels. Brodmann17 has embarked on a research journey where they restructured the deep-learning equations and came up with a new superior deep-learning architecture.
The software architecture achieves state of the art accuracy but consumes only a fraction of compute power, enabling more AI production from any hardware making it an ideal solution to the most demanding challenges of autonomous vehicles and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).”
Most common solutions today require massive GPU-based hardware and still struggle to achieve high performance without compromising accuracy. Brodmann17 pioneering technology can transform such systems into lightweight ones, ensuring perfect accuracy and performance while reducing the required compute power. Balancing performance, accuracy, hardware constraints and price
In recent years, AI has expanded beyond simple business applications thanks to its ability for real-time monitoring and on-the-fly adjustments. Online gaming company Playtika has been on the forefront of these efforts thanks to its cutting-edge AI platform, which it uses to optimize game experiences for better customer engagement.
After a splashy acquisition by a Chinese consortium of major tech companies for a whopping $4.5 billion, Playtika, an already massive company in its own right, will continue to play a major role in improving the field of customer engagement, real-time analytics, and in-depth user understanding. With the Chinese market now accessible, the company should continue to appear in the headlines in 2019.
More than simply looking to add new users, the company uses their AI-generated insights to improve retention beyond day one of the app cycle and keep engagement for months and even years. Playtika’s games and products use AI for customer targeting, as well as finding those customers who are willing to pay, and where in the app cycle they’re doing so.
Regardless of the industry, AI is here to stay, and those companies that embrace the trend head on will be best positioned to succeed in the future. These companies have shown a willingness to innovate and disrupt and are poised to have breakout years in 2019 and beyond.
Stefan Gergely – Aurus CEO
AurusGOLD (AWG) is a fully gold-backed cryptocurrency that meets the strong demand for a stablecoin in the cryptocurrency market and the emerging markets. It is the breakdown of trust that creates instability in emerging market currencies, so a stablecoin must be trustworthy to succeed in developing countries. AurusGOLD (AWG) begins with the unrivaled history of gold as a store of value and adds a transparent audit system supported by established firms in developed markets. By combining stability with credibility, Aurus aims to democratize the gold market.
“Our goal is to revolutionize the gold industry using blockchain technology to make the precious metal easier to trade and use, thus opening it to the masses. In a sense, what Bitcoin is doing to money, we are doing to gold.” - Stefan Gergely, Aurus CEO
Ricky earned his spot on this list for the explosive growth of his small Boston based development company into a multi-divisional firm with global reach. Volnay Capital started with a few rental buildings and has now grown to have over 50 condos in development, 100's of rental units, 200+ units under management and millions of social media followers.
Volnay Capital’s development division has been able to separate themselves from the pack by taking the time to work with condo buyers to customize the home of their dreams; think HGTV’s Fixer Upper. “We pride ourselves on breaking away from the mold and delivering designs for our clients that they will not be able to find anywhere else.”
While Volnay Capital’s core business remains the development of condominium buildings in Boston, the rapid growth in their social media presence with Instagram accounts like kitchens_of_insta and bathrooms_of_insta as well as the creation of Volnay Management, a professional management company for condominium buildings, has nicely diversified the company into a major player in many different sectors.
“Diversification is extremely important for any business. I am really excited with how we have been able to grow Volnay Capital from a Real Estate Investment and Development Firm into a multi divisional business that is situated to be able to navigate market fluctuations that we are sure to face in the coming years.”