In theory, entrepreneurship sounds awesome. You’re your own boss so you can set your own hours, work from home in your PJs and do work that really matters to you.
But as any entrepreneur will tell you, starting your own business is not nearly as glamorous. In fact, it can often be pretty scary and lonely. Entrepreneurs take a great financial risk to get their ventures off the ground, often using their own savings and quitting steady jobs to pursue their dreams. Yes, entrepreneurs make their own hours, but they put in many more of them than the average employee (often 12 a day or more) and, still, they face a high failure rate.
Entrepreneur values those who choose to create their own path, and we’re not alone.
Empact, a Princeton, N.J.-based company that provides education and networking opportunities to young entrepreneurs, today released its annual list of 100 startups led by entrepreneurs under 35 that should be on everyone’s radar. Those chosen for the Empact100 stood out among hundreds of submissions and impressed an all-star panel of judges that included Priceline co-founder Jeff Hoffman, Stairmaster co-founder Clifton Taulbert and the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the United Nations Foundation, Elizabeth Gore. Decisions were based on factors such as revenue, social impact, volunteer hours, growth over the past year and the number of employees.
We took the Empact100 and distilled it further, finding the 30 startups we think are most unique and have the potential to transform their industries, if not the world. While there were many impressive companies to choose from, these are the ones that excited us most.
Keep your eye out for them, and be prepared to tell your hipster friends that you heard of them before they got huge.
The list is below, in alphabetical order.
Andrea Huspeni and Lauren Covello contributed to this report.