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8 women founders and CEOs 30 and under to watch in business


  • To compile this list of rising business stars at or under the age of 30, we received 70 submissions from top leaders, including Marc Randolph, the cofounder and the first CEO of Netflix; Nancy Duarte, the CEO and principal of Duarte Inc.; and Geoff Ralston, the president of Y Combinator.
  • The roster includes CEOs and founders in tech, fashion, healthcare, and education.
  • Some major names are the 27-year-old Maryellis Bunn, the founder and CEO of Museum of Ice Cream and the cofounder of the experience-first development company Figure8, and the 29-year-old Chrissa McFarlane, the founder and CEO of the healthcare blockchain company Patientory.
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Entrepreneurial rising stars aren’t hard to find — but identifying the real rock stars certainly isn’t easy in a sea of launching companies and unique business ideas. 

So to narrow down the pool just a bit, Business Insider asked leaders from various industries, including tech, marketing, and consulting, for their picks of women executives, CEOs, and founders at or under the age of 30 to watch. 

From the 70 submissions we received, we drew out these eight businesswomen, based on nominations from a wide variety of industry experts, including: 

  • Marc Randolph, the cofounder and first CEO of Netflix
  • Nancy Duarte, the CEO and principal of Duarte Inc.
  • Serguei Beloussov, the CEO, founder, and chairman of the backup-software company Acronis
  • Sandro Olivieri, the founder and president of the strategy-consulting firm Productive
  • Nigel Waller, the managing director of the management-consulting firm Orsatech
  • Geoff Ralston, the president of Y Combinator.

Only 6.6% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are not men, but research suggests time and again that having women at the helm of a company reaps substantial rewards. That is why we’re excited to acknowledge the impressive work of these people making waves in healthcare, fashion, education, technology, and elsewhere.

Check them out. The power players are listed in no particular order.



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