At the start of each year, Forbes recognizes young entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders across business, education, media and more. In the 2017 iteration, San Diego had strong representation across sectors, further solidifying our region as a world-class city where young talent thrives.
Introducing San Diego’s 20-something superstars listed in Forbes 2017…
- Chad Amonn, Cofounder, Inova Drone (manufacturing): Chad founded Inova Drone, a TechStars company developing small drones for commercial and governmental applications, including public safety and infrastructure inspection. Inova Drone was one of the first companies in Qualcomm’s Robotics Accelerator, and was recently a part of WTC San Diego’s 2016 MetroConnect program.
- Vinny Green, Director, Business Development, Snopes (media): Leading business development for fact-checking site Snopes, Vinny and his team doubled annual site traffic to over 13 million unique visitors in October. A local, Vinny graduated from MiraCosta Community College.
- Melissa Gymrek, Assistant Professor, University of California San Diego (science): With research institutions and universities creating a major economic impact in San Diego, scientists like Melissa play a crucial role in building our San Diego’s innovation economy. Recognized for her work in genetics and with a patented algorithm for part of the genetic sequencing process, Melissa is on the forefront of San Diego’s scientific research.
- James Heller, Cofounder, Wrapify (marketing): Growing up as a car enthusiast, James used his passion to launch Wrapify, a San Diego startup that pays drivers to wrap their cars with advertisements. With $3 million in sales and 35,000 drivers, the company’s unique platform has caught on in 27 cities. James attended CSU San Marcos.
- Braydon Moreno & Coby Kabili, Cofounders, Robo 3D (manufacturing): Founded in an apartment in Pacific Beach in 2012, Robo 3D now pulls in $4.7 million in annual earnings with its high-speed consumer-based 3D printers. Part of WTC San Diego’s 2015 MetroConnect program, Robo 3D received programmatic and financial support to increase its exporting capacity in new international markets.
- Josh Watson, Esports Operation Manager, Psyonix (gaming): With the huge success of the game Rocket League, downtown San Diego-based gaming company Psyonix has been pushing its way into eSports in recent years with SDSU grad Josh Watson leading the charge. His work includes production of the Rocket League Championship Series Live International Finals, which was viewed by over 1 million people worldwide.