21 Founders Changing The Way We Do Business in 2021
Vancouver ,Canada, Aug. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With adversity being known to breed innovation, it comes as no surprise that entrepreneurs world-wide are pivoting within their businesses to navigate the challenges created by the COVID19 pandemic. Revamping business models, restructuring safety protocols, and developing comprehensive digital presences are amongst the changes businesses are required to implement in order to ensure survival. Keeping this in mind we, at Mindful Media PR, have considered several factors like the quality of information, relevance, credibility, importance, before creating this list. Despite these challenges, entrepreneurs are inherently equipped with the grit and determination necessary to handle the current climate, having fostered innovation long before the onset of a world altering pandemic. For those familiar with the start up scene, margins are notoriously thin, operations commonly occur in the red, and reliance on the procurement of investor funding is typically the golden life-raft necessary to keep even the best ideas afloat, proving that entrepreneurship is not an endeavour intended for the faint of heart.
Picture COVID19 like a cage-fight and the founders listed below as the contenders who grew up on the streets, seasoned with the experience that will give them the upper hand in any battle. These founders are all too familiar with the hustle and grind of building businesses and are taking the challenges that COVID19 presents as just that: challenges. We know they’ll be using their familiarity with creative problems to develop greater innovation that will allow their ventures to soar in 2021, changing the way we do business for decades to come while raising the bar another notch. Check out our uniquely curated list of champs who are battling it out every day in the ever changing and increasingly dynamic world of business, and see if their vision inspires a shift in your own operations as we step into a greater 2021.
8. Rachel Romer Carlson and Brittany Stich
CEO and Founders of Guild Education
Rachel Romer Carlson and Brittany Stich are the female co-founders of Guild, an industry leader in reinventing educational training and learning pathways in America. Founded in 2015, Guild has partnered with Fortune 1000 companies and non-profit universities in offering education benefits to employees. The entrepreneurial duo, recognized on Forbes Top 30 Under 30 list in 2017, has partnered with some of America’s largest companies in providing education options for employees in frontline positions, including Walmart, Taco Bell, and Disney.
Rachel and Brittany co-founded Guild as a passion project to bring educational benefits to the more than 30 million working adults in the U.S. who are without a high school diploma, and the 70% of the U.S. population without a college degree. Knowing that lack of education further perpetuates the poverty cycle, Rachel and Brittany strive to provide equal opportunities to the majority of U.S. citizens who are prevented from obtaining professional development resulting from inherently high barriers to education. The Denver based startup, which is valued today at $1 billion, has provided over 3 million employees with access to Guild programs, having raised over $228.5 million from social impact investors who share the co-founders’ passion in providing education opportunities for all.
9. Gerard Barron
Co-Founder and CEO of DeepGreen
As the Co-Founder and CEO of DeepGreen, Gerard Barron is on a mission to explore the unknown and find a more sustainable future for our planet, weaning humanity off its dependence on fossil fuels. With the global expansion of electric vehicles and renewable energy, Gerard and his team at DeepGreen have recognized a need for sustainably sourced metals used in the batteries required by such green innovations. They believe that society’s best option to sustainably source these metals is from polymetallic nodules found in the depths of the ocean, and they want to ensure that these metals are sustainably sourced in order to make the implementation of green energy a worthy pursuit.
Gerard brings to DeepGreen his seasoned entrepreneurial background in building a variety of companies in the industries of battery technology, media, and future-focussed resource development. As Co-Founder, Gerard was involved at the start-up’s conception in 2011, moving into the role of Chairman and CEO in 2017. As industry leaders in the pursuit of sustainable energy sources, DeepGreen is positioned at the forefront of an environmental shift in the way society interacts with energy.
10. Reshma Saujani
Nonprofit Founder of Girls Who Code
Reshma Saujani is responsible for closing the gender gap in technology and changing the image of what a programmer looks like as the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. Launched in 2012, Girls Who Code is the world’s largest pipeline of future female engineers through encouraging the participation of women in the computer science industry. The non-profit organization offers a 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, and a variety of after school Clubs all with the intent to promote female participation in the inherently male-dominated world of technology.
Over the past few decades, Reshma noted a 13% decline of females working as computer scientists, which dropped from 37% in 1995 to 24% today. Through launching Girls Who Code, Reshma’s mission is to close this gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs by 2027. Her career experience as an American attorney inspired Reshma to become the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress in 2010. This journey took her to many local schools, providing a first-hand look at the gender gap commonly found in computing classes. Today, Reshma’s observation from her political run in 2010 has turned into a full-scale operation empowering girls to develop their computing skills, which reached over 185,000 girls across the U.S., Canada, and the UK at the end of 2019.
As a Founding Member of Valhalla Coop Farm, Coppola and his fellow founders are transforming 80+ acres of land outside of Montreal, Canada into an “...expanding community of passionate entrepreneurs, experts, chefs and farmers looking to impact the world starting right where it matters most - our home soil.” Valhalla is seeding a movement meant to reframe the time scale in which we make business and life decisions. Its pilot farm operates under the mission that the power of regenerative agriculture and storytelling can be used to build a thriving, al-natural ecosystem, inspiring a passionate community of entrepreneurs to account for the ecosystem when building out their businesses.
Before Grady Flinn founded Flinn West Solutions, his digital passion began in 1982 with a Commodore Vic 20 and a talent for learning how to code. Over 30 years later, the technology has changed, but his dedication to being at the forefront of the industry remains. Innovation has become synonymous with Flinn’s name throughout the digital marketing world. From three-sixty degree marketing plans to his latest automated pitch deck, Grady custom designs solutions for a variety of diverse businesses, driving both client engagement and conversions.
Flinn has taken his years of experience and is now proudly growing a team of dedicated marketing specialists at Flinnwest, a boutique digital marketing firm proudly located in his hometown of White Rock, British Columbia. Be it web or software design, digital advertising, social media, multimedia, email marketing, CRM, or other online needs; Grady Flinn and Flinnwest Solutions can provide the solution for any vision.
“Our team will not only meet your expectations, but will exceed them.”
Cynthia Thurlow is the founder of the Everyday Wellness Project, the umbrella organization for her many ventures that are changing the way people, specifically women, are engaging with nutrition. The multi-hyphenate entrepreneur is a globally recognized public speaker, author, podcast host, nutrition expert, and nurse practitioner with over 20+ years of ER and cardiology clinical experience. Cynthia recognized the power of modern medicine in essential situations but believes that nutrition neglect is at the root of many chronic health problems. After becoming “...passionate about learning how I could help my own family, patients, and clients avoid chronic health issues and diseases before they even became a problem,” Cynthia was inspired to launch Everyday Wellness Project as an educational platform.
Cynthia’s shift from nurse practitioner to public speaker resulted from a realization that “My voice can impact more people on a stage.” She was then inspired to do multiple TEDx talks, including one on Perimenopause and then the viral talk on Intermittent Fasting in 2019.
16. Chelsea Glaser and Mitch Glaser
17. Hamet Watt
Hamet Watt is the founder of Share Ventures, a venture studio focused on solving problems by creating and investing in innovative companies intent on unlocking human potential. Watt founded Share Ventures in Los Angeles in 2020 and is currently operating as the venture studios chief executive officer. With a portfolio of incredibly successful ventures, Watt brings a vast array of experience to his role as CEO, including co-founding MoviePass and NextMedium, and serving on the corporate boards of Pathgenics, Next Pass, and Canary Health.
The veteran venture capitalist was previously a partner at Upfront Ventures and is well-versed in the art of selecting ventures that will not only succeed, but drive impactful change for humanity. Share Ventures’ mandate is to allow innovative founders and entrepreneurs the ability to realize the full potential of their venture, providing the necessary ingredients for success. The platform assists with generating new business ideas, enabling traction, providing seed money, and driving acceleration through strategic partnerships with top influencers, corporations, and investors. Watt and his team at Share Ventures see an exciting opportunity to unlock entrepreneurial talent, stating that “... we build from a place of curiosity and we work with intentionality” in creating innovative solutions to the most important challenges of our time.
18. Ashley Abboushi and Lisa Yu
After crossing paths in Bali and again two years later in Los Angeles, Ashley Abboushi and Lisa Yu founded Dream Teamers on April 1st, 2020 as a digital community encouraging the pursuit of dreams. The membership-based platform is bringing together a global community of passionate leaders, creatives, and entrepreneurs committed to creating a positive impact in the world while living their best lives. Abboushi, Dream Teamers CEO, calls upon her experience as a lifelong learner, world explorer, Mindset Coach, and her passion for inspiring others to go after the life of their dreams. Yu, Dream Teamers President, lends her knowledge as a Business Coach, investor, and entrepreneur in guiding members through the Dream Teamers community.
“We personally have a phone call with every person who applies. We want to make sure they’re ready to show up for themselves if we provide accountability, a supportive community, and a platform for them to achieve their dreams… and it has been absolutely incredible!” says Abboushi, highlighting the attentiveness these founders are providing to their members. Abboushi and Yu match each member with a partner on a revolving basis to keep them accountable while growing their global network. Dream Teamers has been operating at capacity from day one and has been experiencing exponential growth ever since.
19. Mike Darlington
Mike Darlington has built Monstercat into one of the most revered independent labels in dance music by way of his ingenuity and passion for the label. Graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in biology, Mike has always been a raver at heart. Starting Monstercat as a YouTube channel to share his friends’ music, Darlington and co-founder Ari Paunonen discovered the potential to expand it into a modern-day digital record label. Expanding the reach of music through new avenues like gaming and sync, Darlington continues to broaden the way music is consumed today by partnerships with Fortnite, Roblox, Rocket League, and Beat Saber. No idea is too big, and empowering a creative and passionate community through innovation remains the pillar of what Mike and Monstercat stands for.
Mike has been recognized by Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the music industry in 2019. Joining alongside other exceptional entrepreneurs, Mike upholds the drive, love, and persistence it takes to build a company from the ground up. Carving himself out as a tour de force in the industry seems as though it will only continue for Mike and his Monstercat team as they expand into the live realm with major upcoming label showcases, Festival stages. and continued groundbreaking collaborative initiatives.
20. Nano Stasiak
Working with the likes of Deloitte, Shakira, Universal Music Group, and Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment to name a few, Nano Media’s mission is to be a brand that helps kick a*s brands kick a*s — curating marketing campaigns for brands, influencers, and artists. After being able to work with Shakira’s charity foundation Pies Descalzos in Colombia, a place he was able to call home for four years of his early life, Nano has mastered the art of working from a multitude of locations. From Argentina to Switzerland to Italy — to have fun while working hard, all Nano needs is his hustle mindset, his team and some speedy Wi-Fi.
21. Tara Oldridge
CEO and Founder of Vision to Business
Tara Oldridge is an entrepreneurial catalyst, proving to women of all walks of life that professional and personal fulfillment is not only possible but attainable beyond their wildest dreams. As the founder of Vision to Business, Tara has created a workshop to support women in uncovering the powerful and impactful business inside of them. The 2-day course covers a scope of topics, spanning from “Turning your vision into a successful business” to “Master your mind and crush your limiting beliefs.” For many women, coming up with an amazing business idea isn’t the challenge, the challenge lies in creating a plan of action that promotes the idea and identifying the obstacles that could stop you along the way. As an expert in that department, Tara provides these women with the necessary tools to turn their calling into a profitable business that makes an impact in the world.
With a depth of knowledge in entrepreneurial development, Tara brings to the Vision to Business workshop her experience launching two online Masterminds, “You are a Coach”, a 6 week intensive to building out your online coaching company and PPI Private, a high-end Mastermind for high six and seven-figure earners and influencers. Both are business and mindset programs curated to empower women’s inner entrepreneurs, propelling them along their journey of success. She was recently recognized in a Forbes article that drew attention to the tendency of female entrepreneurs to prioritize people over profits. This “People First” mentality, that Tara embodies in her work, leads to healthier profits overtime. Outside of her work as an entrepreneurial powerhouse, Tara is a passionate philanthropist, a mother of two, a wife, a woman of faith, and an eternal advocate for the importance of discovering time for family, self-care, and personal development.