A wake-up call to cynics who think they have seen it all. The young, creative and bold minds on this year’s 30 Under 30 list are proof positive that the future will be new, exciting and profoundly different. These entrepreneurs are teaching viruses to fight cancer, developing technology to help astronauts breathe on Mars and creating strings of hit songs that fuel our daily playlists. And that’s just a few. Harnessing our expert community, robust reporting, vigorous vetting and the wisdom of the world’s top investors entrepreneurs, we evaluated more than 15,000 nominees. The final product: 600 revolutionaries in 20 industries changing the course—and the face—of business and society.
As always, our definitive list of Under 30 game-changers favors entrepreneurs: 65% of 2020 honorees are founders. Listees hail from across the globe—20% are immigrants, and nearly 40% are first-generation Americans.
Bold-faced names abound. Seattle Seahawks star Bobby Wagner is making off-field moves as an A-list investor, musicians like Normani and Luke Combs are streaming their way to sellout shows, and actors like Marsai Martin and Jaboukie Young-White are transforming the definition of Hollywood stardom.
These are just a handful of trailblazers joining a community of precocious leaders now 5,000 members strong that includes the likes of Spotify’s Daniel Ek, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, cosmetics entrepreneur Emily Weiss and Hollywood director Ryan Coogler.
Choosing these honorees among thousands of nominees is a long and daunting three-layer process that relies on the knowledge and authority of our wide-reaching community, skilled reporters and expert judges. This year editors worked closely with a particularly shrewd panel of judges to appraise the 20 categories, including Tory Burch (Art & Style), Wade Foster (Enterprise Technology), Bill Ackman (Finance), Lee Schrager (Food & Drink), Jim Loree (Manufacturing & Industry), Jon Huntsman (Law & Policy), Don Lemon (Media), Katrina Lake (Retail & Ecommerce), Kirsten Green (Venture Capital).
Below, we break down this year’s list.
30 Under 30 2020 By The Numbers:
The average age is 27
40% female, 59% male and 1% non-binary
65%+ are founders or cofounders
20% are immigrants from 42 countries
38% identify as first generation Americans
Raised well over $1 billion in funding
21% are based in New York, followed by San Francisco (17%), Los Angeles (12%) and Boston (6%)
They work an average of 66 hours per week
77% of honorees consider being under the age of 30 an advantage in their career
86% are optimistic about the U.S. economy for startups
Colleges producing the most list members (in order): Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, NYU, UC Berkeley, Yale University
The apps they can’t live without (in order): Google Maps, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Slack
No. 1 dream mentors (in order): Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Barack Obama