Millennials – anyone born from the early 1980s until around 2000 – are about 80 million strong. While some see them as a generation stuck looking at their phones, others realize that they’re shaping the world around us.
Driven more so by mission and values than by money, the Millennial ethos is one that combines individualism to the authentic audition of value to the world. In many ways, millennials are quick to return the rewards bestowed to them from their successes.
Some of the most influential people alive are millennials, and that trend is only going to continue as the generation reaches its maximum career impact over the next two decades. In fact, 30% of our clients at Arkenea are millennials building and scaling their software businesses!
Here are the top 20 most influential millennial entrepreneurs to watch in 2017.
1. Mark Zuckerberg
Just about everybody has heard of Mark Zuckerberg by now. The famous millennial created Facebook, the most powerful social media platform ever – and raked in a few billion dollars along the way. Barely in his 30s he’s already spent considerable sums giving back to cure diseases and help civilizations make better decisions across health care and education.
2. Gerard Adams
Founder of Elite Daily, Gerard Adams is an entrepreneur who understands millennials – to the point that his newest startup, Fownders, helps millennials create their own startups and become entrepreneurs themselves.
3. David Karp
David Karp created Tumblr, a site famous among many millennials who use the blogging platform daily. The site is normally used for sharing art and images, but it also acts well for short form blogging and sharing ideas.
4. Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp
Continuing the theme of ultra-famous social media and content sharing sites, Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp created Pinterest. Pinterest has grown into a massive business with these two guys at the helm.
5. Jessica Alba
Yes, that Jessica Alba. Actress turned entrepreneur, Alba created The Honest Company. A company that pushes ethical and non-toxic products, The Honest Company is valued at well over $1 billion.
6. Michelle Phan
A popular YouTube personality, Michelle Phan uses her gigantic fan base to promote her own lines of makeup and eventually started Ipsy, a makeup and beauty company which has received a large valuation.
7. Adam D’Angelo
Adam D’Angelo left Facebook in 2008 to start his own site, Quora. Quora has since become a massive site on its own and continues to grow in size and scope.
8. Peter Cashmore
There aren’t many things more influential than news. Peter Cashmore, founder of media giant Mashable, began as a tech blogger and has since built one of the biggest tech-news sites.
9. Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom
Instagram, created by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, is the immensely popular photo sharing social media app. The app has a particularly large audience with millennials and the upcoming Generation Z.
10. Brian Chesky
Founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky has managed to disrupt and revolutionize the way we approach travel, room and board.
11. Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz is perhaps most famous for co-founding Facebook. However, Moskovitz left in 2008 and co-founded Asana, a growing app that is used for team management in professional settings.
12. John Zimmer
Another entrepreneur focused on disrupting markets, John Zimmer is famous for his creation of Lyft, a major competitor with Uber. Ride-share apps are changing the way people think about travel, delivery and more.
13. Daniel Ek
Daniel Ek is one of the founders of Spotify, the music streaming service. The service has grown to a massive size, and it will likely continue to absorb a large share of the music market.
14. Blake Ross
Creator of multiple companies, Blake Ross gained his fame with Mozilla Firefox, the web browser. Since then, Ross has also started Parakey which was sold to Facebook for a nice profit.
15. Andrew Mason
Andrew Mason, founder of Groupon, is one of the oldest millennials on this list. While he is no longer running Groupon, he is still creating new companies that will continue to impact communities.
16. Amber Venz
Amber Venz not only became a famous millennial on her own, but she helped plenty of others as well. Venz, along with other popular fashion bloggers, were able to monetize their blogs by reaching out to their massive communities.
17. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy
The founders of Snapchat deserve to end up on this list. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy took photo sharing to the extreme, and have since created one of the biggest social media networks.
18. Matthew Mullenweg
Famous for helping others start their own blogs, businesses and sites, Matthew Mullenweg is the creator of WordPress. WordPress serves as a prime software for helping others build their own sites.
19. Brian D. Evans
Brian D. Evans, a serial entrepreneur, is perhaps most famous for starting Influencive. The site combines multiple forms of content to instruct and inspire those who want to become entrepreneurs themselves.
20. Sean Rad
Last but not least, Sean Rad is co-founder of the trendy app Tinder. Tinder, an app designed to help singles meet others in their area, is immensely popular among millennials.