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15 Entrepreneurs Who Will Make 2015 An Unforgettable Year

15 Entrepreneurs Who Will Make 2015 An Unforgettable Year

BirchBox

New York City

Founders: Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp

katia-beauchamp-and-hayley-barna-launched-birchbox-in-2010
    Photo: Birthbox

    In 2010, these Harvard Business School graduates started Birchbox. First it was just a monthly subscription service delivering personalized items of beauty products right to customers’ doorsteps. Today, the concept has transformed into a physical store in Manhattan, an online service in Canada, a lifestyle guide for men, and a women’s magazine. The two entrepreneurs’ business smarts, along with the combination mentioned above, leveled up Birchbox to an April 2014 valuation of $485 million. The company has delivered millions of boxes and has even expanded to five European countries.

    Chobani

    Location: Norwich, New York

    Founder: Hamdi Ulukaya

    greek-yogurt-boom
      Photo: MIKE GROLL/ASSOCIATED PRESS

      Speaking of rags-to-riches stories, this yogurt mogul’s story is authentic. Growing up in a semi-nomadic family that tended a dairy farm in Turkey is Ulukaya’s telenovela-like story. Before Moving to New York in 1994 to study English and business, he took up Political Science at Ankara University. As the story escalated, he bought a defunct yogurt factory using loans and business incentive grants in 2005. After running the business successfully for some time, he turned billionaire by 2012. Today, the company is set to grow its product line, as well as international reach with a $750 million loan. Definitely, 2015 is the year to watch Ulukaya as Chobani has all the signs of going public.

      In Good Company

      Location: New York, New York

      Founders: Adelaide Lancaster and Amy Abrams

      Adelaide-Lancaster-Amy-Abrams
        Photo: Jezra

        In a nutshell, In Good Company provides a nurturing community that encourages women to work, meet and learn together. The outfit offers office space (part-time and full-time) for its members. It also organizes regular classes and workshops to educate and empower women entrepreneurs. The founders have created a unique business community for female business owners to network and access everything they need for success.

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        Hampton Creek

        Location: San Francisco

        Founders: Joshua Tetrick and Josh Balk

        hampton-creek-josh-tetrick_37758
          Photo: Jeff Minton

          Hampton Creek was launched in 2011. Why is it in the list? The food technology company works hard to discover new ways of utilizing plant produce to make healthier foods. The founders Joshua Tetrick and Josh Balk were blessed to get the nod of some big names to sign on. Names like Li Ka-Shing and Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang and they have also recruited a new company VP of Data Science Dan Zigmond. He’s Google Maps’ former lead data scientist. They have four products so far, including Just Mayo and Just Cookies. This may be just the beginnings of something fabulous.

          Houzz

          Location: Palo Alto, California

          Founders: Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen

          houzzfounders2
            Photo: Houzz

            Houzz has offbeat origins: Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen during the planning stage of remodeling their home, got fed up of gathering pages from magazines. So, after awhile, they created an online photo database to ease up things when browsing for photos. Houzz was launched in 2009. Since then, it has developed into a community site that got a $165 million financing in 2014. Presently, this database features more than 4 million images, design articles, and a robust directory of more than 2 million housing professionals. Fans are positive, these figures will absolutely grow in no time.

            Instacart

            Location: San Francisco Founders:

            Brandon Leonardo, Apoorva Mehta, and Max Mullen

            Apoorva_20
              Photo: Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

              I’m pretty sure you remember the food delivery service called Webvan. It didn’t really do well; partly due to the fact that too much money went into developing its infrastructure. However, in business, as they say — timing is everything — and this made way for Instacart’s success, at least, partly. Thought of as Uber of online grocery shopping, it uses the universality of people with cars and smartphones. Since orders come in, usually, with a request for products from different locations, car drivers purchase the specific grocery items and deliver them. Instacart operates in fifteen metropolitan areas nationwide and is looking to expand across the U.S..

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              LittleBits

              Location: New York City

              Founder: Ayah Bdeir

              Ayah_10
                Photo: TED Talks

                3D printing and the maker movement is getting so popular these days. Naturally, LittleBits, maker of modular electronics is taking off. The outfit offers kits for those who want to build everything from motors, light sensors, pressure sensors, or even entire coding bundles. All color-coded components magnetically and exactly snap onto another. It’s actually legos for adults — except this year, these legos are now also cloud-enabled. They also have their own app store called BitLab.

                Pinterest

                Location: San Francisco

                Founders: Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, and Ben Silbermann

                tech_pinterest48__01__600
                  Photo: Bloomberg Businessweek

                  What, you haven’t heard of Pinterest? You must have lived in Mars for years if that’s the case. This social media site has about 40 million monthly active users. Pinterest users “pin” photos and videos to “pinboards” on their account’s pages in hopes of discovering similar things. By creating virtual storefronts that link to purchase links, businesses can join the pinning rave too. Presently, the company has a $225 million of equity funding secured in 2013. Today, Pinterest is estimated to have a $5 billion value.

                  Passion Planner

                  Location: San Diego, California

                  Founder: Angelia Trinidad

                  angelia_resized
                    Photo: The UP Lab

                    It’s a no-brainer that a woman who devotes her time helping other people to pursue their passion caught our eyes. Angelia initially created Passion Planner (a portable life coach, organizer, and a daily dose of inspiration, all within a planner) in 2013. Two crazily successful Kickstarter campaigns later, she delivered more than two thousand Passion Planners in just 20 days and in most probability will continue to change the habits of hundreds and thousands of people in the coming years.

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                    Quirky

                    Location: New York City

                    Founder: Ben Kaufman

                    Quirky (10)
                      Photo: Quirky

                      Whenever you watch TV, there’s a big chance you’ll see Quirky’s Robot Butler ads — the one that promotes the fruits of its close to two years partnership with GE (General Electric) to develop and ultimately come up with smart products that are programmable from remote locations. But, this company that has been founded by Ben Kaufman is not comfortable keeping still. After running a reality TV series bearing its name, it opened another office and has informed the public about its plans to build a mini-factory in San Francisco.

                      Rent the Runway

                      Location: New York City

                      Founders: Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss

                      jennifer-hyman-jennifer-fleiss-10
                        Photo: Guest of a Guest

                        Also Harvard Business School graduates, Jennifer Hyman, and Jennifer Fleiss started Rent the Runway in 2009. The company aims to give regular Janes a chance to wear designer clothes minus the intimidating price tag. Currently, Rent the Runway has a strong nationwide presence and has stylists ready to answer queries via email, phone, and live chat. The company got $54 million in venture capital in 2013 and has grown to handle 250 employees, 200 designer partners, and more than four million customers.

                        SLACK

                        Location: San Francisco

                        Founder: Stewart Butterfield

                        Slack founder
                          Photo: kris krüg

                          Stewart Butterfield could be the most successful accidental-entrepreneur of this generation. He’s mainly known as the co-founder of photo-sharing site Flickr, which is a result of his attempt at creating a game called Game Neverending. After a while, he set out to make another game called Glitch–and, again, accidentally ended up with Slack, the group communications software. In just eight months it transformed into a $1.1 billion dollar company minus a single advert. Slack got its first chief marketing officer in November, which might be a sign that the company with over 73,000 paid users (the group includes eBay, PayPal, the Wall Street Journal, NBCUniversal, HBO and several more) is, at last, ready to have a big start.

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                          Snapchat

                          Location: Venice, California

                          Founders: Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown

                          evan_spigiel_bobby_murphy
                            Photo: Lucas Jackson, Reuters

                            Snapchat has only been running since September 2011. Many people find that hard to believe. The business’ seemingly omnipresent mobile app provide a platform for users to send time-bombed photos and video, and here’s my fave part — it gives users the option to add text and/or drawings. If I say it has absolutely made headlines, it’s an understatement. The company’s founder controversy has prompted Reggie Brown to fight, on the legal route, for recognition; the 2013 revelation that Spiegel still resides in his father’s mansion and another one — the global shocker — the rebuff of Facebook’s buyout offer worth $3 billion! Spiegel ultimately transferred to his own house in the middle of November, and despite the general disagreement of the business world and the masses, holding out on Facebook’s offer turn out to be a wise step for the company. Valued at $10 billion, Snapchat is definitely a company to watch this year.

                            Square

                            Location: San Francisco

                            Founders: Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey

                            Jack Dorsey_LH
                              Photo: JD Lasica

                              There’s a big possibility that you have run across a Square device one time or another, especially if you frequent food trucks or maybe mobile small business. Noticed that tiny piece of plastic that allows customers to swipe credit cards on smartphone or tablet? It has been transformed to be joined by an iPad docking system. Basically, it’s become a full cash register (minus the cash). The company that is co-founded by Jack Dorsey–also the co-founder of Twitter–has been around for five years and has more than 600 employees to date. Today, Square has a value of at least $6 billion. And last summer, the company informed the grapevine about its intentions to join the food-delivery market by purchasing a startup named Caviar.

                              Walker & Co

                              Location: Palo Alto, California

                              Founder: Tristan Walker

                              tristan-walker-image
                                Photo: Mashable for Gap and Courtesy of CODE2040

                                Walker & Co. are making people of color happy with its health and beauty products specifically manufactured for them. Founder Tristan Walker, who started the company in 2013, made headlines recently by getting rapper Nas as one of its investors. As you can see by now, this is not an ordinary startup. With the goal of becoming the ‘Procter & Gamble for people of color,’ Walker formerly of Foursquare, managed to raise $6.9 million funding from a group led by Andreessen Horowitz. Bevel, the company’s first product, is a shaving system for people with thick, coarse curly hair. It’s also the company’s sole product, that’s the reason why this year could be a make or break year for Walker and Co..

                                Featured photo credit: Entrepreneur/American English University via Http

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                                Anthony Dejolde

                                TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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                                Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                                50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                                50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                                LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

                                Job Search Experts

                                You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

                                1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

                                2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

                                3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

                                4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

                                5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

                                Management Experts

                                They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

                                6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

                                7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

                                8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

                                9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

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                                Productivity Experts

                                By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

                                10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

                                11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

                                12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

                                13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

                                Marketing Experts

                                14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

                                15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

                                16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

                                17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

                                18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

                                19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

                                20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

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                                21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

                                22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

                                23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

                                24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

                                25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

                                26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

                                Personal Branding Experts

                                Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

                                Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

                                27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

                                28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

                                Other Notable Experts to Follow

                                29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

                                30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

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                                31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

                                32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

                                33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

                                34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

                                35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

                                36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

                                37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

                                38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

                                39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

                                40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

                                41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

                                42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

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                                43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

                                44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

                                45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

                                46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

                                47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

                                48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

                                49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

                                50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

                                These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

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                                Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

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