Born out of frustration and necessity, Forbes 30 Under 30 Consumer tech finalists are tackling a wide range of problems with cutting-edge technology.
By Rashi Shrivastava, Heather Newman and Emily Baker-White
wenty-eight-year-old Vicente Zavarce founded a food delivery app, Yummy, in Venezuela in April 2020. More than two years later the startup, has raised $84 million at a $204 million valuation, expanded to four countries with four million registered users and has started providing grocery, clothing and medicine delivery along with ridesharing. Zavarce says his Y-combinator backed super app competes with apps like Shopify and Delivery Hero.
“I hadn’t found a problem that I could put all of my knowledge and resources into solving, until I visited my home country in 2019 and realized most underserved areas of Latin America were lacking a true super app that would support users, merchants and gig economy workers,” Zavarce says.
Zavarce is one of 30 list makers on the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 Consumer Tech list, which spots and highlights young entrepreneurs making impact through consumer technology in a range of categories.
Some of these entrepreneurs have learned how to capitalize on underused spaces. Student trio Jonathon Barkl, 25, Chelsea Border, 26, and Scott Fitsimones, 25 came up with the idea for AirGarage in 2017, pitching it as a way for students to rent out driveways as parking spaces. The startup, which now uses license plate recognition software to automate users’ entry into a parking lot or garage instead of the traditional parking ticket system, has raised $16 million in venture funding and had more than a million parking rentals in 2022. In 2018 Bunim Laskin, 25, created Swimply, a platform which allows people to rent private pools by the hour. Laskin’s startup booked more than $25 million in revenue this year. Brandon Afari, 28, is the cofounder and CEO of ChargeFuze, which provides portable chargers for rent at busy locations like stadiums, theme parks and restaurants. His startup is projected to bring in $4 million in revenue this year.
Disrupting entertainment through technology, 25-year-old Caroline Spiegel’s subscription-based audio app Quinn converts romantic novels and erotica into audio clips. The Stanford dropout says she created Quinn because she was frustrated by the lack of solutions for women to deal with sexual dysfunction. On the other hand, Bobby Pinckney, 25, and Michelle Yin, 26, created their song recommendation app Discz Music as a class project. Their idea of bridging the gap between newer platforms like TikTok and older ones like Spotify went viral and Discz Music now has 40 million song saves on its app.
Other startups featured on the list are dedicated to simplifying difficult situations and problems. Mallory Greene, 29, created Toronto-based Eirene, to use technology to provide cremation services for grieving families. Greene leads an almost all-women team and aspires to revolutionize death care by making services affordable and convenient. “The act of memorializing our loved ones is expensive, burdensome and confusing,’ says Greene, who is the daughter of a funeral director. Daniel Miyares, 25, and Aanandh Chandrasekar, 26, want to connect overcapacity animal shelters to adopters and fosters through PetPair, which has 200 customers and 1.2 million in funding.
The list features 23 entrepreneurs of color and 16 women. While most young entrepreneurs who have made this list hail from New York and California, a few outliers are based in Florida, Quebec, Arizona and Oregon.
The Forbes 30 Under 30 Consumer Tech list is derived from hundreds of nominations and online submissions from a range of sources. The judges for this category were Anarghya Vardhana, a partner at consumer tech VC firm Maveron; Devon Townsend, cofounder and CEO of celebrity video sharing site Cameo and an Under 30 alumni; Shan Lyn-Ma, cofounder and CEO of wedding registry giant Zola; and Tracy Chou, cofounder and CEO of Block Party, which creates anti-harassment tools against online abuse.
This year’s list was edited by Assistant Editor Rashi Shrivastava, Senior Writer Emily Baker-White and Forbes Contributor Heather Newman. For a link to our complete Consumer Tech list, click here, and for full 30 Under 30 coverage, click here.