Every year, Forbes puts together a comprehensive list of the brightest entrepreneurs, leaders, and stars in different industries. The 30 under 30 program was started in 2011 and celebrated a decade of existence this year. Categories such as healthcare, media, education, and of course finance, highlight the list, but with 20 categories overall, there is a wide variety of everything that young people have made a splash in.
The “Class of 2022” has raised over $1 billion in funding, and the average age is 28.2, with the youngest being only 14 years old (Jalyn Hall). The vast majority (70%) who made the list this year were founders or co-founders of companies, and many more have leading innovations that will create companies in the future.
Finance has made an especially big impact this past year and the 2022 list has some impressive accomplishments. Here are 5 of the most ground-breaking people and their accomplishments:
1) Philip Ndikum
Ndikum is using his expertise from his master’s degree at University of Manchester and postgraduate degree in financial strategy with machine learning research at Oxford to fuel his young and impressive career. A young applied mathematician who served as a Postgraduate Visiting Lecturer at the University of Oxford in addition to working as a quantitative strategist at HSBC building AI-powered risk and liquidity models is an impressive resume in of itself.
But it’s his “side job” that landed him the unique distinction this year. Ndikum is developing a stealth fintech startup that is aiming to improve the processing of financial transactions in Africa, a huge, mostly unexplored financial market.
2) Julia Sohajda
Sohajda studied at the University of Southern California and went on to work at a VC firm in California before returning to Hungary and setting off on her own journey. In 2019, Sohajda teamed up with Peter Macher to cofound Hungarian VC firm Vespucci Partners. Vespucci closed its first fund at $45 million and is now raising its second fund, targeted at $120 million. Their impressive list of portfolio companies includes automation software startup Transcend that went on to raise $10 million in their Series A round.
3) Scott Kazmierowicz Age 25
Michael Spelfoger Age 25
In 2019, Kazmierowicz and Spelfoger created Cardless, a software that lets brands launch their own credit cards. After working jobs in investment banking and credit card research, they saw the need for catering to mid-sized brands that wanted to release their own credit cards. Cardless has raised more than $50 million and some of their high profile clients include the Boston Celtics and Manchester United. The company is valued at $315 million.
4) Ambika Acharya
Acharya co-founded Weav in early 2020 and sold it only a year and a half later to Brex for $50 million. Weav is a fintech startup that aggregates sales data for businesses of all sizes by connecting with commerce platforms and accessing their customers' standardized transactions data in real time. Ironically, Brex was Weav’s first customer, using it to power its instant payouts feature before they bought the platform outright. Now at Brex, Acharya is working on bringing Weav’s ecommerce data to more of Brex’s products.
5) Marco Cancellieri
After dropping out of university in Munich in 2015, Cancellieri set out to co-found commission-free investing app Trade Republic with Christian Hecker and Thomas Pischke, who he had met at a hackathon a few months earlier. The German-Italian entrepreneur wanted to create Europe’s version of Robinhood, who’s co-founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt themselves were on the 30 under 30 list in 2016.
Trade Republic raised a $900 million Series C round at a $5.3 billion valuation and has more than 1 million customers. Cancellieri’s software development skills was crucial in building the company’s app, and he currently serves as the Head of Mobile for the company that manages $6.5 billion in assets.
The changing world of finance
Great companies are investing in their finance departments and data integrity, as this plays a huge role in the fast changing market trends and global disruptions. Scenario planning and forecasting are increasingly important as companies need to prepare for the future and invest in digitization. Young entrepreneurs are contributing greatly to the world of finance.