Featured Photo (above) Clockwise from left: Alexis Alston; Max Weiner; Julien and Justen Turner; Marisa Sergi-Schumann and Evan Schumann; Vineet Erasala, Manny Setegn, Peeyush Shrivastava; Natalie Rubio
People with Ohio connections are well represented on the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. The honorees include 25 individuals who either grew up, studied or work in Ohio. The diverse group includes venture capitalists, entertainers, athletes, scientists, educators and even winemakers and meat innovators.
These remarkable individuals, along with hundreds of other young groundbreakers and innovators, will be honored in October at the 2023 Under 30 Summit in Cleveland. The next two years will also be in Ohio: Cincinnati in 2024 and Columbus in 2025.
And the 2023 Forbes-listers with Ohio connections are …
Alexis Alston, 27, Firm Principal, Lightship Capital. Cincinnati-based Alston is firm principal at Lightship VC fund, dedicated to investing in businesses led by FOC (Founders of Color), LBGTQ+ individuals, women and innovators with disabilities. The Brown graduate has led investments into companies including Haute Hijab and Vyril. She is a leader of Black Tech Week.
Arike Ogunbowale, 25, Guard for the Dallas Wings. Athlete and activist Ogunbowale was a founding Member of LeBron James’ “More that a Vote” campaign. The former Notre Dame star is a two-time WNBA All Star.
Max Weiner, 27, Pitching Coordinator, Seattle Mariners. Hired at only 22 as a minor league pitching coach by the Cleveland Indians, today Weiner oversees the Seattle Mariners pitching department and owns Ant Farm pitcher-development firm.
Retail & Ecommerce
Nafis Azad, 25, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Lucky. An entrepreneur since 12, Columbus-area native Azad dropped out of Ohio State University to start Lucky with friend Sneh Parmar. The company tells shoppers about products they can’t find at one store which are carried at nearby stores. Clients include Sephora.
Oliver Zak, 25 & Selom Agbitor, 26, Co-founders Mad Rabbit. Miami University classmates Zak and Agbitor found a need in the marketplace and filled it: quality skincare products for new tattoos. Mad Rabbit sells chemical-free tattoo balms, and has received more than $7 million in funding from Mark Cuban and others, thanks to a 2022 appearance on “Shark Tank. Read More
Taylor Lint, 29, CEO and Founder, Swantide. A 2011 graduate of the Columbus School for Girls, Lint founded Swantide in 2020 to fast-track internal software set-ups for businesses. Lint, a Cornell graduate and software engineer, has set the goal of having an engineering staff that is at least 50% woman — a rarity in the field.
Vivian Wang, 29, Founder, Landed. Columbus-area native and Dublin High School graduate Wang founded restaurant and hospitality recruiting tool Landed in 2020, to deal with pandemic-related job concerns. Panera and Taco Bell are clients.
Katelyn Arnold, 29, Principal Scientist, Glycan Therapeutics and Research Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill. University of Dayton undergrad Arnold focuses her research on glycan biomolecules and their possible use in anti-inflammatory drugs.
Natalie Rubio, 29, Scientist, Ark Biotech. Cellular agriculturist Rubio, whose research focuses on growing meat from cells instead of animals, was a strategic advisor to Columbus’ Matrix Meats.
Megan Harris, 27, Founder, Empora Title. Harris, an OSU economics graduate, founded her title company in 2020 in Columbus with the goal of delivering “complete transparency and peace of mind throughout the entire title process.” Her company was valued at over $95 million by Pitchbook.
Justin Poiroux, 26, Cofounder, Yellow Card Financial. Poiroux and Chris Maurice founded a cryptocurrency exchange focused on business in Africa in 2022. Poiroux was previously an intern at the Airforce Research Laboratory in Dayton.
Food & Drink
Marisa Sergi-Schumann, 29, and Evan Schumann, 29, Founders and Owners, L’uva Bella Winery. Along with her husband/business partner, Chagrin Falls native Evan Schumann, Lowellville native Marisa Sergi-Schumann purchased her parents winery in 2020. It was the perfect place to produce the wine brand she had started at Cornell, Redhead. Just three years later, L’uva Bella Winery has four brands (Reserve, Reds, Purple Rain and Passion) sold across nine states in chains such as Walmart, Kroger and Target, as well as independent stores.
Jimmy Feeman, 28, Founder, No Baked Cookie Dough, with wife Megan Feeman. Hudson native Jimmy Feeman is giving the consumer what they always wanted – safely edible cookie dough. The husband-and-wide duo’s company began as a pop-up. Today, their Nashville-based brand is in 250 stores across the Midwest, including Heinen’s.
Hollywood & Entertainment
Chaz Bottoms, 27,. Founder, CBA Studios. Growing up in Cleveland Heights, Bottoms began drawing at 18 months. “I wanted to work in animation from the moment I found out that it was a career,” he says. While a student at Benedictine High School, Bottoms took the next steps in his dream career. After graduating from DePaul University, he founded Chaz Bottoms Animation in 2019. His decision was driven by the realization that Black animators were underrepresented in Hollywood. Read More
Julien Turner, 24, and Justen Turner, 20, Cofounders, Dreadhead Films. Columbus-area brothers Julien and Justen Turner are in their early 20s, but have been making films for more than a decade. They were the youngest filmmakers to be commissioned to work for “Sesame Street,” at 15 and 19, and their work has been featured in the New York Times, “Good Morning America” and on CNN. They have partnered with Nike, Beats By Dre, Amazon and Adidas.
Justin Fiaschetti, 23 Cofounder, Inversion Space. Mechanical engineer Fiaschetti and partner Austin Briggs created Inversion Space in 2020 to “build high-cadence space capsules for the commercial and defense markets.” Fiaschetti was previously an intern at GE Aviation in Cincinnati.
Marketing & Advertising
Jessica Chi, 29, Global Marketing Director, Fenty Skin at LVMH. Chi, based in New York, worked as campus rep for Columbus-based PINK band as one of her first marketing jobs.
Julia Montgomery, 27, Cofounder, Influent. Today she’s the cofounder of Influent social media content marketing and consulting firm. But from 2018-19, Montgomery was a critical care RN at Cleveland Clinic.
Vineet Erasala, Manny Setegn, Peeyush Shrivastava, all 26, Cofounders, Genetesis. These three Mason-based OSU graduates (Ersala also studied at Case) cofounded medical equipment manufacturing company Genetesis with the goal of “creating integrated biomagnetic solutions to improve patients’ health, outcomes and quality of life.” They have raised $40 million in funding since 2017. Read More
David McCullough III, 28, Cofounder, The American Exchange Project. Boston-based McCullough worked in Cleveland while doing the case studies that inspired his nonprofit, which has the goal of reducing polarization in America. This summer, he will send 400 high school seniors from 30 states on free, week-long trips to locations across the country.
Forbes Under 30 Summit coming to Ohio for 3 years – Greater Cleveland Partnership
Forbes 30 Under 30: Cleveland-born animator Chaz Bottoms illustrating a diverse future — Greater Cleveland Partnership
Forbes Under 30: Millennial Ohio winemakers honored for modern, approachable brands – Greater Cleveland Partnership
Greater Cleveland Partnership’s All In vision for a Great Region on a Great Lake has five key priorities: Dynamic Business, Abundant Talent, Inclusive Opportunity, Appealing Community and Business Confidence. All of our work ties back to these values. This story relates to Dynamic Business.