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Under30CEO Awards: 130 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch

| December 19, 2012 | 5 Comments

This past summer, Under30CEO launched a nationwide campaign to discover the most promising young entrepreneurs from all across the United States. The goal of the Under30CEO Awards is to highlight the next big innovators, leaders, and world changers from our Top 10 Cities for Young Entrepreneurs.

In order to qualify, the entrepreneurs had to meet revenue requirements of between $50,000 and $10,000,000 (OR) over 10,000 users, (OR) have between $50,000 and $10,000,000 in funding, under the age of 30.

The following are the 2012 Under30CEO Award Winners from across the United States. These young entrepreneurs generated over $100 million in revenues, $67 million in funding and employed over 1,400 people. Congratulations to the 130 winners who are running 95 companies across the United States.

Beau Button & William Sossamon

Age: 29 & 29

CompanyArchon Information Systems, LLC

Description: We provide all levels of government and governmental agencies with comprehensive, progressive tax related and treasury management solutions.

Our company’s philosophy is to provide clients with the highest quality products, services, and counsel, on a timely and responsive basis, while upholding the highest ethical standards. Our CivicSource® (www.civicsource.com) platform is a leading provider of delinquent tax collection, online property tax auctions and tax collection software.

Katie Shea & Susie Levitt

Age: 25, 25

Company: FUNK-tional Enterprises

Description: FUNK-tional Enterprises a manufacturing company that specializes in fashion solutions and accessories for women. Since the company’s inception in 2009, it quickly surpassed the $1 million sales mark during its first year of business. Their best-selling CitySlips brand is available at retailers including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Von Maur, DSW, Bliss Spas, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Shopping Channel, ShopNBC and more. The company has been featured on Fox News, The Today Show, The View, New York Daily News, CNN, Forbes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Brides Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Amit Avner

Age: 26

Company: Taykey

Description: Taykey is a Real-Time Topical Advertising platform that creates brand agility and discovers new hidden consumers. We find what’s topical for your audience and align you with it, in real-time. Originally founded in Israel, Taykey is backed by Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Capital & CP Lantern with global offices and New York City headquarters.

PJ Sandhu

Age: 22

Company: Crown Nut CO.

Description: Crown Nut CO. is now a mid sized processing plant started in 2011 that specializes in selling nuts to growing middle classes in emerging markets such as India and China.  It buys nuts from small growers in the central valley and then processes and packages them in order to directly supply small importers in foreign countries with high quality California grown nuts, filling a niche in the market market overlooked by industry giants such as Blue Diamond. At age 20 while still at University of the Pacific, PJ was able to kick off the company by using his father, the largest almond grower in SJC, as his main supplier.  The company has experienced amazing success and hopes to grow in to other commodities.

Brittany Hodak & Kim Kaupe

Age: 28, 26

Company: ZinePak

Description: ZinePak (pronounced ZEEN-pack) was founded in January 2011 by entertainment junkies Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe. The company’s products blur the lines between CD and DVD releases, special-edition fan magazines, and artist-branded merchandise. Each ZinePak is comprised of a small-format magazine with up to 100 pages of engaging, original content, a CD or DVD and one or more exclusive, collectible merchandise items. We’ve sold 600,00 ‘ZinePaks at Walmart for superstars ranging from Justin Bieber to the Beach Boys and brands including Dr Pepper, KIDZ BOP, and the Academy of Country Music – with 2012 revenues topping $2 million.

Lily Liu

Age: 29

Company: PublicStuff

Description: PublicStuff is an innovative CRM software company that helps local governments get stuff fixed! Using both mobile and web platforms, we have created a comprehensive backend CRM system that allows municipalities to receive service requests from their residents and customers in real time. How it works is citizens are easily able to submit public service requests directly to the correct city department (via mobile applications, SMS text messaging, web, and our toll free number) in our covered cities .City staff has access to review submissions, organize the workflow, communicate back to residents, and swiftly administer services to repair the issue, which as of August 2012, has helped 150 cities complete 50,000+ service requests.

Ben Thompson

Age: 29

Company: RBT Industries LLC

Description: RBT Industries sources, produces, imports and retails hardwood flooring and accessories. We started with no outside funding and have grown exponentially every year since 2008. We have a very strong online presence and bring a lot of new, innovative ideas to the hardwood flooring industry. We are one of very few companies that actually develops, produces and sells our products directly to the end user and that is one of the things that sets us apart from our competition.

Jesse Friedman & Avi Zikry & Alex Ushyarov

Age: 27, 27, 28

Company: New York Construction Company

Description: New York Construction Company (NYCC) is a residential home improvement company serving the boroughs of New York City. My partners and I started NYCC during the bowels of the recession and through top notch customer service, superior workmanship, and creative marketing we have created one of the most successful home improvement companies in New York. In 2011, NYCC grossed $8,000,000 in revenue with 20+ employees. Also in 2011 we created and launched Click and Improve (www.clickandimprove.com), a full service online home improvement company, that has grown exponentially since its inception.

Todd Boucher

Age: 30

Company: Leading Edge Design Group

Description: Leading Edge Design Group is a leading national provider of energy optimization services that delivers significant energy savings  through efficient data center designs and emerging LED lighting and wireless lighting control technologies. Founded in 2007 with the goal of pursuing, promoting, and providing the finest energy optimization solutions available, we help our customers minimize the environmental impact of their businesses while improving operational reliability and reducing costs. Leading Edge Design Group is dedicated to encouraging, challenging, and contributing to energy industry innovation with an ongoing commitment to our community and our environment.  Our clients represent diverse industries in the public and private marketplaces and include: Harvard University, TomTom, Amdocs, US Air Force, US Army Corps of Engineers, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Fairpoint Communications, Dartmouth Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, and Sanofi Aventis.

Jon Hardin

Age: 25

Company: Hardin Design & Development

Description: Hardin Design & Development builds cutting edge iOS, Android, and web applications for companies including Mercedes, Toyota, Coleman Campers and FedEx. Our work has won awards and one of our applications was used in a commercial to launch the iPad in the North American, Japan, and Australian markets. We currently have offices in Madison and Chicago.

Blake Miller

Age: 28

Company: Think Big Partners

Description: Think Big Partners is an early-stage business incubator, startup accelerator and mentorship-based collaborative network.  Simply put, Think Big Partners build and grow great technology companies.

Adam Kluger

Age: 26

Company: The Kluger Agency

Description: Company located in Miami, FL. and Los Angeles, CA. (Although many transactions take place in or around NY, NY). Most successful brand partnership (product placement, endorsement, strategic partnerships) firm in history within the music business representing over 50 consumer brands as well as 85% of the Top 40 recording artists in the world and 14 major record labels. Done deals for Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Flo Rida, T-Pain, Akon, Drake, LMFAO, Lil Wayne, Britney Spears, and Kesha amongst many others.

Jolie Bensen & Sarah Elizabeth Dewey

Age: 28 & 25

Company: Jolie and Elizabeth

Description: Since starting up in 2009, Jolie and Elizabeth has designed and manufactured 3600 dresses, contributing over $250,000 to the local New Orleans economy. Sarah Elizabeth was Jolie’s intern at BCBG, they ditched their NY corporate jobs for New Orleans, found a factory struggling to get back on its feet after Katrina and starting designing dresses. Focusing on filling a void in the market- Made in America and refreshingly respectful, well made work dresses, seersucker suiting- far from the over trendy, over saturated apparel they were immersed with in NY. By stimulating every avenue of apparel sales, wholesale to over 50 boutiques across the country, direct to college campuses and sororities, they’ve found the most success in E-commerce- and by designing the website themselves, their success is about as hands on as it gets.

Tom Humphrey

Age: 28

Company: Kanopy

Description: Kanopy Streaming is pioneering the distribution and use of video in education. Kanopy has partnered with large film producers (such as Universal Paramount, the BBC, and the History Channel) and independent filmmakers to build the largest catalogue of online educational videos globally. Kanopy delivers videos to Universities and other educational institutions through a state-of-the-art platform with many user interactivity and engagement applications.

Michael Rihani

Age: 26

Company: Koofers

Description: Koofers is your one-stop shop for all your college needs. It provides students with practice exams, study guides, flashcards, professor ratings and various tools such as a class schedule maker and textbook price comparison engine. The service monetizes through textbook sales and connecting students with employers looking to hire.

Aseem Badshah

Age: 23

Company: Uptown Treehouse, Inc.

Description: We help large brands become social on social media by focusing on two-way conversations to reach their marketing goals. We provide services to manage the social media presence and campaigns for companies like Microsoft. We also build SaaS solutions to help enterprises focus on relationship building at scale via their presence on Twitter.

Eleanor Watson

Age: 29

Company: Poikos

Description: Poikos is a computer vision systems house which has developed a revolutionary patent-pending technology for imaging and measuring the body in 3D, using consumer grade hardware such as smartphones, tablets and PCs.

It is developing a platform for the delivery of our technology to partners within the fitness, entertainment, medical and e-commerce sectors, for a range of amazing new capabilities across all industries.

They can measure circumferences of body parts to within 4mm. The system incorporates technology purchased off the US Air Force. They’ve already won 3 business plan competitions.

Andrew Geant & Michael Weishuhn

Age: 29, 29

Company: WyzAnt

Description: WyzAnt is the largest online marketplace for tutors and students, with 60,000 tutors in all 50 states. Drew and Mike bootstrapped WyzAnt right out of Princeton, living hand to mouth for the first few years.

Chuck Cohn

Age: 26

Company: Varsity Tutors

Description: Varsity Tutors is a private tutoring and test prep company with 50 employees and 1,000 tutors across 14 metro areas. The company was founded in 2007 and is now one of the 10 largest tutoring companies in the country. It has doubled year-over-year for the last 5 years.

Gina Mancuso

Age: 29

Company: LoveThatFit

Description: LoveThatFit is an online ‘Fit’ technology that allows users to try on clothes, see how they actually look and fit, and addresses the social aspect of shopping.  We create the most realistic shopping experience online and give online shoppers the confidence that has been missing from online shopping until now.  Retailers use our technology with their existing e-commerce websites to reduce returns, costs associated with and in-turn increase sales.

Eric Grande

Age: 29

Company: Imperial Promotional Embroidery

Description: Imperial provides companies with custom embroidered and screen printed apparel as well as promotional products. We have our own in-house embroidery facility in Boston. Imperial sells products through a retail  store, website,  and with a sales team.

Jason Ethier

Age: 24

Company: Dynamo Micropower

Description: Dynamo Micropower is commercializing a microturbine that will revolutionize small power generation.  By reinventing the gas turbine from the ground up, we have developed a method for building these prime movers to be cost competitive with incumbent reciprocating engines.  We have previously received an NSF SBIR Phase I Grant to refine a product that will change the way small engines are designed, built, and deployed.

Polina Raygorodskaya & Igor Bratnikov

Age: 26 & 26

Company: Wanderu

Description: Revolutionary ground travel search that helps consumers quickly and easily find and book inter-city bus and train travel between any two points in the country.

Khalil Fuller

Age: 20

Company: NBA Math Hoops

Description: NBA Math Hoops makes math fun. We’ve partnered with the NBA and Hasbro games, and created a supplemental math curriculum for middle and high school aged students, which is centered around a basketball board game. In our pilot studies, students’ math scores improved by 51% after our curriculum! NBA Math Hoops is launching nationally in the Fall of 2012, and will be played by over 15,000 students this year! Khalil recently received an Echoing Green Fellowship, naming him and NBA Math Hoops one of the top 30 social enterprises in the world. Khalil is the youngest Echoing Green Fellow in the organization’s 25 year history.

Boris Resvin

Age: 28

Company: Dailybreak

Description: Dailybreak delivers a new form of content that entertains, educates and challenges consumers while creating value and driving digital social action for brand advertisers. Dailybreak’s innovative content advertising units, called Challenges, are consumer-initiated experiences that incent people to engage with and share a brand’s message. Dailybreak provides unique advertising solutions with highly relevant targeting, engaging content and guaranteed results to some of the world’s leading brands including McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, Dunkin Donuts, Microsoft and Chevrolet. For more information, visit www.dailybreak.com/advertising.

Ben Maitland-Lewis

Age: 29

Company: Indie Ambassador

Description: Indie Ambassador is a Boston-based music media & technology company. Our first product, Presskit.to, is the music industry’s first portfolio web app that makes you look and sound your best. By highlighting your recent accomplishments in the Wins section, and neatly showcasing your best media and files by syncing with Soundcloud, Youtube, and Vimeo, were presenting your work in a way that impresses even the highermost music professionals. Your Presskit is media rich and to the point, which gives them what they want, how they want it, on any device.

Andrew Kitzenberg & Jeff Brayer

Age: 25 & 25

Company: Memory on Hand

Description: Memory on Hand manufactures and distributes tech accessories for students of the mobile generation.  The Company is focused on its distribution network and helping to rejuvenate the collegiate market as stores adjust to declining textbook revenues.  Memory on Hand currently sells to 400 college stores in all 50 states.  The Company was built on the MoH Band (Memory on Hand Band) a USB flash drive wristband that can be conveniently carried around your wrist, backpack, or purse so you never lose your flash drive again.

Jason McAninch

Age: 26

Company: J-TEK

Description: J-TEK provides quality IT support services to businesses that need assistance with day to day operations of their IT environment and consulting services to help businesses get technology to work smarter and more efficiently for them.  In addition, we also have a sector of our company that serves residential customers with their basic to advanced technology support needs. We now have two locations in Kansas and serve clients in over 12 states nationally through our remote support service.

Anthony Noll

Age: 28

Company: School Media Group

Description: Dewsly is new platform for journalism students and education environments.  We have created a platform that is focused upon student driven content  from many topics for the world to view. Dewsly gives the world a perspective on topics from the 18-25 year old’s vantage point. This platform brings the university to life from the students stories!

Jason Jannati & Josh Notes & Matej Harangozo

Age: 26, 28, 28

Company: greeNEWit

Description: greeNEWit is an organization founded to help society build sustainable communities and better economies through conserving the use of natural resources. We provide lighting and water saving upgrades that help residents, businesses and utility companies save money on their electricity bill and reduce the carbon footprint.

The upgrades include installation of energy efficient CFL light bulbs, aerators, low flow showerheads, hot water heat wraps and pipe insulation. Through this collaborative effort, we’ve installed 94,891 compact fluorescent light bulbs to more than 19,434 residences in the state of Maryland and are saving 6,472,715 kWh of electricity and 163,567,892 gallons of water annually.

Jessica Bishop

Age: 29

Company: Klink Mobile, Inc.

Description: KlinkMobile enables the transfer of cellular airtime minutes and currency via a proprietary, cloud-based financial transaction platform. These mobile-to-mobile transfers tare sent o the receiverʼs mobile phone or m-wallet in real-time. The company leverages an, established network of distributors and global mobile network operator (MNO) partners to reach consumers. KlinkMobileʼs technology went live in January and is processing international transactions to Afghanistan from the US.

Ouali Benmeziane

Age: 29

Company: WebCongress

Description: WebCongress is a tech event with a high focus on training, so we offer 2 days of conferences, talks, workshops and networking in several cities around the world, we already organize more than 43 conferences, and more than 10 000 businesses using our services, attending our conferences, or buying our training. Companies such as Google, Twitter, Blackberry, Microsoft, Spotify, Youtube, Facebook, Intel attend as speaker and partner our events. @webcongress

Kyle Claypool

Age: 26

Company: Optima Worldwide

Description: We help companies increase revenue, traffic, and brand equity through creative web marketing channels. We do this primarily through search engine optimization and content marketing, supported by social media and thorough measurement and analysis.

Carlo Montagnino & Christopher Olivieri & Tavis Delahunt & Damian Thomas

Age: 28, 29, 29, 29

Company:  Dog and Pony Show Media

Description: Dog and Pony Show Media is an entity that was created to produce fun web-based content. Our flagship website Dog and Pony Show has an average of 600,000 pageviews per month and a high of 2.5 Million pageviews within the last year. We average 260,000+ unique visitors per month. Our work has been featured on the Today Show, G4 Television, and a number of the highest profile blogs and entertainment websites. Alone with the flagship site, we also manage the web presence of radio personalities Emilio Sparks and Rich Russo.

Karthik Ramachandran

Age: 27

Company: Likarda, LLC

Description: Through the use of an innovative platform technology, Likarda streamlines the engineering of multi-cell type, uniform, organotypic 3D cell clusters for a variety of applications including drug screening and regenerative medicine. Likarda’s engineered clusters offer superior performance in targeting species-specific illnesses, allowing for the development of new cell-based therapies for animals and humans alike.  The primary product that Likarda has developed are 3D islet clusters, Kanslets(tm), are used for transplants into companion animals as a way to cure diabetes combined with the use of a surgical procedure as routine as spaying/neutering a cat or dog. Likarda has successfully cured rat diabetes by transplanting Kanslet(tm) cell clusters into diabetic rats, and actively conducting studies on cats and dogs.

Reid Stone & Shaun Walker

Age: 29 & 28

Company: HERO|farm

Description: An old saying goes, “In seeking happiness for others, you find it for yourself.” We truly believe that, which is why our experience over the years has geared up toward making it our mission to give back and accomplishing more than just doing a job. We founded HERO|farm with a simple philosophy: Do great work for good people. And we’ve discovered that when following this principle, everything else seems to fall into place.

Joe McMenemon and Brendan Finke

Age: 27 & 24

Company: Chapter Spot

Description: ChapterSpot’s web application solves the universal problems of group management. Using ChapterSpot, member-based organizations can develop and customize a private social network which streamlines communications with their members, facilitates member dues collections, and organizes member data. To date ChapterSpot has signed exclusive contracts to service large international organizations like Delta Tau Delta and Delta Kappa Epsilon.

Drew Franzo

Age: 28

Company: eSyncs

Description: eSYNCS was founded on January of 2011, we initial business plan focused on web design and social media/email marketing management for businesses. We have since branched out into a completely uncharted area of digital signage for businesses… our unique product  called “The Social Pixel Network – www.SocialPixel.me” allows for businesses to cross advertise, self promote and create a new revenue stream through our profit share plan. Our three person team sits on the following boards: Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Rotary to just name a few, and we were the winners of the 2011 New Business of the Year with our Chamber of Commerce.

Douglas Jacobs

Age: 28

Company: Aquaponic Modular Production Systems (AMPS)

Description: AMPS designs, builds, and operates recirculating farms that sustainably grow greens and other vegetables, onsite for grocery stores, farm to fork restaurants, educational institutions, and community groups. Since conception, AMPS has developed the first supermarket rooftop aeroponic farm program. We are developing containerized farming systems to provide fresh produce in urban and rural areas.

Donnie Thomas

Age: 25

CompanyThomas Inc. DBA The Crystal Plantation

Description: The Crystal Plantation is a full service reception hall. We specialize in weddings, anniversaries, business parties, and birthday parties.

Jon Swift

Age: 29

Company: Centurion Risk Associates, LLC

Description: We are a class action administration company that provides notice, claim form data collection, and settlement disbursement services for class action lawsuits that settle with hundreds to tens of thousands of class members.

Andrew Larimer

Age: 27

Company: FatHappy Media

Description: FatHappy Media has changed the audience engagement game for many New Orleans organizations. By being selective early adopters, we are able to utilize the right new tools to create high quality web video content at low cost. We empower organizations to engage their audiences in a sensory-rich way, making social media touches more impactful and memorable.

Jason Nicosia

Age: 27

Company: Connect for a Cause

Description: We help networkers get meetings with influential people by supporting the causes they care about. Think Linkedin meets Ebay for Social Good. The high bidder gets to take the VIP to lunch and the higher the winning bid, the more money goes to the sponsoring nonprofit. Been in beta for 2 months. Launching version 1.0 soon!

Harrie Bakst

Age: 27

Company: Carnegie Sports & Entertainment, Inc.

Description: Carnegie Sports & Entertainment, Inc. is a boutique agency specializing in cause marketing and corporate social responsibility.

At Carnegie, we package our approach and solutions to showcase the value and efficiency of cause marketing. Clients have included Paul Pierce (The Truth Foundation), Curtis Granderson (Grand Kids Foundation), Adrian Peterson (All Day Foundation), Grassroot Soccer, Arthur Ashe Foundation, Grete Waitz Foundation, Sunkist, Ameriprise Financial, among others. Additionally, Carnegie has worked with some of the top brands and preterites in the world including Coca Cola, Nike, Foot Locker, John Hancock, Chipotle Mexican Grill, ING New York City Marathon, and Major League Soccer.

Billy Bosch & Matt Mouras

Age: 29 & 29

Company: Be Well Nutrition, Inc.

Description: Be Well Nutrition is an innovative health-product company working to fulfill our mission to create nutritionist developed and recommended, all-natural, functional health products. The company is currently launching “ICONIC” – an all-natural protein drink that satisfies hunger, provides healthy energy, and increases focus.

Pep Gomez

Age: 19

Company: Fever Labs inc

Description: Fever is a social discovery tool that changes the way people make plans and introduces you to people you are going to like. It is now available for iPhone and will be releasing Android on November 1st.

Indhira Santana

Age: 27

Company: My Wellness Solutions

Description: My Wellness Solutions is a one of a kind holistic health spa. It combines the sale of herbs and supplements with complimentary and alternative services that help clients reach their health goals. Since opening its doors, My Wellness Solutions, has truly become an Oasis of Health in the Heart of the Bronx.  The center has helped hundreds of customers achieve their weight loss goals by combining various holistic health services including colon hydrotherapy, acupuncture and various other therapies that help to cleanse and stimulate the body to optimal health.

Brian Essig

Age: 27

Company: Creating Digital

Description: Creating Digital is a boutique web development agency based in Hoboken, NJ.  Servicing clients directly and agency partners, we strive to use innovative technologies to deliver a best in class solution to consistently exceed client expectations.  This approach has landed Creating Digital a premier clientele.  These clients include book publisher, Pearson woman’s skin care line, Hydroxatone and celebrities such as Chef Daniel Boulud and internationally renowned Reggaeton artists Wisin Y Yandel.

Vipul Lakhi

Age: 26

Company: My Trio Rings

Description: My Trio Rings offers matching diamond engagement and wedding ring sets at prices that are 65% off traditional high-priced retailers. By coupling four generations of experience in the industry with innovative eCommerce leadership, the company is tearing down industry overpricing tactics and employing a factory to consumer model, passing on 65% cost savings to everyday hard working Americans.

Furthermore, the company offers services such as no-fee layaway, free returns, and certificates of authenticity to ensure the best customer experience. Since it’s inception the company has served thousands of brides and grooms worldwide and has been covered by publications such as CNN, Yahoo, Forbes, ABC, Mashable and CBS among others!

Trace Cohen

Age: 24

Company: Launch.it

Description: Launch.it is a self-publishing platform for PR professionals, community managers and entrepreneurs to launch and socialize everything new. We are creating the largest searchable database of all new products, services and ideas to make sure that they can be found discovered and shared.

Richard Kraayenhagen & Bas van Ooyen & Sjoerd Leemhuis

Age: 20, 20, 28

Company: Owlin

Description: We help traders to understand what’s going on in the world and alert them when something important happens that can influence their positions or provide an opportunity.

Nikki Robinson

Age: 27

Company: Gloss and Glam

Description: Gloss and Glam is more than a beauty service, it’s a luxurious experience. Made up of an established team of celebrity hair and makeup artists who’ve worked on everything from movie sets and fashion runways to photo shoots and weddings will travel to you to give you the flawless look that you desire.

Founded by renowned make-up artist, Nikki Robinson, Gloss and Glam hires only the industry’s most elite. A beauty insider herself, Nikki curates the most sought-after professionals to join her exclusive team of artists. Gloss and Glam believes in giving back and donates up to 10% of its profits each year to a variety of charitable organizations.

Nick Reese

Age: 25

Company: Microbrand Media

Description: To put it simply — we are a nimble team of internet marketers that like building cool (and profitable) web assets and Microbrands.

Mikhail Naumov & Melissa Lee & Ben Lapidus

Age: 23, 22, 22

Company: Global Renewable Energy Education Network

Description: The Global Renewable Energy Education Network is a leading provider of educational services and hands-on experiences in the fields of clean energy and sustainability. The GREEN Program in Costa Rica is our flagship service which helps students and universities enhance their existing curriculum through unique educational experiences focused on renewable energy and sustainability around the world.  On the GREEN Program, students spend 12 days visiting clean energy facilities, like wind turbines and geothermal plants, learning from industry experts and implementing innovative sustainable solutions in local communities.  Students experience Costa Rica, its beauty, thrilling adventures, and memorable cultural experiences, while earning academic credit and accelerating their career.

Michelle Javian & Yuki Kotani

Age: 29, 28

Company: Harboring Hearts

Description: Harboring Hearts provides a haven for heart patients and their families while they are seeking medical care away from home. We offer solutions to financial and emotional problems often associated with a family member undergoing cardiac treatment. These problems include finding housing near a hospitalized patient, paying for the family to live in another city while a loved one undergoes treatment, providing emotional support to a heart patient, and accessing basic living needs. Through community outreach programs and small grants, we have provided financial and emotional support to 200 families all over the country.

Martin Roth & Michael Angle

Age: 23 & 27

Company: Giftmeo

Description: Giftmeo is a shared-gifting platform that allows multiple people to pitch in toward a gift for a common friend or loved one. Giftmeo’s platform combines and consolidates transactions of all sizes (even as little as $1) in the form of a gift card. Through Giftmeo’s web application, this technology allows multiple users to combine individual gifts to create a single, larger gift for a common friend.

Rob Symington & Dom Jackman & Mike Howe

Age: 28, 28, 28

Company: Escape the City

Description: Based in New York and London, Escape the City is a global community based around the idea that life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you. We have helped thousands of people find work they love, start businesses and go on epic life changing adventures.

We are a discovery engine liberating talented and ambitious professionals from unfulfilling corporate jobs by connecting them with the job opportunities, organizations, people and resources that they should know about but don’t, if its not exciting and different, it never makes it on our site.

Escape the City has +80,000 members, has crowd-funded $1Million from its own users, has been featured in nearly every significant news publication, on TV and Radio, and our new website is due for launch this month.

Liz Long

Age: 29

Company: Bag the Habit

Description: Bag the Habit makes a variety of reusable shopping bags including shopping totes produce bags, gift bags, and shopping sets. In addition to producing a line of popular ‘BTH’ branded bags, Bag the Habit works one-on-one with brands and retailers to create customized reusable solutions and integrate reusability into stores and organizations.

All Bag the Habit bags are made from a unique 100% recycled fabric (created from plastic and textile waste).

Matthew Murphy

Age: 23

Company: Global Citizens Travel LLC

Description: Global Citizens Travel is an online travel provider focused on the growing niche of American undergraduates studying abroad. Over the past 12 months GCT has quickly grown to over $600k in revenue with a small team and limited resources. Offering unique, budget-conscious travel opportunities all around the world, GCT has been able to effectively reach a growing market and establish its reputation.

Simon Marthinsen

Age: 25

Company: Plebu

Description: Plebu is a really simple website builder. We make it easy for small businesses and creative professionals to create a website that looks great on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Anthony Saladino, Andrew Saladino

Age: 30, 24

Company: Kitchen Cabinet Kings

Description: Kitchen Cabinet Kings is a leading distributor of kitchen and bathroom cabinets on the Internet.   We delivery our quality cabinetry nationwide in just 1-2 weeks.

Nina Cherny & Jenny Wu

Age: 29, 28

Company: Stylyt

Description: Stylyt is a collaborative commerce platform that allows consumers to influence what fashion brands make. We let any consumer play fashion designer for real brands. Our HTML5 product configurator takes the fabrics, colors and shapes of a brand’s collection and lets users mix and match to create their own branded product. The Stylyt community then votes on their favorites, and the brand manufactures the winning designs to be sold exclusively on Stylyt. Stylyt collaborations drive engagement and loyalty while providing unique, predictive data to fashion brands and retailers.

A.J. Steigman

Age: 27

Company: Soletron

Description: Soletron is a social networking & ecommerce platform in lifestyle retail verticals.  We identify up-and-coming designers from all over the world, and get them on our marketplace without holding any inventory.  Our website is in the top 99.7% of all sites in the world on traffic.  Our business model is very similar to Etsy but with a truly social shopping experience applied to sneakers, streetwear, skateboarding etc. In addition, we are a full service destination (unlike traditional ecomm platforms) that helps grassroot brands grow outside of their regional territories.  Our board consists Bruce Chizen (Former CEO of Adobe Systems), Santonio Holmes (Super Bowl MVP and current member of the New York Jets),Tom Austin (Founder of AND1), John Friedman (Founder of Easton Capital), Bob Rice (Founder of Tangent Capital and Bloomberg Contributor)

Nicholas Ponton

Age: 26

Company: SHADES OF GREY LLC

Description: SHADES OF GREY is a creative agency that specializes in conception and execution of a wide variety of communication initiatives for fashion companies — across both digital and physical formats.  We produce runway shows, presentations, popup shops, and openings; we oversee and implement digital communication and marketing strategies for clients across multiple platforms.  Our clients include established European luxury labels (Givenchy, Celine, Pringle of Scotland), commercial properties (HSN, Armani Exchange), and young and up and coming next generation designers (Christian Cota, Reece Hudson).

Roxy Owens

Age: 28

Company: Society Social

Description: Society Social is an e-commerce destination where I sell a unique mix of my designs including home furnishings (bar carts being the most popular!), hostess gowns, and cocktail jewelry. At Society Social, we enthusiastically subscribe to living sparkly – as in vivacious, legendary, always ridiculous, and never for a second boring and also that life is a grand celebration, that means every day, and poppin bottles is something we do with frighten- ing regularity. It is this contagious joie de vivre and our tremendous love for a shared celebration that inspires every piece we create. We hope our handcrafted line from the colorful cocktail carts to our playful haute hostess attire induce frolic and merriment from our home to yours.

Sang Lee

Age: 25

Company: Return on Change

Description: Return on Change is a crowdfunding platform for high-impact, socially-conscious start-ups that are looking to find ways to change the world. Utilizing the recent signing of the JOBS Act, our mission is to provide an online medium by which start-up companies and bright entrepreneurs will be able to pool capital through crowd sourcing, while creating a community of advice and collaboration. Created to catalyze the change that large corporate organizations could not provide, RoC seeks to bridge the gap for an idea to grow into a business by simplifying start-up finance, instigating much-needed innovation, and fostering investor and start-up relationships.

Matt Hunckler

Age: 25

Company: Verge

Description: Verge is a platform for software entrepreneurs, developers, and investors. It provides education and resources like capital, customers, and talent to growing Midwest startups.

Seth Kravitz

Age: 29

Company: Technori

Description: Technori is a publishing and event company that inspires, empowers, and celebrates entrepreneurship. Through thought leadership and high quality events, we directly help startups find the local resources, people, and funding they need to grow.

John Rood

Age: 29

Company: Next Step Test Preparation

Description: Next Step Test Preparation provides a complete package of one-on-one tutoring for graduate school entrance exams for about the price of a group lecture course at one of our competitors. For 80 years the test prep industry has been dominated by a single business model — providing group prep courses. We give students a clear alternative — superior personalized instruction, starting at the same price.

Jerryanne Heath

Age: 29

Company: ConceptLink

Description: ConceptLink is a social impact strategy firm that helps international organizations raise more money and communicate more effectively with their supporters.  Since 2008 we have helped clients raise more than $4 million through a variety of fundraising and communications strategies which have had a wide-reaching impact in several communities in South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria and the US by promoting access to clean water, educational opportunity, environmental sustainability, and scientific discovery.

Robert Traub, Jr.

Age: 26

Company: Proud Precision Painters

Description: Proud Precision Painters is a sales and marketing company who’s product is interior and exterior repaints. Our unique business model allows us to operate with: extremely low overhead, fixed profit margins and growth of around 100% per year.

Arvind Narayan

Age: 23

Company: Libero Sports Asia LLC

Description: At one point, I was the youngest licensed soccer agent in the world and a co-founder of an agency which represents 80 professional soccer players in over 20 countries.  Out of our parent company in Chicago, we control our subsidiary in Delhi which is considered the soccer consultancy/agency in India with the most dealflow -  we work with big European clubs (ex. FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, etc) and corporates (Panasonic, Audi, Sesa, etc) and offer solutions to navigate through the Indian soccer market to identify opportunities to activate brand through soccer (both grassroots and professional).

Melaine Privitera

Age: 30

Company: Mobius Consulting, LLC.

Description: Mobius Consulting is a women-owned small business that provides systems engineering, technical analysis, program management, and organizational strategy expertise to the Federal government. We advise and assist government organizations on issues of national and global significance. Our engineers, analysts, and program management professionals provide our clients relevant and actionable solutions to their current and emerging challenges. We believe in approaching our work with innovation and creativity, a combination that results in lasting value for our customers. Mobius Consulting is committed to exceeding our client’s expectations by delivering exceptional talent and quality products and services.

Khristian Ospina

Age: 24

Company: The Diamond Group

Description: The Diamond Group Agency is a holding company composed of two subsidiaries. An insurance brokerage and a real estate investment firm. New venture AsegurameHOY.com (InsuremeTODAY.com) is an insurance marketing platform which looks to educate Latino Consumers through the use of informative articles, personalized guidance and enhanced product offerings on the best ways to save, shop for and selecting the right insurance policy. Receiving seed investments as I type! I’m also the Chairman of Americas United Soccer Academy a nonprofit for underprivileged children in urban cities.

Brandon Craft

Age: 29

Company: Clinvue

Description: Clinvue is a medical innovation company, specializing in helping it’s clients identify market opportunities and define new product concepts.

Our proprietary network enables us to see and hear market insights from clinicians and healthcare management professionals across the globe. Our proven voice of the customer research and front end innovation methodologies enable us to discover new opportunities and invent novel concepts and solutions. Our low overheads and intimate access to healthcare deliver our clients outstanding value in primary research and technology innovation combined with proven creativity.

Katie Palencsar and Benjamin Bengfort

Age: 30 & 28

Company: Unbound Concepts

Description: Unbound Concepts applies human knowledge to text “much the same way the human brain does” using computer science.  Unbound Concepts was created on the strongly held belief that a collaborative approach to knowledge sharing is, quite simply, a better way to live. Blending trusted computer science with the knowledge and data gained from BookLeveler, its iOS-based App, Unbound Concepts is building a proprietary natural language processing algorithm that can understand authored content in a deep ontological fashion, bringing value to publishers, educators and fellow scientists in pursuit of collaboration that creates good.

Chris Olsen

Age: 28

Company: FINDitKC

Description: FINDitKC.com is a place for those living, visiting or moving to Kansas City to FIND videos on Things to Do, Places to Eat, Shop, Play and Live. We help fellow entrepreneurs/business owners share their story about what they do with what we call social videos. From there we don’t just produce the videos, but also help them optimize it via social media, QR Code use, you name it we help with it. We aim to connect Kansas City using the powerful platform of video, then we plan to expand to the hundreds of other FINDit domains we already own.

Rami Essaid

Age: 29

Company: Distil Inc

Description: Distil is the first content protection network that helps companies identify and block malicious content scraping and data theft. When companies have content stolen and duplicated they lose visitors, revenue, and business. The content protection network makes real-time decisions and seamlessly distinguishes human visitors from malicious bots, with no false positives. Distil also accelerates content through 14 global nodes, improving page load times and reducing server load.

Jeff Leighton

Age: 25

Company: Action HomeBuyers

Description: We buy houses in any condition and any area in the Washington, DC region.  Action Homebuyers is a premier Washington DC real estate investment and solutions company that buys and sells distressed properties.  We can close within as little as 7 days and pay cash for all type of properties including single family homes, town homes, condos, multi family, commercial, vacant lots and more.  Working closely with Fortune Builders from A&E TV’s “Flip This House”, we have learned proven and repeatable methods of buying and selling distressed real estate in any economy.

Spencer Gerrol

Age: 29

Company: SPARK Experience Design

Description: SPARK Experience Design is a full service digital agency. We specialize in user experience research and design to create websites and campaigns that are usable, engaging, and persuasive. Our client list includes Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, including Pepsi, Fossil, AAA, the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health. SPARK’s services include digital strategy, user research, web design, mobile application design, social media, branding, and other core capabilities from search engine optimization to video production.

Dan Sherman

Age: 30

Company: HIP Network

Description: In business, relationships matter. That’s why HIP Network brings people together. Established in 2008, the Hospitality Industry Professionals Network (HIP Network) is the fastest-growing community of meeting, event, travel and hospitality professionals. With over 2,500+ Planner Network Members and 100+ Supplier Network Members in the U.S., HIP Network produces high-energy events (both face-to-face & virtual) that fuel professional growth and help facilitate durable industry relationships.

David Turner & Jeff Widman

Age: 28 ,26

Company: Pagelever

Description: PageLever is a two-tier solution for mid-size and enterprise businesses using Facebook Pages as a marketing channel.   We currently have two products, PageLever Analytics and Minilytics, with a new application being released in Q4 2012.

Jenn Coyle Catalano & Lindsey Herrema & Kate Drane & Jake Blackshear & Heath Cox

Age: 29, 27, 30, 31, 42

Company: The Can Van

Description: The Can Van is a mobile canning service for craft breweries. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Can Van makes it possible for local breweries of all sizes to can their beer with a complete packaging service. The Can Van brings top of the line equipment and canning specialists directly to breweries, saving them time and money, and giving them access to the growing market for canned craft beer.

Lauren McLeod

Age: 27

Company: FlightFox

Description: Flightfox is a platform for crowdsourced (or human-powered) flight search – that means our flight experts, from all over the world, compete to find you the best flights. Unless you search every website, subscribe to every newsletter, and become active in every flight forum, you probably are not finding the best flights. We think most people should stop spending hours searching, come straight to Flightfox, and leverage the skills of experts. You save time, money and stress, so it just makes sense.

Matt Crowe

Age: 29

Company: AHHHA

Description: AHHHA is a new way to track, build upon and share your ideas.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, AHHHA is a new company driving Social Ideation, which enables people to stake claim in their ideas, tap into the wisdom of the crowd and drive continuous collaboration around ideas. AHHHA’s Social Ideation platform leverages the power of social networking and crowdsourcing by integrating intelligent algorithms to help propel any idea to life. AHHHA has collapsed the highly fragmented process required to turn an idea from concept into a real-world product, service or company. Its Social Ideation engine manages the entire lifecycle, while the idea-originator expends minimal effort and risk.

Arel Moodie & Michael Simmons & Sheena Lindahl & Sarah Green

Age: 28, 29, 30, 25

Company: Empact

Description: Empact’s work focuses on facilitating a culture of entrepreneurship in communities across the world through exposure, celebration and early stage startup support. We do this through our Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, which is a half day conference bringing the country’s top young entrepreneurs to college campuses. Through our Empact Summit, which is the largest, invite-only collaborative gathering featuring the most influential leaders in the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem. Through our Empact100, which showcases the country’s top entrepreneurs at the White House who are under 30 with revenues of at least $100,000.

Nanxi Liu

Age: 22

Company: Nanoly Bioscience

Description: 2.1 million people die each year from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines. Nanoly Bioscience is developing a polymer that enables vaccines to survive without refrigeration. Our technology is safe, effective, and affordable so places without electricity can finally have access to vaccines. Using our technology, we plan to vaccinate the 26 million children that are not immunized each year.

Warner H. Siebert

Age: 29

Company: BuzzTable

Description: BuzzTable is a mobile CRM platform for the hospitality industry. We have multiple products that all work together: WaitList for Hosts allows restaurants to text their guests when their table is ready; BuzzTable for Consumers is a free mobile app that allows guests to check their place in line and unlock insider privileges and rewards; and ControlCenter for Operators allows restaurants to directly reach their guests on their phones and analyze customer data.

Jaime J. Torreblanca

Age: 25

Company: Epic Carwash & detail

Description: Epic Carwash & Detail is a eco-friendly mobile detailing business. Thanks to our eco-friendly approach, fantastic customer service, unusual detailing techniques, and competitive rates, we have been able to grow the business at a very steady rate.

Most of our new business is worth of mouth and returning customers. In our first year, we had a revenue of a little over $80K we are currently over $100K and expecting to be very close to $200K in our second year.

Brian Smith

Age: 27

Company: The Space Creators

Description: The Space Creators is an innovative real estate development and management company that simplifies the process of finding and renting space for creative businesses, entrepreneurs and community organizations. As a pioneer in the American co-working movement, The Space Creators help creative businesses, entrepreneurs and artists find space where they can create, grow and play. The Space Creators repurpose, renovate and revitalize the buildings and neighborhoods where they work, developing creative micro-communities.

Michael C. Abdy

Age: 20

Company: Story Stock Exchange

Description: The Story Stock Exchange incubates new ideas, and takes stock in the best business stories of the future to create a public market for entrepreneurial investment. In exchange for services, funding and equity opportunities for its partners and shareholders, SSX is developing a diverse and dynamic project portfolio with some of the world’s most exciting economic adventures

Braden Barnes

Age: 25

Company: Valiant Painting, LLC

Description: Valiant Painting provides painting and exterior restoration services to residential and commercial property owners across the Colorado Front Range. When the construction industry slowed, Founder, Braden Barnes was without a job and decided there was no better time to realize his dream, Valiant Painting began operations April 1st, 2012. Much of the work we do is lender mandated and can’t be ignored, we are focused on a niche Real Estate market that is seeing it’s highest occupancy rate in years.

Alexander Hejnosz & Zachary Silverzweig

Age: 25, 29

Company: CipherHealth

Description: CipherHealth, LLC provides improved care coordination and patient engagement through post discharge follow-up programs. These programs have proven successful in helping hospitals and health systems reduce 30-day readmission rates and increase patient satisfaction.

Adam Lieb

Age: 25

Company: Duxter

Description: Duxter is the social network for gamers. We allow gamers to connect, explore, engage and be rewarded for their gamer life.

Jayson DeMers

Age: 26

Company: AudienceBloom

Description: AudienceBloom is an American SEO firm (based in Seattle, WA) that specializes in SEO link building and social media marketing. We work directly with our clients to determine goals, perform keyword research, analyze the competition’s weaknesses and strengths, develop a gameplan for success, implement the plan, monitor results, and report results.

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Category: Startup Advice