It’s a new year which means a new list of 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 who Forbes say we ought to keep our eye on. Making a significant impact this year, much to our enjoyment (but certainly not surprise), were startups focused on health and wellness – from activewear challengers and cold pressed juicers, to pioneers of cricket protein and sustainably sourced sandwiches.
We scoured the list of more than 600 founders and change agents across 20 categories, including Social Enterprise, Consumer Technology, and Food and Drink, to spotlight the wellness brands making headlines this year. One thing they almost all had in common? The firm attention of venture capital funds.
Tyler Haney, 27
Founder, Outdoor Voices
Building a successful activewear business is becoming more and more challenging. Haney has secured more than $8 million in venture capital to turn her minimalist, technical athleisure brand into a global challenger for the likes of lululemon and Nike. According to Forbes, she was a ‘jock’ growing up – playing all the typically male sports, and yet couldn’t shake the passion for fashion. She eventually married the two and produced her first collection during a degree program at New York’s Parsons School of Design.
Meg He, 28, Nina Faulhaber, 28
Another activewear brand to watch. They recently popped up in London’s Oxford Street Topshop, proving that ADAY is firmly planting itself on the athleisure map. He and Faulhaber, both previously with Goldman Sachs, were celebrated by Forbes as a ‘NY-based activewear startup equally focused on performance and aesthetic.’
Ashley Graham, 28
Model-Designer-Body Image Activist
The business of wellness is fundamentally about the feel good philosophy, which is everything Ashley Graham stands for. The size 14 model and activist made the cut because of her incredible success promoting self-acceptance and positive body image, and her resulting lingerie line is, as Forbes says,“proof that she’s not only changing the way women are seen but how they see themselves and shop.”
Ryan and Adam Goldston, 28
Co-founders, Athletic Propulsion Labs
These brothers launched their APL brand of patented sneakers from their dorm room. Forbes quotes revenue as being up 3,500% year on year. Not bad considering the saturation of the fitness footwear market.
Jordana Kier, 29
LOLA sells chemical and synthetic-free feminine care products via an online subscription model. Kier and her co-founder raised $1.2 million in VC backing to get the business off the ground this year.
So proud of our Co-Founder @kieroyale for being named on @forbes “30 Under 30” list! A photo posted by LOLA (@lola) on
Gagan Biyani, 28, Neeraj Berry, 28
Sprig founders Biyani and Berry have been applauded for the success of their mobile app, which also specialised in delivery of locally-sourced, sustainable and seasonal healthy meals. Founded in 2013, they raised $45 million (led by Greylock Partners) over the two years that followed.
Whitney Tingle, 29, Danielle DuBoise, 29
Co-founders, Sakara Life
Tingle and DuBoise have become pin-up girls for healthy eating in New York where they launched their meal delivery program, Sakara Life. As well as $4 million in funding to back their growth, celebrity endorsement from the likes of Gwyneth has also helped along the way.
A photo posted by Sakara Life (@sakaralifenyc) on
Ben Friedman, 29
Co-founder, Home Grown Sustainable Sandwich Shop
Sandwiches are big business as far as Friedman and his co-founder Brad Gillis are concerned – and Forbes agrees. They use carefully sourced, organic ingredients from sustainable farms and in doing so have carved out a niche for themselves in Seattle. The company has dramatic expansion plans within the U.S.
Maddy, 28, Alex, 29, Hasulak
Co-founders, Love Grown Foods
Focusing on growing demand for wheat and corn free products, Love Grown Foods have been selected by Forbes for their exceptional commitment to healthy breakfast cereals – made from beans. The Hasulaks, a power couple in their own right, have secured distribution across 11,0000 in the U.S. and Canada.
Sophie Milrom, 28
A lawyer turned healthy juice pop entrepreneur, Milrom’s Eat Pops are available in 300 stores across the U.S. and are also distributed by Amazon Fresh. She launched the business in 2014 after feeling frustrated by the lack of healthy options in the juice pop market.
Luke Saunders, 29
CEO, Farmer’s Fridge
Farmer’s Fridge makes healthy salads and snacks available via kiosks that according to Forbes, “look like vending machines”. Saunders, the 29 year old founder, is responding to demand for more fresh food options on the go and the response has been so good that he is now expanding across the U.S.
Annie Lawless, 28
Co-founder, Suja Juice
It’s another saturated market, but Lawless was early to the game. Suja, which was founded in 2012, is now valued at $300 million with Coca-Cola holding a 30% stake, and Goldman Sachs buying out a 20% stake for $60 million. Suja, Lawless told Forbes, has capitalised on “the mainstreaming of the health and wellness sectors.”
there are no words 🙊🙈 can’t thank @forbes magazine enough for including me in this years incredibly awesome #forbes30under30 list!! I’m so grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve experienced this past year and can’t wait to create, build, and grow in completely new ways in 2016!! 🍾🎉❤️ A photo posted by Annie Lawless (@annielawless_) on
Greg Sewitz, 24, Gabi Lewis, 25
Cricket protein-focused startups were a focus in this year’s 30 under 30, and EXO founders Sewitz and Lewis were in the spotlight for their forward-thinking range of protein bars. They claim that cricket protein is healthy and sustainable and as such have secured $1.6 million in funding.
Rose Wang, 24, Laura D’Asaro, 25
Co-founders, Six Foods
Also built on cricket protein, Six Foods founders Wang and D’Asaro have launched Chirps – chips made from crickets, in a bid to challenge the market for tortilla chips. Their success with these and other interesting health foods have seen them achieve significant growth in sales.