In the 10 years since we published the first Forbes 30 Under 30 list, the world has changed dramatically, but one thing has not: our history of spotting young innovators on the verge of making it big.
Ten years ago, when Forbes set out to create the inaugural 30 Under 30 list, the world looked a lot different. With only 56% of Americans regularly using the internet, a paltry 35% owned a smartphone. But a seven-person Bay Area outfit using ‘the web’ for ‘mobile photosharing’ caught the eye of our editors back in 2011: “I think social media is going to come out of the blue and it is going to surprise us,” then 28-year-old Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom predicted to Forbes. “I think the surprise really will be that this is not the end of social media – you haven’t seen the exhaustion of social networks.”
Though the world has dramatically changed over the past decade, one thing has not: the Forbes Under 30 list’s ability to spot young innovators on the cutting edge of meaningful impact. Systrom has since become a household name, as well as others from that first year, such as then 24-year-old State Department advisor Ronan Farrow and 28-year-old Community actor Donald Glover. Recent years have also predicted the rise of emerging household names like Canva’s Melanie Perkins, musician Kendrick Lamar, Guild Education’s Rachel Carlson and Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd.
While there are many lists and articles chronicling the stories of those that have already made it, the Forbes Under 30 list remains the go-to guide to those that are on the precipice of changing the world. And the most important part of the list? Your nominations.
Every year we sift through tens of thousands of nominations. They serve as the jumping-off point for the over 50 reporters that work on each annual list. Think you or someone you know should join the ranks of the Forbes Under 30? Now is your chance to submit an online nomination.
Here’s some helpful information about the process.
What happens after I submit the form?
You can submit a nomination for yourself or someone else. Note that you will not receive a confirmation email before your nomination is jetted over to the appropriate reporter or editor that will review the application. If they like your nomination, they’ll reach out to their sources and your nominee for more information. When they whittle down to their shortlist, they’ll hand off the info for our A-list panel of judges for the final selection (previous judges include Marc Benioff, Kirsten Green, Don Lemon, Tory Burch, Phil Knight, Jennifer Hyman, Bill Ackman and David Chang).
Which countries and regions are eligible?
Forbes Media creates three 30 Under 30 lists in North America, Asia and Europe. Nominations are also accepted for other regions, including Latin America and Africa, which will be sent to the appropriate editors. Please nominate your candidate for the region in which they are the most prominent. This could be based on region of active business or incorporation, majority of sales, greatest impact, residence, etc. Citizenship is not a requirement.
What are the 20 categories?
For the North America list, there are 20 categories: Art & Style, Consumer Tech, Education, Energy, Enterprise Tech, Finance, Food & Drink, Games, Healthcare, Hollywood & Entertainment, Manufacturing & Industry, Marketing & Advertising, Media, Music, Retail & Commerce, Science, Social Entrepreneurs, Social Media, Sports, Venture Capital.
For the Europe and Asia lists, there are 10 categories. Please select one of the categories above and we will filter your nomination to the appropriate category.
What if I’m not sure what category to pick?
Most nominees could fall under a number of categories. Try to identify which industry your nominee is most prominently impacting. For example, though an EdTech startup could qualify for a number of categories, you should select Education. Don’t worry if you choose wrong. Forbes editors review nominations and will make the final call.
What if a company or organization has more than one founder?
You and your cofounders/business partners can be jointly named to Forbes Under 30. When nominating, be sure to include all names of your cofounders or partners who are under 30 years old. If you don’t, we may not consider them. Note, if they’ve aged out, they won’t be eligible, but you still are.
What if I don’t know all the information to complete the form?
Fill out the form to the best of your ability. Your nomination will get their foot in the door so make sure the information is accurate and highlights why they should be on the list. If we like your nominee, our editors will do their own research into the candidate to confirm all information and will be in touch with you if they require more from the information.