Forbes just released its 30 Under 30 selections for 2017, and six Austin entrepreneurs have been included in the prestigious list.
From the original article announcing the list:
The 2017 FORBES 30 Under 30 is the most definitive gathering of today’s leading young change-makers and innovators in the U.S. Now in its sixth year, the 30 Under 30 offers an annual opportunity to embrace the optimism, inventiveness and boldness of youth. We bring you 30 game changers in 20 industries all under 30 years old — 600 in total — who are challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, entertainers, educators and more. They are passionate and formidable bunch, and for good reason. Their goal is nothing short of breaking the status quo and transforming the world.
The entire process of nominations (15,000+ nominees are whittled down to 600 selections — that’s a less than 4% acceptance rate) to evaluations (judges include notables such as Pete Cashmore, Jason Derulo, and Marcus Samuelsson) is quite fascinating and meticulous. You can learn more about it in their original announcement.
Here are the six Austinites who are making big waves in their industries:
Food and Drink: Miguel Garza, Siete Family Foods
Of the 600 on the list (30 in 20 different categories), Forbes chose 20 standouts which included Miguel Garza from Siete Family Foods, so let’s start there.
Garza is the 29-year-old CEO of Siete Family Foods, a company that makes healthy, delicious Mexican food, primarily gluten-/grain-free tortillas. The company was originally born about two and a half years ago because a family member had an autoimmune disease that prevented them from eating grains.
The company follows the idea that “when you do things as a community, you’re going to achieve much more,” Garza says in the featured video. Luckily for us, that community happens to be Austin. For this company, however, it’s really all about family — there are six members of the Garza family working there full time. This Garza just happens to be the youngest of the Garza clan, which his siblings remind him of frequently.
Learn more about this local food business that is making big waves amongst Latino-owned businesses in Garza’s Forbes profile video.
Food and Drink: Dominik Stein, VERTS Mediterranean Grill
Do you remember your first time? That first time you had one of the best kebabs you’ve ever tasted at Verts Kebaps? Well, the fast-casual restaurant has been so successful since it originally started in Austin in 2011 that Cofounder Dominik Stein, at age 29, has now landed on this prestigious list. Recently the restaurant changed its name to VERTS Mediterranean Grill and has since expanded to San Antonio and Dallas and will soon stretch further across Texas and head to the east coast, according to the VERTS website.
Consumer Technology: Adam Lyons and Joshua Dziabiak, The Zebra
These partners, who cofounded The Zebra, a search engine for auto insurance quotes that lets customers instantly compare insurance options from over 200 companies, clock in just under 30. Both entrepreneurs are 29-years-old, and Lyons, the company’s CEO, dropped out of high school at the tender age of 15. He’s living that millennial dream with their startup — the company currently has more than 50 employees with $23 million in venture funding.
Consumer Technology: Whitney Wolfe, Bumble
You may not have heard of Wolfe before, but you’ve most likely heard of, if not used, her product. At 27, she’s trying to make the online dating space a bit safer as the founder and CEO of Bumble, an app that only allows women to make the first move by initiating contact. As of January 2017, Bumble has 11 million users. Wolfe is no stranger to success in the online dating realm — she also cofounded and marketed Tinder.
Games: Alex Schwartz, Owlchemy Labs
Virtual reality is the future, starting now, and Owlchemy Labs is all about helping usher in that new wave of gaming. Alex Schwartz, the 29-year-old CEO of Owlchemy Labs is spearheading that new wave, as his company is considered a leader in the industry. The company recently raised $5 million in a round of seed funding, which it will use to blow the Internet’s mind with an upcoming Rick and Morty VR game.