Under30CEO Awards: 48 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in New York City

by / ⠀Startup Advice / November 19, 2012

This summer, Under30CEO launched a nationwide campaign to discover the most promising young entrepreneurs from all across the United States. The goal of the Under30CEO Awards is to highlight the next big innovators, leaders, and world changers from our Top 10 Cities for Young Entrepreneurs.

In order to qualify, the entrepreneurs had to meet revenue requirements of between $50,000 and $10,000,000 (OR) over 10,000 users, (OR) have between $50,000 and $10,000,000 in funding, under the age of 30.

The following are the 2012 Under30CEO Award Winners from New York City. New York’s young entrepreneurs had over $46,100,000 in revenues, $27,500,000 in funding and employed over 380 people. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Katie Shea & Susie Levitt

Age: 25, 25

Company: FUNK-tional Enterprises

Description: FUNK-tional Enterprises a manufacturing company that specializes in fashion solutions and accessories for women. Since the company’s inception in 2009, it quickly surpassed the $1 million sales mark during its first year of business. Their best-selling CitySlips brand is available at retailers including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Von Maur, DSW, Bliss Spas, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Shopping Channel, ShopNBC and more. The company has been featured on Fox News, The Today Show, The View, New York Daily News, CNN, Forbes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Brides Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Amit Avner

Age: 26

Company: Taykey

Description: Taykey is a Real-Time Topical Advertising platform that creates brand agility and discovers new hidden consumers. We find what’s topical for your audience and align you with it, in real-time. Originally founded in Israel, Taykey is backed by Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Capital & CP Lantern with global offices and New York City headquarters.

Adam Kluger

Age: 26

Company: The Kluger Agency

Description: Company located in Miami, FL. and Los Angeles, CA. (Although many transactions take place in or around NY, NY). Most successful brand partnership (product placement, endorsement, strategic partnerships) firm in history within the music business representing over 50 consumer brands as well as 85% of the Top 40 recording artists in the world and 14 major record labels. Done deals for Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Flo Rida, T-Pain, Akon, Drake, LMFAO, Lil Wayne, Britney Spears, and Kesha amongst many others.

Pep Gomez

Age: 19

Company: Fever Labs inc

Description: Fever is a social discovery tool that changes the way people make plans and introduces you to people you are going to like. It is now available for iPhone and will be releasing Android on November 1st.

Indhira Santana

Age: 27

Company: My Wellness Solutions

Description: My Wellness Solutions is a one of a kind holistic health spa. It combines the sale of herbs and supplements with complimentary and alternative services that help clients reach their health goals. Since opening its doors, My Wellness Solutions, has truly become an Oasis of Health in the Heart of the Bronx.  The center has helped hundreds of customers achieve their weight loss goals by combining various holistic health services including colon hydrotherapy, acupuncture and various other therapies that help to cleanse and stimulate the body to optimal health.

Eleanor Watson

Age: 29

Company: Poikos

Description: Poikos is a computer vision systems house which has developed a revolutionary patent-pending technology for imaging and measuring the body in 3D, using consumer grade hardware such as smartphones, tablets and PCs.

It is developing a platform for the delivery of our technology to partners within the fitness, entertainment, medical and e-commerce sectors, for a range of amazing new capabilities across all industries.

They can measure circumferences of body parts to within 4mm. The system incorporates technology purchased off the US Air Force. They’ve already won 3 business plan competitions.

Brian Essig

Age: 27

Company: Creating Digital

Description: Creating Digital is a boutique web development agency based in Hoboken, NJ.  Servicing clients directly and agency partners, we strive to use innovative technologies to deliver a best in class solution to consistently exceed client expectations.  This approach has landed Creating Digital a premier clientele.  These clients include book publisher, Pearson woman’s skin care line, Hydroxatone and celebrities such as Chef Daniel Boulud and internationally renowned Reggaeton artists Wisin Y Yandel.

Vipul Lakhi

Age: 26

Company: My Trio Rings

Description: My Trio Rings offers matching diamond engagement and wedding ring sets at prices that are 65% off traditional high-priced retailers. By coupling four generations of experience in the industry with innovative eCommerce leadership, the company is tearing down industry overpricing tactics and employing a factory to consumer model, passing on 65% cost savings to everyday hard working Americans.

Furthermore, the company offers services such as no-fee layaway, free returns, and certificates of authenticity to ensure the best customer experience. Since it’s inception the company has served thousands of brides and grooms worldwide and has been covered by publications such as CNN, Yahoo, Forbes, ABC, Mashable and CBS among others!

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Carlo Montagnino & Christopher Olivieri & Tavis Delahunt & Damian Thomas

Age: 28, 29, 29, 29

Company:  Dog and Pony Show Media

Description: Dog and Pony Show Media is an entity that was created to produce fun web-based content. Our flagship website Dog and Pony Show has an average of 600,000 pageviews per month and a high of 2.5 Million pageviews within the last year. We average 260,000+ unique visitors per month. Our work has been featured on the Today Show, G4 Television, and a number of the highest profile blogs and entertainment websites. Alone with the flagship site, we also manage the web presence of radio personalities Emilio Sparks and Rich Russo.

Khristian Ospina

Age: 24

Company: The Diamond Group

Description: The Diamond Group Agency is a holding company composed of two subsidiaries. An insurance brokerage and a real estate investment firm. New venture AsegurameHOY.com (InsuremeTODAY.com) is an insurance marketing platform which looks to educate Latino Consumers through the use of informative articles, personalized guidance and enhanced product offerings on the best ways to save, shop for and selecting the right insurance policy. Receiving seed investments as I type! I’m also the Chairman of Americas United Soccer Academy a nonprofit for underprivileged children in urban cities.

Trace Cohen

Age: 24

Company: Launch.it

Description: Launch.it is a self-publishing platform for PR professionals, community managers and entrepreneurs to launch and socialize everything new. We are creating the largest searchable database of all new products, services and ideas to make sure that they can be found discovered and shared.

Mikhail Naumov & Melissa Lee & Ben Lapidus

Age: 23, 22, 22

Company: Global Renewable Energy Education Network

Description: The Global Renewable Energy Education Network is a leading provider of educational services and hands-on experiences in the fields of clean energy and sustainability. The GREEN Program in Costa Rica is our flagship service which helps students and universities enhance their existing curriculum through unique educational experiences focused on renewable energy and sustainability around the world.  On the GREEN Program, students spend 12 days visiting clean energy facilities, like wind turbines and geothermal plants, learning from industry experts and implementing innovative sustainable solutions in local communities.  Students experience Costa Rica, its beauty, thrilling adventures, and memorable cultural experiences, while earning academic credit and accelerating their career.

Michelle Javian & Yuki Kotani

Age: 29, 28

Company: Harboring Hearts

Description: Harboring Hearts provides a haven for heart patients and their families while they are seeking medical care away from home. We offer solutions to financial and emotional problems often associated with a family member undergoing cardiac treatment. These problems include finding housing near a hospitalized patient, paying for the family to live in another city while a loved one undergoes treatment, providing emotional support to a heart patient, and accessing basic living needs. Through community outreach programs and small grants, we have provided financial and emotional support to 200 families all over the country.

Jerryanne Heath

Age: 29

Company: ConceptLink

Description: ConceptLink is a social impact strategy firm that helps international organizations raise more money and communicate more effectively with their supporters.  Since 2008 we have helped clients raise more than $4 million through a variety of fundraising and communications strategies which have had a wide-reaching impact in several communities in South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria and the US by promoting access to clean water, educational opportunity, environmental sustainability, and scientific discovery.

Rob Symington & Dom Jackman & Mike Howe

Age: 28, 28, 28

Company: Escape the City

Description: Based in New York and London, Escape the City is a global community based around the idea that life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you. We have helped thousands of people find work they love, start businesses and go on epic life changing adventures.

We are a discovery engine liberating talented and ambitious professionals from unfulfilling corporate jobs by connecting them with the job opportunities, organizations, people and resources that they should know about but don’t, if its not exciting and different, it never makes it on our site.

Escape the City has +80,000 members, has crowd-funded $1Million from its own users, has been featured in nearly every significant news publication, on TV and Radio, and our new website is due for launch this month.

Alexander Hejnosz & Zachary Silverzweig

Age: 25, 29

Company: CipherHealth

Description: CipherHealth, LLC provides improved care coordination and patient engagement through post discharge follow-up programs. These programs have proven successful in helping hospitals and health systems reduce 30-day readmission rates and increase patient satisfaction.

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Liz Long

Age: 29

Company: Bag the Habit

Description: Bag the Habit makes a variety of reusable shopping bags including shopping totes produce bags, gift bags, and shopping sets. In addition to producing a line of popular ‘BTH’ branded bags, Bag the Habit works one-on-one with brands and retailers to create customized reusable solutions and integrate reusability into stores and organizations.

All Bag the Habit bags are made from a unique 100% recycled fabric (created from plastic and textile waste).

Matthew Murphy

Age: 23

Company: Global Citizens Travel LLC

Description: Global Citizens Travel is an online travel provider focused on the growing niche of American undergraduates studying abroad. Over the past 12 months GCT has quickly grown to over $600k in revenue with a small team and limited resources. Offering unique, budget-conscious travel opportunities all around the world, GCT has been able to effectively reach a growing market and establish its reputation.

Harrie Bakst

Age: 27

Company: Carnegie Sports & Entertainment, Inc.

Description: Carnegie Sports & Entertainment, Inc. is a boutique agency specializing in cause marketing and corporate social responsibility.

At Carnegie, we package our approach and solutions to showcase the value and efficiency of cause marketing. Clients have included Paul Pierce (The Truth Foundation), Curtis Granderson (Grand Kids Foundation), Adrian Peterson (All Day Foundation), Grassroot Soccer, Arthur Ashe Foundation, Grete Waitz Foundation, Sunkist, Ameriprise Financial, among others. Additionally, Carnegie has worked with some of the top brands and preterites in the world including Coca Cola, Nike, Foot Locker, John Hancock, Chipotle Mexican Grill, ING New York City Marathon, and Major League Soccer.

Warner H. Siebert

Age: 29

Company: BuzzTable

Description: BuzzTable is a mobile CRM platform for the hospitality industry. We have multiple products that all work together: WaitList for Hosts allows restaurants to text their guests when their table is ready; BuzzTable for Consumers is a free mobile app that allows guests to check their place in line and unlock insider privileges and rewards; and ControlCenter for Operators allows restaurants to directly reach their guests on their phones and analyze customer data.

Lily Liu

Age: 29

Company: PublicStuff

Description: PublicStuff is an innovative CRM software company that helps local governments get stuff fixed! Using both mobile and web platforms, we have created a comprehensive backend CRM system that allows municipalities to receive service requests from their residents and customers in real time. How it works is citizens are easily able to submit public service requests directly to the correct city department (via mobile applications, SMS text messaging, web, and our toll free number) in our covered cities .City staff has access to review submissions, organize the workflow, communicate back to residents, and swiftly administer services to repair the issue, which as of August 2012, has helped 150 cities complete 50,000+ service requests.

Nikki Robinson

Age: 27

Company: Gloss and Glam

Description: Gloss and Glam is more than a beauty service, it’s a luxurious experience. Made up of an established team of celebrity hair and makeup artists who’ve worked on everything from movie sets and fashion runways to photo shoots and weddings will travel to you to give you the flawless look that you desire.

Founded by renowned make-up artist, Nikki Robinson, Gloss and Glam hires only the industry’s most elite. A beauty insider herself, Nikki curates the most sought-after professionals to join her exclusive team of artists. Gloss and Glam believes in giving back and donates up to 10% of its profits each year to a variety of charitable organizations.

Anthony Saladino, Andrew Saladino

Age: 30, 24

Company: Kitchen Cabinet Kings

Description: Kitchen Cabinet Kings is a leading distributor of kitchen and bathroom cabinets on the Internet.   We delivery our quality cabinetry nationwide in just 1-2 weeks.

Nina Cherny & Jenny Wu

Age: 29, 28

Company: Stylyt

Description: Stylyt is a collaborative commerce platform that allows consumers to influence what fashion brands make. We let any consumer play fashion designer for real brands. Our HTML5 product configurator takes the fabrics, colors and shapes of a brand’s collection and lets users mix and match to create their own branded product. The Stylyt community then votes on their favorites, and the brand manufactures the winning designs to be sold exclusively on Stylyt. Stylyt collaborations drive engagement and loyalty while providing unique, predictive data to fashion brands and retailers.

A.J. Steigman

Age: 27

Company: Soletron

Description: Soletron is a social networking & ecommerce platform in lifestyle retail verticals.  We identify up-and-coming designers from all over the world, and get them on our marketplace without holding any inventory.  Our website is in the top 99.7% of all sites in the world on traffic.  Our business model is very similar to Etsy but with a truly social shopping experience applied to sneakers, streetwear, skateboarding etc. In addition, we are a full service destination (unlike traditional ecomm platforms) that helps grassroot brands grow outside of their regional territories.  Our board consists Bruce Chizen (Former CEO of Adobe Systems), Santonio Holmes (Super Bowl MVP and current member of the New York Jets),Tom Austin (Founder of AND1), John Friedman (Founder of Easton Capital), Bob Rice (Founder of Tangent Capital and Bloomberg Contributor)

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Jesse Friedman & Avi Zikry & Alex Ushyarov

Age: 27, 27, 28

Company: New York Construction Company

Description: New York Construction Company (NYCC) is a residential home improvement company serving the boroughs of New York City. My partners and I started NYCC during the bowels of the recession and through top notch customer service, superior workmanship, and creative marketing we have created one of the most successful home improvement companies in New York. In 2011, NYCC grossed $8,000,000 in revenue with 20+ employees. Also in 2011 we created and launched Click and Improve (www.clickandimprove.com), a full service online home improvement company, that has grown exponentially since its inception.

Nicholas Ponton

Age: 26


Description: SHADES OF GREY is a creative agency that specializes in conception and execution of a wide variety of communication initiatives for fashion companies — across both digital and physical formats.  We produce runway shows, presentations, popup shops, and openings; we oversee and implement digital communication and marketing strategies for clients across multiple platforms.  Our clients include established European luxury labels (Givenchy, Celine, Pringle of Scotland), commercial properties (HSN, Armani Exchange), and young and up and coming next generation designers (Christian Cota, Reece Hudson).

Roxy Owens

Age: 28

Company: Society Social

Description: Society Social is an e-commerce destination where I sell a unique mix of my designs including home furnishings (bar carts being the most popular!), hostess gowns, and cocktail jewelry. At Society Social, we enthusiastically subscribe to living sparkly – as in vivacious, legendary, always ridiculous, and never for a second boring and also that life is a grand celebration, that means every day, and poppin’ bottles is something we do with frighten- ing regularity. It is this contagious joie de vivre and our tremendous love for a shared celebration that inspires every piece we create. We hope our handcrafted line from the colorful cocktail carts to our playful haute hostess attire induce frolic and merriment from our home to yours.

Arel Moodie & Michael Simmons & Sheena Lindahl & Sarah Green

Age: 28, 29, 30, 25

Company: Empact

Description: Empact’s work focuses on facilitating a culture of entrepreneurship in communities across the world through exposure, celebration and early stage startup support. We do this through our Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, which is a half day conference bringing the country’s top young entrepreneurs to college campuses. Through our Empact Summit, which is the largest, invite-only collaborative gathering featuring the most influential leaders in the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem. Through our Empact100, which showcases the country’s top entrepreneurs at the White House who are under 30 with revenues of at least $100,000.

Nick Reese

Age: 25

Company: Microbrand Media

Description: To put it simply — we are a nimble team of internet marketers that like building cool (and profitable) web assets and Microbrands.

Brittany Hodak & Kim Kaupe

Age: 28, 26

Company: ZinePak

Description: ZinePak (pronounced ZEEN-pack) was founded in January 2011 by entertainment junkies Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe. The company’s products blur the lines between CD and DVD releases, special-edition fan magazines, and artist-branded merchandise. Each ZinePak is comprised of a small-format magazine with up to 100 pages of engaging, original content, a CD or DVD and one or more exclusive, collectible merchandise items. We’ve sold 600,00 ‘ZinePaks at Walmart for superstars ranging from Justin Bieber to the Beach Boys and brands including Dr Pepper, KIDZ BOP, and the Academy of Country Music – with 2012 revenues topping $2 million.

Sang Lee

Age: 25

Company: Return on Change

Description: Return on Change is a crowdfunding platform for high-impact, socially-conscious start-ups that are looking to find ways to change the world. Utilizing the recent signing of the JOBS Act, our mission is to provide an online medium by which start-up companies and bright entrepreneurs will be able to pool capital through crowd sourcing, while creating a community of advice and collaboration. Created to catalyze the change that large corporate organizations could not provide, RoC seeks to bridge the gap for an idea to grow into a business by simplifying start-up finance, instigating much-needed innovation, and fostering investor and start-up relationships.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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