It’s 2019. Women are no longer being quiet and standing still — we are creating strides, setting records, building empires, and changing the world. If you haven’t gotten behind women supporting women yet, now is the time. When we stand behind each other, there is no stopping what we can do. That is why when the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 came out, we wanted to highlight some of the inspiring women that made the list.
Forbes 30 Under 30 is an annual list entailing all of the brightest and boldest entrepreneurs across the United States and Canada. These individuals are highly-recognized leaders in their industries — from healthcare and science, to music and art. Here are the nine Forbes 30 Under 30 women who inspired us this year:
Sarah Staudinger, 29 – Fashion Designer and Co-founder of STAUD
Just three short years since it’s launch, Sarah Staudinger’s clothing brand hit $20 million in revenue in 2018. STAUD is a ready-to-wear women’s clothing label with contemporary pieces and stand-out handbags. Sarah discovered the gap between high-end clothing and fast fashion. Her approach was to make affordable yet timeless pieces. Her iconic bags have now become a favorite among celebrities such as Dakota Fanning, Alexa Chung, and Zoe Saldana.
Rebecca Kantar, 26 – Founder of Imbellus
As the educational system in America becomes more and more regulated through standardized testing, Rebecca is out to make learning enjoyable again. As founder of Imbellus, she aims to gauge students on their problem-solving skills with interactive scenarios rather than testing. If Imbellus succeeds, Rebecca believes “high schools should be free to teach in ways that are relevant, practical, and interesting for their students.” This is all after dropping out of Harvard. If Bill Gates can change the world after dropping out, so can she!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29 – U.S. House of Representatives
In 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history as the youngest woman ever elected into Congress. She has become an inspiration to women all over the country running on platforms such as fully-funded public schools and universities, universal Medicare, gun control, access to affordable housing, and more. Alexandria stated in her victory speech, “This is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions — no matter how small or how large — are powerful, worthwhile, and capable of lasting change.”
Devaki Raj, 28 – CEO and Founder of CrowdAI
Devak is the CEA and founder of CrowdAI, an artificial intelligence system that handles tasks such as teaching self-driving cars to avoid accidents, assessing damage of a natural disaster, and detecting parking lot usage. This is all done through drone and satellite imagery. CrowdAI has been used to map the wildfire damage in California to Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Texas.
Madison Keys, 23 – Professional Tennis Player
As an American professional tennis player, Madison Keys ranked top 10 in the world — the first American to achieve this since Serena Williams. She is also continuously ranked in the top 25 by the Women’s Tennis Association. Not only is she an outstanding athlete climbing the ranks, she is also an advocate for Fearlessly Girl — an anti-bullying organization dedicated to girls supporting girls in communities across the country.
Maya French, 28 — Co-founder of Koia
As society is slowly starting to lean toward more plant-based and vegetarian diets, Maya noticed there weren’t many tasty, vegan protein drink options available. After her own dissatisfaction with the selection of post-workout shakes, she decided to create her own with the help of her business partner, Dustin Baker. Koia is a nut-based protein drink sold in stores like Whole Foods and Walmart. According to Forbes, Koia is expected to have an annual run-rate of $10 million.
Nadia Masri, 28 — Founder of Perksy
As the daughter of immigrants, Nadia Masri pushed herself everyday and attended Harvard University. She then went on to found Perksy and run the company as CEO. Perksy is a progressive marketing technology that companies can use to receive valuable insight to motivations, interests, and preferences of consumers. Users are rewarded through points and gift cards for completing surveys from companies. A company, such as Pepsi, will pay $300,000 a year to get their questions featured on the app.
Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao, 24 – Co-founders of BioCellection
Before the age of 20, Miranda and Jeanny discovered one solution to our world’s increasing environmental problem of millions of tons of plastic waste in our oceans and landfills. Their company BioCellection takes plastic waste and turns it into valuable chemicals through chemical recycling technology. The bioengineered chemical breaks down the plastic faster than the 1,000 years it takes to breakdown plastic in a landfill. Their new plastic recycling method could mean a better environmental future for us all.