Many youngsters from across the world have proven that you are never too young to innovate and enter the world of entrepreneurship to earn millions of dollars. Generation Z is changing the world through its innovations and modernism. Many such innovative youngsters have been honored by Forbes in its honoree 30 under 30 lists. A sizeable portion of the 30 under 30 lists is filled by Gen Z proving that they are not going to wait until they finish college to make an impact on the world.
These youngsters have defied the assumption that you have to wait until your 20s to make your mark on the world. Forbes 30 under 30 is brimming with names of young entrepreneurs, athletes, and performers who are shattering ideas of what it means to be a teenager or in some cases a record-breaker preteen.
At this age, you still have time to improve your skills and these young entrepreneurs have proven that this generation is ready to compete with their older counterparts and the cycle of innovation will not stop when people like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk decided to retire.
The resident of Redmond, Washington, Henry Burner was 14 years old when he was added to the Honoree list of 30 under 30 in 2018. Burner started Buttonsmith, Inc. as his fourth-grade school project on trading in 2013. Back then he made pinback buttons to sell to his classmates and later on moved to sell them to local farmers' market during his summer vacation. In 2014 Burner moved his business online to attract more customers using Amazon and his product website. With time, the product catalog of Burner grew and now also included products such as buttons, magnets, lanyards, fixed-top badge reels, and his new products including Tinker Reels and badge reels with swappable tops. By this time a teenage boy had nine adult employees working for him.
Gabriel Mesa was 17 years old when he was included in Forbes Honoree's list of 30 under 30. Mesa is a resident of Canton, Connecticut, and was included in the Forbes list in 2017. Tinkering in his kitchen, Mesa developed a movement-powered gadget including a carbon backup battery and an insole that uses wearer-generated electricity to treat nerve damage affecting 70% of diabetics. This innovation of Mesa was inspired by piezoelectrics. This 17-year-old boy was able to innovate the motion-powered Carbon battery as well as piezo-powered diabetic neuropathy treatment called Stimuped. Mesa was a high school junior when he was recognized by Forbes and was commercializing his invention at the time.
Annie Ostojic was 15 years old in 2018 when she was added to the Forbes Honoree list of 30 under 30. She was a high school student when she invented a better microwave oven and a system to collect solar power from indoor light and use it to charge batteries that could be used to power electric appliances. She also had the honor to meet former President Barak Obama twice who appreciated her innovative skills. Ostojic is currently studying electrical engineering at Stanford University and has also worked with several leading organizations. Work experience of Ostojic includes working with Arrow Electronics, Operational Test and Evaluation in the Department of Defense, Pentagon, and the Center for Implantable Devices at Purdue University. Now she is exploring her entrepreneurial skills focusing on a startup. She started winning national and international recognition at the age of nine when she was studying in Frank Hammond Elementary School. In 2018 she was the youngest to make it to Forbes 30 under 30 energy category and 3rd youngest for the year.
An up-and-comer not yet on the Forbes 30 under 30 List is Rhiannon Black, 17 year old founder of Airflowy, a tech company that creates innovative respiratory health solutions for people with chronic lung diseases. Black founded the company in 2019 when she was only 15 years old, after personally seeing the need to bring this pocket spirometer to market to enable parents and kids to better manage their respiratory wellbeing. With college on the horizon, the sky is the limit as to where her journey will take her, but I wouldn't be surprised to see her find a spot on the Forbes list sometime soon.
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