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Forbes Under 30: What You Need To Know About The Cleveland Summit

The global spotlight will be on Cleveland this October.

Greater Cleveland Partnership

The spotlight will be on Cleveland this October, when hundreds of the most innovative and inspiring young Americans will gather for the Forbes Under 30 Summit. The honorees include 25 individuals who either grew up, studied or work in Ohio.

It’s a big deal — for the honorees, and city.

“It gives us validity in what we’re doing. And it helps show our retail partners that we’re a stand-out from the crowd,” says Evan Schumann, co-founder of Ohio’s L’Uva Bella Winery, of the honor.

“Ohio’s entrepreneurial spirit will be felt on the world’s main stage,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer of Forbes and Creator of the Under 30 Franchise, of the decision to host the next three Summits in Ohio.

The 2023 Summit will be held October 8 to 11 at venues around town — more details will be announced later this summer. Since 2011, Forbes has celebrated more than 10,000 young business owners, activists, scientists and entertainers. Cincinnati will host in 2024 and Columbus in 2025.

Ohioans in the spotlight

In honor of the event, Greater Cleveland Partnership is shining a pre-summit spotlight on the remarkable Ohioans on the list, from winemakers and filmmakers, to tattoo balm creators, medtech and cookie dough visionaries. So far, we have talked to:

Check this page for further stories:

All of the honorees have commented on the connections and boost the honor bestows.

“It gives us a strong network of other entrepreneurs and innovators who are fighting the uphill battle that we already did,” said Manny Setegn, CTO of Genetesis medtech company.

Local listers

The honors don’t end with the Summit.

For the first time ever, Forbes will launch 30 Under 30 local lists in ten cities this year, including Cleveland.

“When reporting on our Under 30 North America list, we’ve seen an uptick of founders hailing from many of these places,” said Kristin Stoller, Deputy Editor, Forbes. “We want to shine a light on the next generation of leaders in some of the most up-and-coming locations for entrepreneurship.”

Nominations for local honorees are open through Thursday, June 9.

Local Impact

The selection of Ohio as home to the next three summits was announced at an event at the Rock Hall last fall.

Said Forbes CEO Mike Federle: “When we choose where the Summit is going, we look for a few key things: breadth of industry, educational institutions, diversity and a base of young talent and the next wave of leadership. We look at a number of locations every year. After our due diligence, we have made the decision to bring the Under 30 Summit to Ohio for the next three years.”

JP Nauseef, President and Chief Executive Officer of JobsOhio, who led the effort to bring the Summit to Ohio in partnership with GCP, Destination Cleveland, the City, JumpStart and TeamNEO, moderated the event.

“Forbes chose Ohio for its iconic Under 30 Summits because of recent, significant economic momentum we and our partners have recently built in the state,” he said. “The strong relationship developed between JobsOhio and Forbes over the last several months will highlight Ohio’s value proposition as a preferred location for business and top talent both nationally and globally.”

GCP CEO and President Baiju Shah was one of many civic leaders in attendance.

“The Forbes summit and platform will provide a spotlight on Cleveland’s innovators and our dynamic city,” he said. “It continues to help change the perceptions of Cleveland, especially for the next-generations, millennials and Gen-Z.”

How To Get on Forbes 30 Under 30 (From Someone Who Made the List!)

You've probably heard about the one and only Forbes 30 under 30. What is Forbes 30 Under 30? According to Forbes, this is how it started:

“Ten years ago, Forbes set out to create the inaugural 30 Under 30 list. One decade later, it's now the definitive list of young people changing the world”

“Young people changing the world”; this is something that many can stand behind which inspire future generations of leaders to continue lending a helping hand. At Wonsulting, we are a group of young people changing the world, specifically in the Education space, where we’ve helped hundreds of thousands land jobs and now have a following of 3 million+.

But how did Wonsulting get on Forbes 30 Under 30 for Education in 2022? The answer: we paid….

Just kidding, we did not (but there’s rumors that some people can pay to get on, which I do not know if this is true or not). In this article, I’ll break down how we were able to get on Forbes 30 Under 30, starting with how we prepared for it, the application process, and tips to get in.

How we “prepared” for Forbes 30 Under 30

“Wait, you can prepare for Forbes 30 Under 30? How did you prepare for it?”

We didn’t. There is no “preparation” process to get onto Forbes 30 Under 30. Many people I’ve spoken to who have gotten onto the Forbes 30 Under 30 list said they just applied and got in. What I believe in is that if you are already doing good work, whether it’s helping job-seekers land their dream roles, giving back to the community by building shelters, or making an impact to the environment, you are well on your way to making the list.

In the first year of applying to Forbes 30 Under 30, we did try to do a marketing campaign via LinkedIn where we asked people to nominate us; however, we did not make the list. In the next year we did, and these are some tips on how you can get in.

Network with Forbes 30 Under 30 Honorees

At Wonsulting, we always encourage our followers to network with professionals to land their dream careers. For Forbes 30 Under 30, it’s the same way; one of the ways that I learned many of the insights to get onto Forbes 30 Under 30 was by networking with current listers. How did I do this? I did the following search on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn Search Bar: Search Forbes 30 Under 30

Filter: Current Company to “Forbes” (This is optional)

By doing so, you’ll have many people that’ll show up in your search that you can connect with. Even better, network with people who are specifically in the Industry you’re trying to get into. You can do this by sending the following (this is the exact personalized invite I sent to some!):

Example: Hi (name)! Hope all is well. My name is (name), (position) at (company) and (previous positions). I love your (mission/values/what they stand for) because (the reason why). I would love to connect with you!

Two exact personalized invites I sent:

Hi (Name)! Hope all is well. My name is Jonathan, CEO/Founder of Wonsulting and prev Snap/Google/Cisco. I love your mission to uplift human dignity, which is similar to our mission in turning underdogs into winners. Also love the work you do for children and families. You're awesome, let's connect!

Hi (Name)! Hope all is well. My name is Jonathan, CEO/Founder of Wonsulting which mission is to turn underdogs into winners. I read about the Harvard Diversity Project and love how you use your voice to inspire and impact lives in so many places. We need more people like you in the world! Let's connect.

After connecting, then add them to a Networking Tracker and get on coffee chats with them to see how they were able to get on the list. By doing this, I was able to connect with 20+ listers on LinkedIn and then spoke to 3 on how they made the list which leads to my next tip.

Get Referred by Someone Who is On the List

When you’re going for Forbes 30 Under 30, you can either nominate yourself or have someone else nominate you. You can send to your friends to refer you for the role, but what holds more weight is having current listers nominate you for the list.

When I was applying to Forbes 30 Under 30, I had only 1 person refer us for 2021 and we got rejected. However in 2022, about 4 listers referred us for the list, which I believe leveraged our application to be read by those selecting for it. By networking with Forbes listers before or when the list is out, you can get referred and a better chance to get on there (Read until the end to see how you can get referred by me!)

Showcasing Your Impact through Storytelling

Here was our summary + additional information in 2020 (Rejection):

Summary

  • Both Jonathan and Jerry come from non-target schools and nontraditional backgrounds (e.g. low-income, first gen, under-represented minorities); however, they landed their dream careers at Snap, Google, and Cisco by using LinkedIn.
  • Jonathan Javier graduated from UC Riverside and was on track to becoming a retail manager because he thought he couldn’t get into his dream companies due to his non-target school background. Similarly, Jerry Lee comes from a low-income, first generation immigrant family where he didn't have a familial network to rely on. But he became the first intern at Google from his alma mater and landed interviews with 10 companies in 6 weeks during the COVID19 pandemic.
  • Wonsulting’s work involves 4 main pillars: large scale events, corporate partnerships, career experiences for all & online content. In 2020, they’ve done the following:
  • Hosted 50+ large scale events, hosting professionals & executives: SVPs from Cisco, leaders from Google & recruiters from top tech companies, gathering over 175,000+ job seekers virtually.
  • Partnered with 150+ organizations & companies to equip 15,000 job seekers with LinkedIn job strategies.
  • Launched Wonsulting Project 2020 to offer 4,500+ job seekers, affected by COVID, project opportunities and webinars with 16+ companies.
  • Created 200+ professional development content on LinkedIn, generating over 160,000+ LinkedIn followers.

Additional Information

  • Jonathan & Jerry launched the Wonsulting Speaker Series back in March. Since then, we’ve netted over 150,000+ attendees and brought 120+ speakers & recruiters from top companies including Facebook, Google, McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, EY, PwC, Disney, Lyft & more.
  • Individually coached & mentored 400+ job seekers, landing them roles in top companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, JP Morgan & more.

Here was our summary + additional information in 2021 (Accepted):

Jonathan Javier graduated from UC Riverside and was on track to becoming a retail manager because he thought he couldn’t get into his dream companies due to his non-target school background. However, he broke into his dream companies Snap, Google & Cisco. Similarly, Jerry Lee comes from a low-income, first generation immigrant family where he didn't have a familial network to rely on. But he became the first intern at Google from his alma mater and landed interviews with 10 companies in 6 weeks during the COVID19 pandemic.

As a result, Wonsulting was created to educate, inspire & equip underserved jobseekers to land their dream jobs.

Wonsulting's mission is to turn underdogs into winners, where we help job seekers who come from non-traditional backgrounds break into their dream careers. Within the first year, Wonsulting has impacted over 1,000 clients & reached over 150M job seekers through social media.

Find out how Wonsulting can help you get hired at your dream job here.

Since the last time Wonsulting has applied to Forbes 30 under 30, Wonsulting has accomplished the following:

— Total social media followers (TikTok, LinkedIn & IG): 1.6 million (+20x growth YoY)

— Partnered with companies like Coursera, LinkedIn, TikTok (kicked off TikTok resumes), Handshake, Udacity, ZipRecruiter & more

— Featured by Forbes, Fox, Business Insider, Yahoo News, The Times, NewsWeek, LinkedIn News, TikTok News & more on how Wonsulting is leading the forefront in educating others on job search

— Team size grown to 18 across 5 teams (product, marketing, sales, partnerships & The20)

As we look forward to the next year, we're currently looking to invest into:

Services: Team of service providers to do 1:1 career coaching with clients. (EoY'21: $$$)

Online Course: Flagship digital product to help jobseekers learn the end to end recruiting cycle. (EoY'21: $$$)

The20: Cohort-based accelerator for job seekers ($$$)

Brand Partnerships: Partner with companies to provide marketing services ($$$)

Workshops: Speak at large events & schools ($$$)

Wonsulting's purpose has always been to serve the underprivileged community with a mission of "turning underdogs into winners". Jonathan and Jerry left their corporate jobs at companies such as Google/Cisco to continue this venture because they not only found passion in the work they were doing but also saw a problem in our generation regarding job-seekers not being able to land jobs.

By creating Wonsulting, we established a company that could both educate and create a social impact where non-traditional background job-seekers could receive the confidence and guidance to land offers at the Google's, Deloitte's, and Goldman Sachs of the world. In total, we have led 250+ speaking engagements in 9 different countries to spread this message, and by doing so, we hope to turn EVERY underdog into a winner.

How Does Forbes’ ’30 Under 30′ List Work?

We've got the news down to a science!

Forbes’ 30 under 30 list is a mark of incredible accomplishment and success. Those who make the cut are destined to shake up the world.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 list has been dubbed the coveted accomplishment for wealthy and influential figures worldwide. To be on the list is a lifelong aspiration for many, and to some, it is the dream to wish for. But how does Forbes actually determine who makes this list? 30 Under 30 is supposed to be as objective as possible, but how do you determine one’s level of success? How do you determine one’s impact on society?

With just 600 slots, and over 15,000 submissions, the list has a similar acceptance rate to Harvard and other prestigious universities. Forbes’ selection process is not some simple formula, but a multi-stage process that seems more about luck than merit.

Over 100 Forbes reporters scour the country in their respective fields for young entrepreneurs who are changing society. These reporters spend most of the year with this search, utilizing hundreds of sources that tend to produce the same names within a given year. The more of a game-changer one is, the higher likelihood that their name is going to be on the list.

Note that you cannot be on the list multiple times, so that increases your chances to be nominated before you’re 30 by a bit. But you can’t just get on the list by following in others’ footsteps — getting on it means having to take the road less traveled.

Some nominations come from alumni of the list before, such as distinguished recommenders, U.S. Senators, and even e-mails sent in by friends and family of potential nominees.

In the next stage in the process, reporters select 60 to 80 finalists for each of Forbes’ 20 categories. When selecting these finalists, Forbes states that they choose entrepreneurs over corporate ladder climbers and innovators over caretakers. So, if you want to make the list, it’s probably better to create your own splash in the world rather than making a splash in a company that has already been founded by another entrepreneur.

Finally, in the last stage of the process, Forbes begins the formal judging process. Judging is held by three or four legends in each field, some of whom are 30 Under 30 alumni. Potential legends in judging positions could be Olympian Eileen Gu for sports, who, at 17, was the youngest person to ever make the list in sports, or Billionaire Leon Cooperman for finance, who is the CEO of Omega Advisors, managing over 3.3 billion in assets.

Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list is serious when it comes to selecting the best of the best in each field. In fact, it could be said that the list is a catalyst for innovation of young entrepreneurs around the world.

Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list is serious when it comes to selecting the best of the best in each field. In fact, it could be said that the list is a catalyst for innovation of young entrepreneurs around the world.

Forbes “30 Under 30 List 2022” features 13 SOSV founders

SOSV Team

Forbes released its annual 30 under 30 list highlighting those inventing the products, methods and materials of tomorrow. This year 13 SOSV founders were recognized in the categories Manufacturing & Industry and Healthcare.

Tessa Callaghan and Aleksandra Gosiewski founded AlgiKnit (RebelBio) to transform fashion with rapidly renewable bio-based textiles. Based in Brooklyn, the company creates durable yet rapidly degradable yarns and fibers from kelp. Their approach reduces carbon emissions, microplastic pollution, and other negative environmental effects caused by traditional textile production. Read more.

Honghao Deng and Jiani Zeng created a wireless sensor that uses body heat to detect the presence of humans in a given physical space without collecting identity information. Launched from the MIT Media Lab in 2019, their startup Butlr (HAX) uses their patented technology to track movement, posture, and temperature while safeguarding privacy. Read more.

David Doyon and Jacob Flood use modern biosensing to track — and ultimately improve — the human brain. Launched on Kickstarter, their startup Eno (HAX) has developed smart headphones that measure electrical activity to allow users to track and strengthen their brain’s level of focus and improve productivity. Read more.

Michelle Zhu, the co-founder of Huue Bio (IndieBio), makes clean indigo dye made with microbial fermentation instead of traditional petrochemical synthesis. Five times less toxic than standard indigo dyes, the product is quickly catching the attention of the fashion industry. Huue is currently setting up partnerships to commercialize its dyes in exclusive lines of jeans expected out next year. Read more.

Mariam Awara and Ben Maxwell founded Pulsenics (HAX) to develop technology that monitors real-time electrochemical changes at industrial facilities. Their product allows site operators to reduce downtime, maintenance, and system inefficiencies to enhance the performance of electrochemical processes, which saves energy and cost. Read more.

Nikita Iliushkin and Linar Ismagilov co-founded Skygauge Robotics (HAX) to use drones to reduce cost, increase efficiency, and lower cost in large scale building work. The Skygauge drone actually interacts with surfaces and is able to complete physical jobs like painting, high-rise window washing, and pressure washing. Read more.

Fares Siddiqui and Michal Maslik co-founded Circadia (HAX), which has developed an FDA-cleared contactless patient monitoring system for use in long-term care facilities to predict congestive heart failure, pneumonia, sepsis, and other conditions far in advance. A team of nurses review data from the device and analyze trends to deliver predictive risk alerts with medical grade accuracy around the clock. Read more.

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