The Young Founders Shaping The Digital World Through Covid And Beyond

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During a volatile year, the 2021 Under 30 Consumer Tech listers are helping us lose weight, stay sane, heal the planet and make our homes more productive and profitable. One makes a heck of a good chicken-less chicken nugget too. In a year that has changed nearly every aspect of […]

During a volatile year, the 2021 Under 30 Consumer Tech listers are helping us lose weight, stay sane, heal the planet and make our homes more productive and profitable. One makes a heck of a good chicken-less chicken nugget too.


In a year that has changed nearly every aspect of work, business, and life, the members of the 2021 Consumer Tech Under 30 list are ensuring the change will ultimately be for the better. 

Don’t just take our word for it. For the tenth Consumer Tech Under 30 list, Forbes writers Monica Melton, Noah Kirsch, Will Yakowicz, and I combed through thousands of incredible nominees. Then our four all-star judges— Candid’s Lilla Cosgrove, Airtable’s Howie Liu, Casper’s Neil Parikh, and Khosla Ventures’ Adina Tecklu— choose the best of the best. The result: 30 brash young leaders shaking up nearly every consumer market—health, media, real estate, retail, transportation, communication, and food.

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings everything back home, some Under 30 listers are making your house more efficient—and valuable. Christelle Rohaut, 26, cofounded Codi, which lets you earn extra cash—and meet new friends—by renting spare square footage as coworking space. Joseph Woodbury, Preston Alder, and Colton Gardner pull off the same trick but for stuff. They launched Neighbor, a marketplace that turns unused areas in your attic, basement, or garage into self-storage space. It eliminates the need to build new storage facilities, and that lets hosts earn extra cash. And for the millions who have bought house plants during the pandemic, Alexi Coffey’s company Steward gives amateur gardeners data-driven advice on keeping their new green roommates growing.

Other entrepreneurs are tackling changes in how we travel. Tevon Strand-Brown transforms idle cars into revenue machines. He cofounded OXO to let you rent your wheels to gig workers at companies like Uber and DoorDash for around $50 per hour. And as the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to crowded public transportation like subway and buses, Revel cofounder Paul Suhey, 29, makes it easier to get around big cities with a network of shareable mopeds. 

The stressful days of 2020 have made health and self-care more critical than ever. To keep up your mental health, Alyssa Petersel built MyWellbeing which arranges video sessions with licensed therapists. And to fight stress-eating and shed the dreaded Covid Fifteen, there’s Wellory founder Emily Hochman. Her app helps people make healthier food choices with one-on-one nutrition coaching that shuns calorie counting and dieting. 

On the climate and sustainability front Mimi Tran Zambetti, Benjamin Stanfield, and Landon Brand created Project Wren. The website calculates your carbon footprint and allows you to offset it through donations to environmental nonprofits.

This year’s Consumer Technology featured honoree Ben Pasternak is making vegetarians, and environmentalists feel happier about Happy Meals. His startup, Simulate, makes Nuggs, a vegetarian and more sustainable version of America’s favorite Frankenfood—chicken nuggets. “They are already integrated into internet and meme culture,” Pasternak says. “It’s easy to create a fun brand around it.” He has raised more than $15 million from Lerer Hippeau, Alexis Ohanian, and McCain Foods. Pasternak continually tweaks his plant-based poultry. Nuggs has tested thousands of formulas and released nine versions to the public. Next on the menu? Veggie hot dogs.

For a link to our complete Forbes Under 30 Consumer Technology list, click here and for full 30 Under 30 coverage, click here. 

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