A wake-up call to cynics who think they have seen it all. The young, creative and bold minds on this year’s 30 Under 30 list are proof positive that the future will be new, exciting and profoundly different. These entrepreneurs are teaching viruses to fight cancer, developing technology to help astronauts breathe on Mars and creating strings of hit songs that fuel our daily playlists. And that’s just a few. Harnessing our expert community, robust reporting, vigorous vetting and the wisdom of the world’s top investors and entrepreneurs, we evaluated more than 15,000 nominees. The final product: 600 revolutionaries in 20 industries changing the course—and the face—of business and society.
In an era of disruption, innovative companies are changing all sorts of industries—from taxi services (Uber) and hotels (Airbnb) to automobiles (Tesla), space travel (SpaceX) and cigarettes (Juul).
The next industry changer could be among this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia. From spouse matchmaking for Muslims to funeral services in Japan, this year’s honorees of the Consumer Technology category are looking to make life—and death—simpler and more efficient using technology.
While Lin Kytu was studying at the prestigious National Taiwan University in 2011, he cofounded Dcard, an anonymous online forum that is now one of the most popular Taiwanese websites. According to Alexa rankings, Dcard is the 14th most popular website in Taiwan, just after Wikipedia. Dcard says it attracts more than 1.5 billion page views a month, mostly from college students discussing a variety of topics, including relationships, careers and news. In July last year, Dcard was one of the tech companies that Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited to learn about the island's innovative industries.
Management Director, Industrial Technology Investment Corporation
Cheng Chiaofang is a management director at Industrial Technology Investment Corporation (ITIC), the VC firm of semi-government-funded tech research institution Industrial Technology Research Institute that gave birth to Taiwanese tech giants TSMC and UMC. Cheng focuses on investments in Japan and Taiwan, and until last year, had helped manage the operations of a $50 million joint-venture fund with Mitsubishi UFJ Capital. Cheng, who reviews more than 50 investment cases a year, was promoted to her current role just two years after joining ITIC in 2017 from Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten in Tokyo, where she was head of cross-border trading digital marketing team for Greater China.
Co-Founder, AESOP Technology & DermAI
Yen-po (Harvey) Chin cofounded two medical startups, AESOP Technology and DermAI, with Taipei Medical University professor Li Yu-Chuan. AESOP uses data and machine learning to detect medication errors and make drug prescriptions more precise, while DermAI employs similar technologies to analyze patients' skin conditions to uncover irregular moles. Chin is currently a postdoctoral master's student in biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School.
Professional player, GO
Hsu Chia-yuan is a Taiwanese professional player of Go, the complicated board game recently made famous by Google's AI computer program AlphaGo. In 2018, he became the third-youngest player to win one of the seven major Go titles in Japan when he defeated legendary Go player Yuta Iyama in the Gosei competition, ending the reigning champion's seven-year supremacy. In 2015, Hsu became the youngest winner of the Honinbo, Japan's oldest Go competition.
Founder, GeGe Design
With a master's degree in industrial design from Central Saint Martins and a stint as a 3D printing consultant at iMakr in London, Ariel Yi Chi Chang returned to Taiwan in 2015 to design tabletop games. Her work includes Gujuguju, the first modern card game from Asia to be sold in 450 stores of Barnes & Noble and is distributed around the world, including Japan, Australia and Canada. In 2016, Chang started her own company, GeGe Design, which designs products for her parents' company, GeGe Co. Ltd., a Taipei-based board game publisher. GeGe currently sells around 40 games, including Gujuguju, and is expected to have two more games later this year.