Need a little inspiration? Check out what these 10 badass entrepreneurs have been up to:
Ammin Youssouf and Haweya Mohamed
Afrobytes was founded in 2015 by Somali-born entrepreneur Haweya Mohamed and Comoros-born Ammin Youssouf. They noticed that there was a lack of resources and answers for African entrepreneurs and innovators, so they wanted to help build up and connect that community so they could get their queries addressed and help business owners and hopeful entrepreneurs gather the knowledge they needed to run a successful venture. Afrobytes is a technology conference that is driven by the ultimate goal of extending the marketplace for African technologies.
Wojcicki co-founded 23andMe in 2006 with the goal of helping the layperson access, understand, and benefit from DNA testing by empowering them with direct access to valuable genetic information. 23andMe is the only FDA-authorized personal genetic test qualified to deliver health information directly to consumers. 23andMe has been able to crowdsource a ton of data on the human genome, volunteered by users of the service, making them the world’s largest resource for genetic research.
Baiju Bhatt and his roommate Vladimir Tenev thought up the idea for a stock-trading mobile app following the Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011. They named the app Robinhood and launched it in 2014. The app makes trading affordable and accessible, which is a huge draw for younger users in their mid-to-late 20’s. More recently, they launched Robinhood Instant, a feature that will front users $1,000 to trade while waiting for deposits to settle.
Daniela Perdomo founded goTenna in 2012 with a vision to make communication more easily accessible and reliable. goTenna is a mobile mesh network that advances universal access to communications infrastructure by building decentralized networks. Its specialized hardware pairs with regular smartphones to provide access to a long-range, mobile mesh network that is completely independent from traditional communications networks. Now, over 49 countries utilize goTenna to close connectivity gaps across the globe.
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. Everyone knows who Elon Musk is, and if you don’t, you need to get acquainted! Musk is not only one of the most popular entrepreneurs to-date, but one of the most innovative as well. He is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, who’s mission is to rapidly thrust the world into a sustainable energy future. He is also the co-founder, CEO, and lead designer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he oversees development and manufacturing of rockets and spacecrafts. He is determined to create a self-sustaining city on Mars.
In addition to his main two companies, he is also CEO of Neuralink, which develops ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers. He has founded The Boring Company as well, which aims to evolve and popularize all-electric, high-speed, long-distance travel by way of affordable tunneling technology. And finally, Musk co-founded (and has since sold) PayPal, known widely as one of the world’s leading digital payment systems. What hasn’t this man accomplished?!
Organization: World Central Kitchen
Andrés believes that food has the power to change the world, which was the driving force behind World Central Kitchen. He realized he had the potential to help after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017. He spent $10,000 of his own money purchasing a kitchen on the island and investing in supplies and volunteers. Andrés and volunteers were able to serve 1,000 meals on the first day of opening, after which he received funding in the form of private donations and government funding from FEMA to make 150,000 meals per day out of 26 kitchens across the island.
Rose Macario is the CEO of Patagonia, a company that values activism and doing their part in creating a more sustainable future. Their mission statement is “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” They are dedicated to creating sustainable clothing, and even sued the Trump administration over the reduction of two national monuments. As for the business itself, Patagonia speaks out against the wastefulness of fast fashion by creating high-quality, long-lasting products, and even offers a repair and reuse program. They even go as far as telling customers not to buy too many of their products to reduce waste — you’d be hard pressed to find a company telling consumers not to buy their stuff!
Russel Ladson is a creative technologist who wants to enrich human-to-human experience through experimental concepts around information discovery in a world which has been embracing VR and AR technology. He founded Drop Software Inc. which provides an immersive Internet browsing experience, tailored specifically for virtual reality users.
Tammy Sun created Carrot out of the realization that there was little to no healthcare coverage for fertilization treatments. Carrot has raised over $3.6 million in seed money to provide fertility care to anyone and everyone, regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, etc. It offers layers of customization so that companies can design a plan that works with their stage of growth, team size, and business goals.
Whitney Wolfe founded Bumble, a dating app that puts the power in the hands of women by allowing them to be the ones to message men first. This prevents women from being bombarded by unwanted, uncomfortable attention by allowing them to be selective of who is able to message them. Bumble has now become one of the most popular dating apps out there, and has expanded to include services outside of dating, such as finding new friends and professional networking.