Under30CEO Awards: 9 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in Chicago

by / ⠀Startup Advice / November 28, 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 Chicago. Chicago’s young entrepreneurs had over $7,00,000 in revenues, $1,500,000 in funding and employed over 225 people. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Andrew Geant & Michael Weishuhn

Age: 29, 29

Company: WyzAnt

Description: WyzAnt is the largest online marketplace for tutors and students, with 60,000 tutors in all 50 states. Drew and Mike bootstrapped WyzAnt right out of Princeton, living hand to mouth for the first few years.

Matt Hunckler

Age: 25

Company: Verge

Description: Verge is a platform for software entrepreneurs, developers, and investors. It provides education and resources like capital, customers, and talent to growing Midwest startups.

Chuck Cohn

Age: 26

Company: Varsity Tutors

Description: Varsity Tutors is a private tutoring and test prep company with 50 employees and 1,000 tutors across 14 metro areas. The company was founded in 2007 and is now one of the 10 largest tutoring companies in the country. It has doubled year-over-year for the last 5 years.

Seth Kravitz

Age: 29

Company: Technori

Description: Technori is a publishing and event company that inspires, empowers, and celebrates entrepreneurship. Through thought leadership and high quality events, we directly help startups find the local resources, people, and funding they need to grow.

John Rood

Age: 29

Company: Next Step Test Preparation

Description: Next Step Test Preparation provides a complete package of one-on-one tutoring for graduate school entrance exams for about the price of a group lecture course at one of our competitors. For 80 years the test prep industry has been dominated by a single business model — providing group prep courses. We give students a clear alternative — superior personalized instruction, starting at the same price.

Robert Traub, Jr.

Age: 26

Company: Proud Precision Painters

Description: Proud Precision Painters is a sales and marketing company who’s product is interior and exterior repaints. Our unique business model allows us to operate with: extremely low overhead, fixed profit margins and growth of around 100% per year.

Jon Hardin

Age: 25

Company: Hardin Design & Development

Description: Hardin Design & Development builds cutting edge iOS, Android, and web applications for companies including Mercedes, Toyota, Coleman Campers and FedEx. Our work has won awards and one of our applications was used in a commercial to launch the iPad in the North American, Japan, and Australian markets. We currently have offices in Madison and Chicago.

Arvind Narayan

Age: 23

Company: Libero Sports Asia LLC

Description: At one point, I was the youngest licensed soccer agent in the world and a co-founder of an agency which represents 80 professional soccer players in over 20 countries.  Out of our parent company in Chicago, we control our subsidiary in Delhi which is considered the soccer consultancy/agency in India with the most dealflow –  we work with big European clubs (ex. FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, etc) and corporates (Panasonic, Audi, Sesa, etc) and offer solutions to navigate through the Indian soccer market to identify opportunities to activate brand through soccer (both grassroots and professional).


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.