The Business Report is pleased to announce The Top 50 Entrepreneurs of 2023. These remarkable individuals are being recognized for the significant impact they have had on our economy, business industries, and way of life. They are innovators, forging their own paths by introducing groundbreaking ideas and establishing businesses that created entirely new categories, or in some cases, industries. This year’s list of awardees highlights those bold visionaries who took the risk to develop new products and/or services many of us now know and love and who, through hard work and sacrifice, manifested into large organizations that employ thousands of people.
Odysseas Tsalos is revolutionizing the job market with Upwork, a freelancing platform helping small businesses around the world find and work with talent around the world. Bernard Tse, the founder of Lucid Motors, is helping to advance the automotive industry by producing high-end electric cars. Meanwhile, April Koh is leveraging AI to improve the mental health industry by partnering with employers to deliver high-quality, convenient mental care to employees.
These individuals are shaping our world into a better place. Their pursuit of innovation and their ability to identify new opportunities have enabled them to find solutions to pressing global challenges. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Entrepreneurs of 2023.
1. Odysseas Tsatalos
Odysseas Tsatalos, the Founder and CTO of Upwork, has helped revolutionize the professional landscape. Since its establishment in 2003, Upwork has become the world's premier work marketplace, connecting companies with skilled professionals across various industries. With a focus on trust and unlocking potential, Upwork's talent community earned over $3.3 billion in 2021, across 10,000+ skills.
Prior to Upwork, Tsatalos founded and served as CTO at ezhome and Intacct, where he oversaw the development of all phases of the Intacct web-based enterprise accounting system. He was also a co-founder and CTO at BroadQuest, where he led the company’s transformation from an enterprise software contractor into a B2B infrastructure enabler.
Tsatalos also served as a research staff member at IBM Almaden Research Center Odysseas. He received hisPh.D. and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds a diploma in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece.
2. Roee Lotan
Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director, Any Studios
Roee Lotan is the Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director of Any Studios. He is a leader in the field of design with over 15 years of experience. He began his career in 2008, working as the head of the interactive department at David Haliva Visual Communication. Subsequently, Lotan co-founded GR8 and later founded Ro&Co - Design and Innovation, serving as creative director for both ventures.
Lotan's passion for innovation led him to co-found Any Studios in 2016, where he leads a team of talented designers dedicated to creating exceptional digital experiences that elevate brands. He believes that design is the key to unlocking a brand's full potential in the digital landscape.
Lotan has an undergraduate degree in interactive design from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, giving him a strong foundation in art, design, and technology.
3. Steve Ichinaga
President & Founder, Hyve Solutions
Steve Ichinaga is the President and Founder of Hyve Solutions, a globally renowned organization specializing in the design and deployment of hyper-scale digital infrastructures.
Mr. Ichinaga's career in the storage market commenced in 2009, as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of SYNNEX's System Integration Division. He recognized the escalating demand for custom servers in large-scale companies and assembled a team to address the unique requirements of this niche sector. Under his guidance, the group's custom hyper-scale server business grew, which was largely attributed to the strategic partnership forged between SYNNEX and Facebook. The collaboration also played a role in the inception of the Open Compute Project. Consequently, SYNNEX became the world's first OCP Solutions Provider.
In 2011, Steve Ichinaga officially founded Hyve Solutions as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SYNNEX Corporation. He propelled the company to the forefront of the industry, establishing it as a leading force in the design and worldwide deployment of hyper-scale digital infrastructures.
Steve Ichinaga's educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis.
4. Thomas Vellios
Founder and CEO, Five Below
Thomas Vellios is the co-founder of Five Below. He assumed the position of Chairman in June 2018, after serving as the company's Executive Chairman since February 2015. His association with Five Below dates back to its incorporation in 2002 when he became one of their directors. Prior to his executive role, Mr. Vellios held the position of Chief Executive Officer from 2002 until January 2015, during which he helped shape the company's growth and success.
Before his time at Five Below, Mr. Vellios served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and director of Zany Brainy, Inc. Additionally, he held the position of Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager at Caldor, a division of the May Company.
Mr. Vellios has over 25 years of experience in the specialty, department store, and discount retail industry. His profound understanding of retail business management, operations, and finance, combined with his knowledge of the company as a founder, make him a valuable asset to Five Below.
5. Bernard Tse
Co-Founder, Lucid Motors
Bernard Tse is the Founder and CEO of Lucid Motors, an electric vehicle company that aims to surpass perceived limitations of space, performance, and intelligence. Established in 2007, Lucid Motors is headquartered in Newark, California.
Tse's professional journey began in 1981 as the CEO of Wyse Technology. He later held positions at Lumina Office Products before becoming a VP and board member at Tesla Motors. Tse was on Tesla’s board from 2003 to 2007, where he headed the company’s energy division.
Tse holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Under Tse's leadership, Lucid Motors is revolutionizing the automotive industry, introducing electric cars designed to enhance the human experience. With a focus on innovation, Lucid Motors seeks to redefine how people travel.
6. Noubar Afeyan
Founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering
Noubar Afeyan is an entrepreneur and inventor known for his contributions to biotechnology and technology startups. As the founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, a company established in 2000, he leads an enterprise dedicated to addressing crucial challenges in human health and sustainability. Noubar also served as the co-founder and Board Chairman of renowned companies such as Moderna, Omega Therapeutics, Generate Biomedicines, Tessera Therapeutics, Alltrna, Apriori Bio, and ProFound Therapeutics. He was also part of successful ventures like Chemgenics Pharmaceuticals, Color Kinetics, Adnexus Therapeutics, and Affinnova.
Prior to founding Flagship Pioneering, Noubar was the CEO and founder of PerSeptive Biosystems, a bio-instrumentation company with an annual revenue of $100 million. Subsequently, he became the Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Applera, contributing to the creation of Celera Genomics.
Noubar has a doctorate in biochemical engineering from MIT. He has authored numerous publications and holds over 100 patents. Noubar also served as a senior lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management from 2000 to 2016 and as a lecturer at Harvard Business School until 2020.
7. Kyle Vogt
CEO and Co-Founder, Cruise
Kyle Vogt, an American businessman and technology enthusiast, is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Technology Officer of Cruise Automation, a leading developer of self-driving car technology. Founded in 2013, Cruise operates as an independent subsidiary of General Motors since its acquisition in 2016. Vogt, alongside Co-Founder Dan Kan, is the youngest senior director at GM. Their accomplishments earned them the seventh spot on Fortune's influential 40 Under 40 List in 2016.
Raised in Kansas City, Vogt's fascination with autonomous driving began in his teenage years. He attended public schools in Olathe and Shawnee Mission, ultimately graduating from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in 2004. Pursuing his interest in technology, he studied computer science and electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT, Vogt participated in the 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge, an event that catalyzed the development of self-driving car technology. He also interned at iRobot, the makers of Roomba, and competed in BattleBots.
After MIT, Vogt joined a team that would later establish Justin.tv and Twitch. At Justin.tv, he designed camera systems for live streaming. He also co-founded Socialcam, which was later acquired for $60 million. Subsequently, Twitch was acquired by Amazon for $970 million.
In 2013, Vogt redirected his focus toward autonomous vehicles, founding Cruise Automation. The company participated in the startup accelerator Y Combinator and was eventually acquired by General Motors for over $1 billion in 2016. Following the departure of Cruise CEO Dan Ammann, Vogt assumed the role of CEO, while retaining his titles as CTO and President.
8. Perci Pietro
Founder & CEO, OWN
Perci Pietro is the Chairman and CEO of OWN Realty and OWN Financial, a company based in Miami, Florida. He established One World Network (OWN) to connect global real estate brokerage brands for referrals and synergy. This unique global partnership network enables collaboration between OWN and numerous real estate firms worldwide, irrespective of size or brand, providing a broad reach and an inclusive platform.
With a focus on serving leaders in business, dignitaries, and diplomats globally, Pietro offers consultation services, lending his unique perspective to his clients.
Pietro holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration, specializing in international management, from Lynn University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Wright State University.
9. Judson Ivy
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ensemble Health Partners
Judson Ivy is the Founder, President, and CEO of Ensemble Health Partners. He founded Ensemble in 2014. Under his leadership, the organization earned industry recognition, including three consecutive Best in KLAS awards for revenue cycle outsourcing.
Prior to Ensemble, Judson spent nearly 15 years as a revenue cycle executive in prominent hospital corporations like Health Management Associates and Community Health Systems.
Judson co-authored "Cataract Surgery for the Revenue Cycle" and is actively involved in associations such as HFMA and ACHE. He has shared his insights through podcasts, panels, and articles for various publications. Currently, he serves as a Venture Partner for Caduceus Capital Partners.
Judson holds a BA from Drexel University and an MBA from DeSales University. He resides in Naples, Florida, where he enjoys family time, traveling, and giving back to the community.
10. Dylan Field
CEO & Co-Founder, Figma
Dylan Field is the Co-Founder of Figma, a design software that allows designers and their collaborators to work together in a web browser. Field founded the company in 2012, with Evan Wallace.
Figma is more than a design tool. It helps streamline the design processes, enabling product teams to craft, evaluate, and implement designs efficiently. With integrated features, Figma encourages collaboration, simplifies workflow management, and breaks geographical barriers, benefiting organizations like Airbnb, Slack, and Microsoft.
Field's academic background includes a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Brown University, where he met co-founder Evan Wallace.
11. Richard Eisner
Founding Partner, EisnerAmper
Richard Dick has an impressive career spanning over four decades. He is a Founding Partner and Managing Partner of Eisner LLP for 44 years. In 2008, Eisner LLP transformed and became EisnerAmper, now recognized as one of the largest accounting firms in the nation, boasting nearly 1,200 employees and 180 partners.
Richard Dick's educational background includes a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He also actively contributes to various organizations and serves on prestigious boards. Currently, he holds positions on the Boards of the Columbia School of Public Health and the Fortune Society.
Throughout his career, Dick has been extensively involved in philanthropic endeavors and served on numerous boards, including the Horace Mann School, where he chaired the board from 1978 to 1990, and now holds an Honorary Board Membership. He has also served organizations such as Rodeph Shalom, the National Humanities Center, Jewish Funds for Justice, UJA-Federation of New York, the Anti-Defamation League, Road Runners Foundation, and the Visiting Committee of the New School for Social Research.
12. Steve Huffman
Co-Founder and CEO, Reddit
Steve Huffman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Reddit, an online platform that hosts a network of communities where people talk about their interests, hobbies, and passions. Huffman, along with co-founder Alexis Ohanian, sold the company to Condé Nast for $20 million on October 31, 2006. He stepped down as CEO of Reddit in 2009 but was rehired in 2015 following the resignation of Ellen Pao.
Huffman started his professional career in 2001. He co-founded Hipmunk, where he served as the Chief Technology Officer. Before Hipmunk, Huffman worked as a software engineer at Image Matters, LLC.
Huffman grew up in Warrenton, Virginia. In 2021, he graduated from Wakefield School in Plain Virginia. In 2005, he got his undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Virginia.
13. Rick Smith
CEO & Founder, Axon
Rick Smith is the founder and CEO of Axon Enterprise. He founded the company in 1993 in a Tucson garage after two of his friends were shot and killed. It was originally known as TASER International, which has made the body camera industry what it is today. Axon's mission is to protect life and make bullets obsolete.
Rick has dedicated his life to serving and protecting communities, with the help of public safety organizations. Under his leadership, Axon helped build the world’s leading digital evidence management platform, Evidence.com.
In 2019, Rick published "The End of Killing," which challenged conventional wisdom and argued that killing is a technology problem. In the book, he offers a roadmap to solve it. He is a dynamic and inspirational leader who continues to push Axon and society to rethink problems and strive for life-saving outcomes.
Rick's educational background includes a B.S. Cum Laude in Neuroscience from Harvard University, a Master's in International Finance from the University of Leuven in Belgium, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
14. Dale Gross
Founder, Chef Works
Dale Gross is the Founder of Chef Works, a leading restaurant apparel company established in 1993. The company manufactures and distributes culinary uniforms in over 80 countries and generates over $120 million in sales annually.
Chef Works is primarily run by the Gross family. It started when the family migrated to the United States from South Africa in the early 1990s. Brothers, Dale and Neil Gross, noticed the market was underserved, lacking creativity and style. The family came together and started procuring small shipments of chef coats and selling them. Chefs Works' vision is to provide the culinary industry with apparel that was comfortable, fashionable, and efficient.
Gross has an undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of South Africa/Universiteit van Suid-Afrika.
15. Shai Wininger
Co-Founder and Co-CEO , Lemonade
Shai Wininger is the Co-CEO of Lemonade. He has served various roles in the company since June 2015, serving as Co-Founder, President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and a member of the board of directors. Before co-founding Lemonade, Wininger established Fiverr Ltd. in 2009, where he held the position of Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the engineering, design, and product departments.
Prior to his involvement with Fiverr, Wininger held senior management positions in several companies. From 2005 to 2010, he worked with Mobideo Aerospace, an industrial-grade analytics and control platform. From 2003 and 2005, he was part of Handsmart Software, a mobile licensing platform specializing in content-driven mobile apps. From 1999 to 2003, he was with Trimus Inc., a pioneering virtual reality web browser.
Wininger also served as a resident faculty member of Computer Graphics at The Neri Bloomfield Academy of Design and Education from 2002 to 2007 in Haifa, Israel.
16. Jonathan Sandelman
Founder, Executive Chairman, and Director, AYR Wellness
Jonathan Sandelman is the chairman and CEO of Ayr Wellness, a vertically-integrated U.S. multi-state cannabis operator focused on delivering high-quality cannabis products across all of its dispensaries. He is a banking and finance veteran with 30 years of experience generating shareholder revenue. He previously served as the president of Bank of America Securities, building its capital markets businesses through the early 2000s and growing the company beyond its roots as a consumer and corporate lender. He later founded and led his own multi-billion dollar asset management firm, Sandelman Partners. In addition to his role at Ayr, Jon manages his privately held family office, Mercer Park LP.
Jon recognized that the cannabis sector has the potential to be the next major industry of our time and that led him to found Ayr Wellness, building it up from the first cannabis SPAC to one of the top U.S. multi-state operators in just two years. His success stems from his investment in Ayr’s employees, customers, and communities, as well as his strong philosophy around the company’s disciplined approach to capital and expansion. As Ayr continues to grow, Jon envisions the company leading the cannabis sector in profitability, governance, and transparency, all beginning with the highest quality products.
17. Travis Sessions
Founder & CEO, Biomerics
Travis Sessions is the Founder and CEO of Biomerics LLC and the Managing Partner of MedVenture Health LLC. With more than 25 years of business management experience, he has held key leadership positions at Microsoft, Dow Chemical Co., and Parker Hannifin Corp.
He is an expert in business development, new product development, and plastics operations, and has served various industry boards and organizations including BioUtah, Salt Lake City’s Lifescience Angels, Brigham Young University’s Chemical Engineering Department Industry Board, and many other private educational organizations.
Travis Sessions has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
18. Adam Boehler
Founder, Landmark Health
Adam Boehler is a leader in the healthcare industry. He founded and served as CEO of Landmark Health, a healthcare company delivering around-the-clock medical care to chronically ill patients in their homes. During his tenure, the company grew to become one of the largest home-based medical groups in the United States, operating across more than 20 locations and managing over 80,000 chronic patients.
Adam was previously an Operating Partner at Francisco Partners, a global private equity firm that focuses on healthcare technology and services. In addition, he founded and served as Chairman of Avalon Health Solutions, a leading provider of laboratory benefit management services. Prior to that, Adam was the Founder and CEO of Accumen, a prominent provider of comprehensive laboratory management services to health systems. He also worked as a Principal at Accretive, LLC, where he handled healthcare investments. Lastly, he served as an Executive Vice President and General Manager at MedeAnalytics, a leading provider of healthcare analytics.
Adam Boehler graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
19. Palak Shah
Co-Founder and Head of Clinical Services, Luna Physical Therapy
Palak Shah is a healthcare leader with over 15 years of experience as a physical therapist and holds a board certification as an orthopedic specialist. She is the co-founder and Head of Clinical Services at Luna Physical Therapy, a leading provider of in-home, outpatient physical therapy services.
Palak started as an outpatient physical therapist. She later obtained an Orthopedic specialization from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists in 2014. She spent four years as a senior physical therapist at Standford Hospital, treating complex musculoskeletal conditions while also co-lecturing at the Stanford PT residency program. She has worked at Standford Health Care, Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN), and the Regional Medical Center of San Jose.
Palak has a Master of Science in Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Sciences from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.
20. Norm Charney
Founder and Managing Director, Stealth Monitoring
Norm Charney is the Founder and Managing Director of Stealth, a leading provider of live video monitoring solutions. Prior to Stealth, Charney’s first success came in 1981 when he purchased Athletic Supply of Dallas, a sporting goods company that he later sold in 1995. He then established ASD Systems, a logistics company shipping 100,000 packages daily. When he made the company public, he raised over $60 million. He retired in 2001 and began consulting and business brokerage.
Following his retirement, Norm founded Stealth Monitoring Inc. in 2006 with his two sons. The business has grown significantly since then and is now rolling out a national footprint, offering a proactive service to reduce crime through monitoring efforts.
21. Nishant Shah
Founder & CEO, Group Bayport
Nishant Shah is the Founder and CEO of Group Bayport, one of the world’s largest B2B, B2B2C, and D2C platforms for custom printing products. The company operates in three categories: signage and displays, covers and tarps, and home decor and apparel. Group Bayport conducts business in six countries and employs 1,450 people.
Shah's professional career started in 2007 when he founded Steam Force Car Wash LLC. But it wasn’t until 2010 that Shah ventured into the printing business where he founded Banner Buzz, selling banners to other car wash businesses. He later realized he could sell more than just banners.
Shah has a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in project management from Penn State University. He also has a Master of Science in construction management from Georgia Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in engineering from L.D. College of Engineering.
22. Judd Zebersky
CEO and Founder, Jazwares
Judd is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jazwares. In 1997, he left his legal practice to fulfill his dream of building a toy company. Since launching Jazwares more than 25 years ago, Judd’s vision has helped the company grow into a leading global powerhouse with an award-winning, portfolio of wholly owned and licensed brands in the toy and consumer products industry. Jazwares, now a Berkshire Hathaway company, celebrates imaginative play with a progressive focus on identifying new and relevant trends to transform into high-quality products for consumers of all ages.
Judd is extremely passionate about giving back and created Jazwares Cares, the philanthropic arm of the organization, from the start of the company. Through Jazwares Cares, the company has donated millions of toys and carried out a number of initiatives to support the health, well-being, and educational development of all children through play.
Judd has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
23. Alan Handley
Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, LRS
Alan T. Handley is a leader in the Waste and Environmental Services industry and President and Chief Executive Officer of Rosemont, Ill.-based LRS (formerly known as Lakeshore Recycling Systems), one of America’s leading waste diversion, recycling, and portable service providers. He has been with LRS since its founding in 2013.
During his tenure, Alan has scaled LRS revenues from $48 million with 120 employees in 2013, to nearly $600 million in revenue with more than 2,500 employees in 2022. In addition to orchestrating organic growth well in excess of 60%, Alan also successfully executed a total of 60 strategic industry acquisitions since 2015. He sets the vision, pace, and passion at LRS, introducing new technologies and innovations in waste and recycling. LRS today operates 85 facilities across eleven Midwestern states, bringing needed competition to waste and recycling markets.
Prior to LRS, Alan served as Executive Vice President and CFO at Aldridge Electric, a leading electrical contractor focused on complex critical infrastructure projects. Other leadership positions included Managing Director at KPMG, Heller Financial, Price Waterhouse, and the United States Marine Corps.
Alan holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he later served as an adjunct professor and a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University (NIU).
24. Rick Kinning
Founder, President, CEO & Chairman, RK
Rick L. Kinning is the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of RK Mechanical, Inc., now doing business as RK Industries, LLC. RK is a Colorado-based diversified construction, manufacturing, and building services company working regionally, nationally, and internationally. Currently employing approximately 1,500 team members, RK is recognized as one of Colorado's top 5 family-owned businesses. RK is one of the largest regional specialty contractors with revenues in excess of $ 360 million.
RK currently maintains three facilities in the metropolitan Denver area totaling 350,000 SF of office and fabrication/manufacturing on 30 acres. The company has offices in Colorado Springs, CO, Vail, CO, and Salt Lake City, UT.
Rick's entire career has been with RK Mechanical, Inc. and associated companies. He is passionate about growing and diversifying his businesses and providing opportunities to team members of the companies associated with RK Industries, LLC. This passion was recognized in June 2017 when EY (Ernst & Young) awarded Rick the "Entrepreneur of the Year" award for the "Family Business" category representing the Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico regions.
25. Jaydip Dattaray
Founder & CEO, Sunknowledge Services
Prior to founding Sunknowledge Services Inc. in 2007, Jaydip Dattaray served as a chief engineer, the Director of Technology Services, the Managing Director, and the Chief Technical Officer with various organizations.
Jaydip’s current role as the CEO of Sunknowledge Services Inc. gives him the unique opportunity to put to practice his natural leadership skills, pursuit of excellence, and years of experience. Within the organization, he keeps himself actively involved in taking decisions about corporate policies and strategies, advising his Board of Directors, and overseeing various aspects of his business and operations.
Jaydip holds a degree in computer science from Mississippi State University, a graduate-level coursework in Portfolio Management under the Department of Financial Engineering from Columbia University, and an MBA from Indiana University - Kelley School of Business.
26. George McNamee
Co-Founder & Chairman, Plug Power
George C. McNamee has served as Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors since 1997. He has a background in finance and technology and previously held the position of Chairman at First Albany Companies Inc. and was a Managing Partner at FA Tech Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in information and energy technology.
As a seasoned executive and director, Mr. McNamee served in numerous companies. He has chaired audit committees, led board special committees, and served as a lead director for multiple boards. His directorial positions have included Mechanical Technology Inc. and the Home Shopping Network. Additionally, Mr. McNamee has been an early-stage investor, director, and mentor for private companies that later went public, such as MapInfo (now Pitney Bowes), META Group (now Gartner Group), and iRobot Corporation, where he served as a director and later as lead director for 11 years.
Beyond his business endeavors, Mr. McNamee has made significant contributions to various civic organizations. He has served as a director or trustee for institutions such as The Albany Academies and Albany Medical Center, where he chaired the Finance Committee for 12 years. Mr. McNamee's involvement also extends to being a Trustee of The American Friends of Eton College and a Sterling Fellow of Yale University.
27. Kun Gao
Kun Gao has made significant contributions in the fields of media, technology, and gaming. He is the co-founder and COO of GGWP, an AI system that tracks and fights in-game toxicity, allowing developers to address every incoming report with fixed automated responses. With a deep understanding of the industry, Kun is dedicated to creating a safer and more inclusive gaming environment for players worldwide.
Prior to his role at GGWP, Kun served as the CEO of Crunchyroll, the world's largest platform for anime and manga. He helped transform Crunchyroll into a prominent destination for enthusiasts of Japanese animation and comics. Kun's expertise in consumer media spans 15 years, during which he played key roles in various ventures. He was the founder of Frappr, a social mapping service, and also contributed to product and engineering at Slide and HOTorNOT.
Kun's academic background includes graduating with honors from UC Berkeley, where he earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as well as a B.A. in Applied Mathematics in 2004. Additionally, he pursued a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
28. Tom Shannon
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bowlero Corporation
Tom Shannon is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bowlero Corporation, a prominent US-based operator of bowling centers and entertainment venues. Established in 2013, it has become a leading chain, known for its modern approach to bowling. Brands under Bowlero include Bowlero, Bowlmor Lanes, AMF, and Brunswick Zone. With stylish decor, advanced technology, and immersive experiences, Bowlero's facilities stand out. The company offers more than just bowling, incorporating arcade games, billiards, and laser tag. Bowlero has successfully reimagined the traditional bowling alley, providing a fun and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.
Shannon attained an MBA in general management from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and a bachelor's degree in international relations from American University.
29. Daniel Perez
Co-Founder & CEO, Hinge Health
Daniel Perez is, the CEO and Co-Founder of Hinge Health, a company established in 2011 with the goal of connecting academia and industry and making high-quality musculoskeletal (MSK) care accessible to everyone. Daniel has a history of MSK injuries after breaking several of his bones in a bike accident. He underwent surgery and completed 12 months of physical rehabilitation. This experience is what inspired him to start Hinge Health.
Hinge Health combines advanced wearable technology with comprehensive clinical care, providing an all-encompassing solution for patients. By seamlessly integrating the latest innovations and medical expertise, Hinge Health aims to transform the lives of millions around the world.
Under Daniel’s leadership, Hinge Health has been highly successful, raising over $1 billion to date. Today, Hinge Health is the world’s #1 and most complete Digital Musculoskeletal Clinic. It currently partners with 300 health plan, employer, and public sector customers, including Boeing, US Foods, and Salesforce.
Daniel Perez has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Westminster College and a DPhil (Ph.D.) in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford.
30. Caryn Seidman-Becker
Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CLEAR
Caryn Seidman-Becker is the co-founder and CEO of CLEAR, a secure identity platform that uses biometrics to make identification for security checkpoints easier. In 2010, alongside co-founder Ken Cornick, Caryn started CLEAR with a vision for a future that was both safe and frictionless. Under her leadership, CLEAR has grown, generating $230 million in 2020 revenues from subscribers. Their technology can be found in 38 airports and 26 venues nationwide.
Caryn started her career as an Assistant Vice President to Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder from 1994 to 1997. She was the Managing Director at Iridian Asset Management from 1997 to 2002. Subsequently, she founded Arience Capital, an asset management firm, before starting CLEAR. She is currently a Board Member of Young Women’s Leadership Network, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and The Home Depot. Caryn Seidman-Becker holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
31. Kenny Dichter
Founder and CEO, Wheels Up
Kenny Dichter is the Founder of Wheels Up and served as CEO and Chairman since its inception in 2013. In 2021, Wheels Up became the first publicly traded on-demand private aviation company on the New York Stock Exchange. Through its innovative membership model and digital platform, Wheels Up has increased the accessibility of private air travel for millions of consumers. In 2020, Wheels Up partnered with Delta Air Lines to acquire Delta Private Jets, creating one of the industry's largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft and bringing Delta aboard as a significant Wheels Up shareholder.
Dichter founded Marquis Jet in 2001 and pioneered the first-ever fractional jet card. He served as Chief Executive Officer and as Chairman of Marquis Jet and oversaw its sale to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway's NetJets in 2010. He also co-founded Tequila Avion, an ultra-premium tequila brand which was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2014. He is an original investor in Juice Press, an organic food and juice company with locations across the United States, and he co-founded Alphabet City, a sports marketing and music company that was sold to Robert Sillerman's SFX Entertainment in 1998.
A committed philanthropist, Dichter spearheaded Meals Up with Wheels Up partners and ambassadors in support of Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Meals Up was created in 2020 at the onset of the global pandemic and since then has raised and inspired nearly 90 million meals for Americans struggling with food insecurity.
Dichter received an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2019, he partnered with the Office of Admissions and Recruitment to launch the Fly High Fund to support a more diverse student population by building student networks from around the country and encouraging them to attend the University.
32. Nicole Sahin
Founder and CEO, G-P/Globalization Partners
Nicole Sahin is the founder and CEO of G-P, a company that enables anyone to hire anyone, everywhere, quickly, and easily using an AI-driven employment platform. Founded in 2012, G-P introduced its industry-leading SaaS-based Global Employment Platform™, helping companies find talent in over 187 countries. Nicole's book, "Global Talent Unleashed: An Executive's Guide to Conquering the World," became a Wall Street Journal Bestseller, and she attributes her success and that of G-P to her exceptional team and the philosophy of the triple bottom line.
Nicole and G-P have received numerous accolades, including her recognition as one of Goldman Sachs' most intriguing entrepreneurs and Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Female Founders. The Financial Times ranked G-P among the fastest-growing companies in America, while NelsonHall and Everest Group named it the Employer of Record Industry leader in 2022. Furthermore, G-P became a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Innovators Community in 2023.
Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, Nicole is an advocate for economic equity and human consciousness. She actively supports organizations like Water for People and Give Directly, and serves on the board of School the World, focusing on building schools in rural communities. Nicole is also involved in promoting diversity as the chair of diversity on YPO New England's Membership Committee and is a member of the Philanthropy Circle of the Nobel Women's Initiative.
Nicole holds an MBA in international management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Currently residing in California, she remains dedicated to her vision of democratizing access to great jobs through the digital world and unlocking individuals' true potential.
33. April Koh
Co-Founder & CEO, Spring Health
April Koh, the Co-Founder and CEO of Spring Health, started the company in 2016. Spring Health is an AI-enabled mental health service that partners with employers to deliver high-quality, convenient mental health care to their employees. Acting as a unified gateway to diverse care options, their offerings encompass a wide range of services, including digital exercises, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services, coaching, therapy, and medication.
April Koh’s entrepreneurial journey started at Yale, seeing firsthand how frustrating and expensive it can be to find effective help for mental health illnesses. Convinced that there had to be a better way to match patients to the best treatments, Koh partnered with Adam Chekroud and founded Spring Health. Under their leadership, the company secured $190 million in funding at a $2 billion valuation. Koh, at 29, is now the youngest female CEO of a multibillion-dollar setup. In 2018, she was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Koh has received honors from the American Psychiatric Association and has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Computer Science from Yale University.
34. Anant Agarwal
Anant Agarwal is the chief open education officer of 2U and the founder of edX, an online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT. He taught the first edX course on circuits and electronics from MIT, which attracted 155,000 students from 162 countries. He was the director of CSAIL, MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory, and is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.
Beyond his role in education, Anant is a successful serial entrepreneur, having co-founded companies like Tilera Corporation and Virtual Machine Works. He was recognized for his groundbreaking work in computer architecture with the Maurice Wilkes Prize and was named a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Scientific American acknowledged his work on organic computing as a World-Changing Idea, and Forbes listed him among the Top 15 Education Innovators.
Despite his impressive achievements, Anant remains passionate about his work and can be found hacking on WebSim, an online circuits laboratory, during his spare time. Holding a Ph.D. from Stanford and a bachelor's degree from IIT Madras, Anant Agarwal stands as a visionary in the fields of education, technology, and computer architecture, making significant strides in transforming the way we learn and engage with the world.
35. Jason McGowan
Founder and CEO, Crumbl Cookies
Jason McGowan currently holds the position of Founder and CEO at Crumbl Cookies, one of the country’s fastest-growing cookie chains. He started the company in 2017 with his cousin, Sawyer Hemsley. The brand has since grown and is selling cookies in more than 700 locations in both the United States and Canada.
Crumbl's success can be attributed to its use of state-of-the-art technology, its iconic brand identity, tantalizing desserts, and a team of devoted individuals. Crumbl HQ, in addition to its numerous franchisees, collectively contributes to the employment of over 26,000 professionals throughout the United States. Notably, each Crumbl franchise operates independently and is managed by members of the local community.
Prior to his tenure at Crumbl Cookies, McGowan held several key roles in prominent companies within the industry. He served as the Director of Product of Mobile at Ancestry, where he made significant contributions to the organization's mobile product development. Preceding this, he assumed the position of Chief Product Officer at i.TV before co-founding and serving as the CEO of BYU.com, LLC.
36. Seth Berkowitz
Founder and CEO, Insomnia Cookies
Seth Berkowitz is the Founder and CEO of Insomnia Cookies. It all started from Berkowitz's love for late-night meals, coupled with his desire for food delivery. He realized food options were scarce during late night hours. In 2003, Berkowitz thought of an ingenious concept while in his dormitory at the University of Pennsylvania, where he baked and personally delivered cookies to fellow students, laying the foundation for what would eventually become Insomnia Cookies.
Presently, Insomnia Cookies has over 200 locations and continues to grow, providing an extensive assortment of mouthwatering cookie varieties, all meticulously prepared and dispatched from the oven to customers' doorsteps.
Berkowitz has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
37. Cesar Carvalho
Founder and CEO, Gympass
Cesar Carvalho is the Co-Founder and CEO of Gympass, a corporate well-being platform that enables companies to improve their employees’ physical, mental, and emotional wellness by providing them access to fitness centers, on-demand classes, meditation, therapy sessions, and personal trainers. Gympass offers a one-stop shop for improving well-being both in person and online. By connecting over 2,000 organizations, thousands of members, more than 50,000 gyms and studios, and partnering with over 50 apps for fitness, meditation, and nutrition, Gympass has become a comprehensive solution for individuals and businesses alike.
Cesar's inspiration for Gympass arose during his time as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in 2011. Constantly traveling to new cities for work, he struggled to find affordable and convenient fitness options. While attending Harvard Business School a year later, an idea struck him during a Strategy class – an ecosystem that encompassed fitness facilities, partner apps, and personal trainers. With the support of former colleagues, he crafted a business plan and secured enough investment to drop out of Harvard and turn his vision into reality.
Originally from Minas Gerais, Brazil, Cesar holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business from Universidade de São Paulo and had begun his studies at Harvard Business School before choosing to pursue Gympass.
38. Lev Glazman
Lev Glazman is the President and Founder of Fresh, a global luxury brand that’s continuously seeking new ways to elevate daily skincare routines into unique sensorial journeys. In 1991, Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg, the visionary founders, recognized the demand for beauty products that were both efficacious and luxurious. Fueled by their pursuit of the American dream, they established a modest boutique in Boston, dedicated to curating natural products from across the globe and fostering a vibrant community.
Through their ingenuity, the original proprietors cultivated a brand that resonates deeply with individuals, transcending mere skincare and forging a cult following. Today, Fresh stands as a global enterprise, headquartered in New York, with an extensive lifestyle collection encompassing skincare, lip care, body care, and fragrance, spanning across 16 countries.
However, Fresh's aspirations extend beyond crafting exceptional products for the market; their aim is to become the epitome of an exceptional beauty brand. Recognizing that beauty transcends superficiality, Fresh endeavors to embody a sentiment, transforming it into an extraordinary sensation rather than just being a brand name.
39. Lynne Munson
Founder & CEO, Great Minds
Lynne Munson, the CEO and founder of Great Minds®, established the organization in 2007 with the aim of promoting high-quality, content-rich liberal arts education for all K–12 students. Initially focusing on research and advocacy, Lynne and her team transitioned into curriculum development in response to educators' requests for knowledge-building resources. This led to the creation of Common Core curriculum maps in English language arts and the subsequent development of EngageNY, which later became renowned as Eureka Math®. Today, these two math resources are widely used in schools across the United States, reflecting their popularity among educators.
Great Minds PBC, under Lynne's leadership, has expanded its offerings to include a range of cross-curricular resources. These include Eureka Math 2™, Wit & Wisdom® ELA, Geodes® books for emerging readers, and Ph.D. Science®, all of which have received accolades from curriculum reviewers. Additionally, Great Minds has created professional learning programs, leveraging the expertise of classroom teachers to support the successful implementation of new curricula. The organization has experienced significant growth, now employing over 1,400 individuals nationwide.
Prior to establishing Great Minds, Lynne Munson served as deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where she oversaw agency operations and spearheaded initiatives like "Picturing America," which brought art images and teaching guides to educational institutions. Lynne's diverse background includes leading post-conflict cultural reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, participating in UNESCO meetings, and publishing the book "Exhibitionism: Art in an Era of Intolerance." Her thought-provoking writings on education, the arts, and contemporary cultural issues have appeared in major publications, and she has made frequent appearances on prominent media outlets. With a degree in art history from Northwestern University, Lynne resides with her family in Midlothian, VA.
40. Emily Leproust
Founder and CEO, Twist Bioscience
Dr. Emily Leproust is an early pioneer in the field of high-throughput synthesis and sequencing of DNA. Her groundbreaking work spans areas such as chemicals/materials, diagnostics, therapeutics, food, and digital data storage. Dr. Leproust's exceptional contributions have earned her numerous awards and recognition from renowned organizations. In 2020, she was honored with the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership by BIO. She was also named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers and recognized as one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.
Prior to her role at Twist Bioscience, Dr. Leproust held positions at Agilent Technologies, where she helped develop the successful SureSelect product line. This product line significantly lowered the cost of sequencing and facilitated the identification of mechanisms responsible for numerous Mendelian diseases. She also spearheaded the development of the Oligo Library Synthesis technology, leading product and business development efforts.
Dr. Leproust has over 30 peer-reviewed papers and numerous patents to her name. She earned her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Houston and holds an M.Sc. in Industrial Chemistry from the Lyon School of Industrial Chemistry.
41. John Mezzalingua
Founder and CEO, JMA Wireless
John Mezzalingua is the Founder and CEO of JMA Wireless, a company he founded in 2012. Mezzalingua has made JMA Wireless the fastest-growing global tech company, revolutionizing how people learn, work, live, and play through innovative wireless technology solutions.
JMA Wireless is in the business of designing and delivering state-of-the-art wireless technology solutions. Their portfolio includes an advanced software-based 5G platform (XRAN), private wireless networks, 5G-ready antennas and connectors, and advanced indoor 5G capabilities.
Prior to his role at JMA Wireless, Mezzalingua held the position of CEO at PPC Broadband, Inc. - A Belden Brand. He possesses a strong academic background, having earned an undergraduate degree in economics from St. Lawrence University.
42. Hanko Kiessner
Founder and Vice Chairman, Packsize
A fifth-generation innovator born in Germany, Hanko Kiessner founded Packsize alongside his wife Laura with a vision to reimagine the packaging business. Hanko followed his father’s footsteps early in his career by working with the leading German Z-Fold corrugated supplier and later experimented with Right Size Packaging On Demand® in Herford, Germany. Today, as Founder and Executive of Packsize and a sustainability advocate, he urges the reduction, reuse, and recycling of packaging materials, infusing this belief into all of Packsize’s operations.
In addition to leading Packsize, Hanko co-founded its nonprofit, Leaders for Clean Air, in 2015 and is responsible for a solar panel-covered rooftop and EV charger installation in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is among the largest in the state.
43. Benjamin Weprin
Founder, Graduate Hotels
Ben Weprin is the founder and CEO of AJ Capital Partners, a private real estate company headquartered in Nashville. Weprin, a native of Oakwood, Ohio, grew up in the suburbs of Dayton before attending the University of Tennessee for his undergraduate studies. Following his passion for business, he pursued an MBA at Kellogg School of Management.
In 2008, Weprin established AJ Capital Partners, marking the beginning of his successful career in the field. He embarked on a series of noteworthy restoration projects in Chicago, revitalizing iconic landmarks such as the Hotel Lincoln, Chicago Athletic Association, Soho House, and Thompson Chicago. Expanding beyond the Windy City, Weprin's portfolio now encompasses various ventures throughout Chicago, including the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans and the Thompson Nashville in Nashville's vibrant Gulch neighborhood.
Weprin also founded Graduate Hotels in 2014, a unique hospitality brand that caters to college towns across the United States. Building on his success, in 2021, he introduced Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts to the market. His other notable ongoing endeavors include The Armory in San Francisco, May Hosiery, and Nashville Warehouse Company in Nashville. Additionally, Weprin expanded internationally with the opening of Rusacks St. Andrews, a property overlooking the legendary Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, which debuted in July 2021 as part of Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts.
44. Jason Field
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BrainStation
Jason is the Co-Founder and CEO of BrainStation, a global leader in digital skills training and workforce transformation. Since its establishment in 2012, BrainStation has dedicated itself to empowering over 100,000 professionals in more than 100 countries. With a strong emphasis on hyper-relevant skills, such as Cybersecurity, Data Science, Software Engineering, User Experience Design, and Product Management, BrainStation has become a go-to destination for individuals seeking to upskill or reskill in the digital realm.
The success of BrainStation can be attributed to its team of 500 employees spread across major cities like New York, London, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Toronto, and Vancouver. Their diverse expertise and industry knowledge enable BrainStation to provide quality training services both in person and online, ensuring accessibility for learners worldwide.
BrainStation's impact goes beyond individual professionals, as it also assists organizations in navigating the digital age. By equipping businesses with the necessary digital competencies, BrainStation enables them to thrive and stay competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.
45. Anne Mahlum
Founder, Owner and Chairperson, [solidcore]
Anne Mahlum is a founder, entrepreneur, CEO, philanthropist, and athlete whose mission is to help as many people as possible live their most optimized lives. A true self-made success story, Anne's entrepreneurial ventures have resulted in a personal net worth of over $100M and an impact on thousands of lives. She is the Founder and Executive Chairwoman of [solidcore], a fast-growing boutique fitness company with over 90 locations in the U.S. Her newest venture, Ambition, is a fitness and wellness concept that launched in Brooklyn Heights in March 2023 and is scheduled to open two more locations in Summer 2023. Ambition combines four fitness modalities under one roof, along with wellness products and programming, bringing a much-needed paradigm shift to the fitness industry. A lifelong visionary, Anne is also the founder of Back on My Feet, a national non-profit organization that uses running as a vehicle to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves and become empowered to change their lives. She brings her experience and ongoing desire to learn and share success strategies on How To…with Anne Mahlum, her highly-rated podcast.
46. Seth Besmertnik
CEO & Co-Founder, Conductor
Seth Besmertnik is the co-founder and CEO of Conductor. Established in 2006 as LinkExperts, Conductor focuses on link building to boost digital visibility for brands. Upon recognizing the potential to revolutionize the industry and reshape the way we approach digital marketing and organic visibility—Seth and the team transformed LinkExperts into Conductor, pioneering the world's first enterprise SEO platform.
In 2018, Conductor took a significant step forward by merging with WeWork, setting ambitious plans to leverage WeWork's platform and resources to scale their operations. Seth's dedication to Conductor led him to spearhead an employee buy-back at the end of 2019, forming Conductor's Founder Inc. This strategic move reclaimed the company's independence and made over 250 employees co-founders.
Under Seth's leadership, Conductor has achieved industry milestones, including earning $150M of Series A funding—the industry’s largest financing ever—in 2021, acquiring ContentKing—the only 24/7 real-time technical SEO platform—and Searchmetrics—the leading European SEO solution and Conductor’s third largest competitor—in 2022 and 2023 respectively, and being recognized as the Best Place to Work for over 10 years.
47. Waleed Nasr
CEO and Co-Founder, Medely
Waleed Nasr is the CEO and Co-Founder of Medely, the largest labor Marketplace for healthcare jobs. Nasr has 25 years of experience in the industry. He began his career in 1998 as a Project Manager at General Precision. He subsequently co-founded Seminet Automation and Nuventys before joining Medely.
Nasr holds an undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering from California State University, Northridge. His leadership skills have driven Medely's growth, providing healthcare professionals with access to high-paying jobs and the freedom to choose their work schedules and location.
Under Nasr's guidance, Medely has become a market leader, reshaping the labor landscape and empowering healthcare professionals. Beyond his business endeavors, Nasr is a thought leader and advocate for the advancement of healthcare professionals.
48. Ian Kelly
Co-Founder, President & CEO, Red Nucleus
Ian Kelly is a leader with over two decades of experience. He currently serves as the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Red Nucleus, a renowned provider of e-learning, digital content, and performance solutions for the Life Sciences industry. With offices in the US, UK, and India, Red Nucleus offers innovative educational solutions to client-facing teams.
Under Ian's visionary leadership, Red Nucleus has become a leader in the industry, delivering impactful solutions worldwide. Ian's deep understanding of industry needs and his ability to identify areas for improvement have been instrumental in the company's success. Ian's commitment to developing engaging and inspiring solutions have made Red Nucleus a trusted partner for enhancing knowledge and performance.
49. Eduardo Vivas
CEO and Co-Founder, CURATED
Eduardo Vivas is the CEO and Co-Founder of CURATED, a pioneering online shopping platform founded in 2017. With a vision to humanize the digital shopping experience, Vivas established CURATED as a collaborative platform driven by a community of passionate experts. Their unique approach has created a new avenue for individuals to earn income by sharing their knowledge and passion from anywhere in the world.
Before his role at CURATED, Vivas held key positions that showcased his expertise and leadership. He served as the Head of Product and Talent Solutions at LinkedIn and was the Founder and Chief Product Officer of Bright.com. Additionally, Vivas co-founded Social Hour earlier in his career.
Vivas's entrepreneurial journey has been defined by his commitment to innovation and creating meaningful connections. Through CURATED, he continues to shape the future of e-commerce by fostering collaboration and harnessing the power of human expertise.
50. David Serwitz
Founder & CEO, Grade Potential Tutoring
David Serwitz is the Founder and CEO of Grade Potential Tutoring. Grade Potential Tutoring is a highly respected educational service that offers comprehensive in-home tutoring solutions for various subjects and grade levels. Their services also extend to valuable test preparation assistance, including support for graduate school studies. Conveniently located in your vicinity, Grade Potential Tutoring is committed to providing top-quality educational support.
In addition to his role at Grade Potential Tutoring, Serwitz is the Founder and CEO of Commission Buddies. Commission Buddies specializes in credit card processing and financial services, catering to the needs of businesses in these areas.
Furthermore, Serwitz serves as a Partner at FloSports, an industry leader in live digital sports coverage and original content. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, FloSports collaborates with event rights holders and governing bodies to deliver comprehensive sports coverage that avid fans have long awaited. Through live streaming of premier events, original video programming, and weekly studio shows, FloSports is dedicated to fostering the growth of sports, athletes, and fan engagement. David Serwitz earned his degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.