40 under 40 2023

Introducing the exceptional entrepreneurs from web2 to web3, both within and beyond the Los Angeles ecosystem. Spanning industries from crypto and blockchain to healthcare and fashion, we proudly present this 40 Under 40 list for 2023.

1. Brian D. Evans

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.37.49 PM

This trailblazing LA based Inc. 500 Entrepreneur and MBA has a multitude of ventures under his belt. He is behind the revolutionary platforms Affinity.xyz, BDE Ventures, Influencive, and more. A fabled early-stage web3 and crypto investor, his insights have amassed a dedicated following exceeding one million strong.

As an esteemed advisor to rapidly scaling startups, he built an award-winning Venture Studio and garnered acclaim for founding one of America’s Top 25 Marketing Agencies. Recognized by Forbes as a top digital marketer, his expertise has graced the pages of prestigious publications such as Rolling Stone, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc, and of course, Forbes and Influencive.

With his content reaching an astonishing 32+ million readers, he continues to make waves in the digital sphere. He is set to co-star as a judge on the highly anticipated Crypto TV show, The Next Crypto Gem. Lending his strategic acumen to Animoca Brands’ Mocaverse, he is universally acknowledged as a preeminent authority in the realms of crypto, web3, and web3 gaming. This dynamic entrepreneur is revolutionizing the digital landscape, one venture at a time.

Brian’s remarkable accomplishments have secured him the distinguished honor of claiming the top position in this year’s 40 Under 40 list.

2: Thomas Grønnevik

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.37.53 PM

Thomas Grønnevik is a visionary entrepreneur and investor, who is making a big impact in the world of gaming and Web3. As the founder and CEO of Wasder, a cutting edge platform for GenZ Players, he is at the forefront of the next wave of innovation in this exciting field.

With a passion for the intersection of games and technology, Thomas is not content to simply follow trends – he is creating them. As a sought-after speaker and featured leader in publications such as GQ, he is inspiring others with his bold vision for how gaming and technology can positively impact society and empower young people.

With Thomas Grønnevik leading the way, the future of gaming and Web3 looks bright and full of promise. If you’re interested in the cutting edge of this rapidly evolving field, he is someone to watch and learn from.

3. Joe Gebbia

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.37.58 PM

Gebbia “co-founded and led Airbnb, one of the world’s most successful start-ups. He is also recognized for launching innovative programs to leverage Airbnb’s platform to find housing for victims of natural disasters.”

4: Edward Chang

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.03 PM

Edward Chang is the founder & CEO of Origin Equity Partners, a private equity firm known for driving growth and creating value for its portfolio companies. Prior to establishing Origin Equity Partners, Edward held several senior leadership positions at large private equity firms, investment banks, and strategy consulting firms. Notably, he was a managing director at The Spectrum Solutions Group where he significantly grew the consulting business to an annual revenue of 8 figures. With over a decade of experience in private equity, investment banking, and strategy, Edward possesses a keen eye for identifying promising investment opportunities and has an impressive track record of delivering robust returns for investors. He is well-known for his strategic thinking, collaborative approach, and deep understanding of the capital markets and M&A transactions. As a leader at Origin Equity Partners, Edward is committed to sustainable investing. He believes that sustainable investing is value investing and has advocated for greater access to public markets for sustainable investments. Edward’s commitment to sustainable investing has earned him recognition as an innovative leader in the industry. He has been recognized for his work on innovative strategies for sustainable investing through the sponsorship of SPACs in the US markets.

5: Kice Akkawi

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.08 PM

DJ, producer, and CEO. In 2015, Kice combined his decade of business acumen and music experiences to found Treblemonsters, a sonic branding agency that has reached nationwide acclaim. Kice and his team consult and operate with leading nightlife and hospitality brands by programming hundreds of weekly custom elements including audio/visual, DJs, live music, playlists, speciality acts, and more. As an artist, Kice has performed at some of the top venues worldwide. He has further distinguished himself by teaming up with elite instrumentalists in his popular DJ featuring live music shows. Kice was also recognized as a leader during the COVID-19 pandemic with his movement that lobbied legislatures and supported unemployed artists. His ongoing commitment is to advance brands sonically while keeping artists at the forefront. As Kice works towards his goals and oversees Treblemonsters, his future looks bright with upcoming music releases and shows on the road.

6: Pranav Arora

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.12 PM

Pranav Arora is a successful serial entrepreneur, investor, and venture capitalist with a vast knowledge of the business, media, and finance industries. He started his first company at 16, and currently serves as the CEO of JMTD Holdings, a private equity firm, and Head of Division at Just Funky, a premier manufacturer of licensed and private label merchandise. Pranav is also the founder of Stunned Mind and serves as a partner at ILG Property Investors and PSSR Holdings. Outside of his professional endeavors, Pranav is an avid philanthropist and serves as Chairman of the Board for The Arora Foundation and Vice President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Just Funky Foundation. He is also a member of several organizations, including the American Marketing Association, LIMA, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and the Asian Indian Alliance.

7. Alyssa Tsai

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.16 PM

Founder and CEO of PANONY & PANews. Limited Partner of Animoca Brands, NGC Ventures and Delta Fund. Forbes 30 under 30 Asia and China 2020.

Alyssa Tsai is an entrepreneur and angel investor across multiple industries with focus on technology and finance companies.

She previously worked for VOGUE and Ogilvy, while Apple, LVMH and Huawei consulted her for their Asia and Greater China go-to-market strategies.

She’s also an active speaker in global conferences for topics related to cryptocurrency, blockchain, web3, NFT and metaverse.

8: Justin Wu

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.21 PM

Justin Wu is the founder of Dcentral Conference, a global web3 community that hosts events in Miami, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Singapore. Previous to founding Dcentral, Justin ran as a community builder & developer relations for companies such as Polygon, AirSwap, Immutable X and many more. He’s focused on evangelizing Web3 and connecting builders together to level up the industry through content, education and networking.

9: Sam Heyer

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.26 PM

Sam is a former Engineer turned Entrepreneur, Web3 Investor, Producer, and Actor. He takes an engineering “Sprint” approach to scaling products and companies and has worked with some of the largest consumer brands to launch their products to the market. After mistakenly taking a clown class thinking it was a public speaking class, he stumbled into producing movies and acting. His current focus is investing in and advising companies that are advancing entertainment, gaming, and Web3 to create new platforms for creators.

10: Nikita Sachdev

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.30 PM

The trailblazing founder & CEO of Luna PR and Luna VC, who juggles crypto investing and fintech marketing like a pro. This Indian-American model-turned-marketeer, now based in Dubai, has dipped her toes in the international modelling scene and even flirted with Bollywood. But, like a moth to a flame, Nikita found her true calling in the dazzling world of crypto and blockchain in 2017 when she teamed up with the crypto colossus, Huobi. Soon after, she launched her own fintech-centric PR and marketing powerhouse. Nowadays, she globe-trots to renowned institutions like the University of Miami and Oxford, enlightening eager minds on blockchain’s potential.

11: Katrina Lake

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.35 PM

At age 28, while pursuing an MBA at Harvard, Katrina Lake founded Stitch Fix. Her company mails customers five articles of clothing and allows them to choose which items they want to purchase. She relied on SurveyMonkey data and the goodwill of customers to start her mail-order fashion empire. It worked: In 2017, Stitch Fix raised an initial public offering of nearly $120 million. Her company currently has more than 4 million active customers with a revenue of $2.1 billion in 2021.

12.Whitney Wolfe Herd

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.39 PM

Before starting Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd was the vice president of marketing for the popular online dating platform Tinder. Due to growing tensions and a sexual harassment lawsuit, she left Tinder in 2014 to start the female-friendly online dating platform Bumble. The site was so popular that, in 2021, 31-year-old Wolfe Herd became the youngest woman to take a company public.

13. Josh Feinsilber

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.44 PM

At 21, Josh Feinsilber is the youngest entrepreneur on this list. He started Gimkit in 2017 when he stumbled across Kahoot, an application that allows teachers to test their students’ knowledge with quiz games. Feinsilber took that simple idea and decided to improve upon it. Gimkit, which provides interactive games for teachers and students, started as a school project but quickly morphed into a site with more than 3 million active monthly users.

14. Alex Schulze

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.50 PM

During a trip to Bali, Indonesia, with pal Andrew Cooper, Alex Schulze was dismayed at the amount of trash washing onto the beach from the ocean. After speaking with local fishermen, the two young entrepreneurs began to explore ways to clean up the ocean while making a profit. This idea was the foundation for their company 4ocean and its One Pound Pledge: For every item it sells, the company pledges to remove at least 1 pound of waste from the ocean. Since its creation, 4ocean has removed more than 18 million pounds of ocean trash.

15. Alexander Kennedie

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.38.54 PM

Entrepreneur Alexander Kennedie started off at the age of 15 by growing several niche pages until he amassed millions of followers on instagram which he used to promote his own dropshipping websites and secure brand deals. In 2020 the network and the websites associated with it were sold to a group of investors. He then went on to develop his own Marketing company, where he currently works with big publishers worldwide such as Forbes,Daily mail and many more ,manages social media campaigns and helps run political campaigns.

16. Alexander Levin

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.02 PM

Alexander is one of the co-founders of the very popular image storing website ImageShack. Racking up a huge $56+ million fortune along the way, Alexander has done very well indeed. Starting the website back in 2003 after coming up with the concept in high school, it is now one of the largest image hosting websites in the world.

17. David Schottenstein

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.07 PM

David is the founder and CEO of Astor & Black, his main revenue is made from his 82 independent sales representatives, from all over America. Astor & Black is an online business that sells bespoke, original, and very high-quality evening and business wear. David has his team of “Clothiers” who for a fair price, will come to your home and give you a unique style, enhancing your wardrobe so you look fit for the real world.

18. Will Wilde

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.10 PM

As a British entrepreneur, I have a track record of success in the alternative investment space, building a reputation as an astute investor and savvy businessperson. In 2021, I turned my attention to the exciting and rapidly evolving world of web-3, recognizing the enormous potential for growth and innovation in this space. I have already made significant investments in some of the most promising projects in web-3, including Yuga Labs by acquiring 10 Bored Apes and becoming the largest holder of Tsuka which is a decentralized community token, built on ERC-20, fully distributed and entirely run by the community.

19. Brian Keller

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.18 PM

This heartwarming story began in a University of St. Thomas entrepreneurship class. Brian Keller and his friend came up with a business idea that would have a positive impact on society. Their company, Love Your Melon, began in 2012 with the stated mission of providing a hat for every child battling cancer in America, which equated to 45,000 hats. They crushed that goal and did not stop. The company has provided more than 230,000 hats to children who have cancer (a significant improvement over their original goal) and contributed $9.4 million toward fighting pediatric cancer through research.

20. Oliver Blakey

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.24 PM

Prior to diving head first into crypto in 2016, Oliver played high stakes poker for almost a decade. After spending 2 years as an active angel investor in the space, Oliver co-founded Ascensive Assets where he’s been responsible for leading the firm’s investments in some of the blockchain and crypto industry’s most formative Defi and gaming companies.

When Oliver isn’t traveling the global conference circuit, he’s focused on helping the firm’s portfolio companies navigate their fundraising strategy, business development needs, and external partner relationships.

21. Sadhvi Siddhali Shree

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.31 PM

Sadhvi Siddhali Shree is the first North American Jain monk, a US Army Iraq-war combat veteran, a TEDx speaker, an activist, author and an award-winning filmmaker.

Driven by her deep-seated devotion to humanity, she uses her talents and skills to raise awareness about non-violence, personal and spiritual transformation, and social issues. Since 2008, she has served as the Spiritual Director of Siddhayatan Tirth & Spiritual Retreat Center, a 250-acre retreat, ashram, monastery, and Hindu-Jain pilgrimage site near Dallas, Texas while spreading the teachings of her spiritual mentor, Acharya Shree Yogeesh.

Determined to bring about positive change and to help those who have suffered, she directed and produced two award-winning documentaries Stopping Traffic (2017) and Surviving Sex Trafficking (2017). Her latest film, For The Animals, is a feature documentary addressing the stray and overpopulation crisis of Houston, Texas. The film is co-directed alongside monk-filmmaker Sadhvi Anubhuti with an intended release in 2023/2024.

Sadhvi Siddhali Shree and her spiritual and humanitarian work have been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, TMZ, Newsweek, the Associated Press, Deadline Hollywood, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Times, and the NY Post. She is a Forbes Nonprofit Council member and shares her experiences on non-profit thought leadership.

22. Jurgis Mittas

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.36 PM

A 5 AM club member, Entrepreneur with  20+ years of experience as a designer/developer, completing over 100+ diverse successful projects. Established a social media empire reaching a 25M+ follower base and was listed in Revcontent ad network’s Top 100 by revenue. Founded multiple thriving SaaS services, collectively reaching 200k+ active subscribers. An early-stage web3/crypto investor and blockchain enthusiast, led the development of Ethereum’s first upgradable contract. Trusted advisor to fast-growing startups.

23. Simon Fuller

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.42 PM

Simon is an amazing operator, and a man of real vision. He’s built up the most incredibly successful management business, from sports personalities to pop artists (he managed the Spice Girls at the height of their fame). And he kick-started the idea of the Pop Idol franchise, which has now been sold to more than 100 countries.

24. Andrew Bergevin

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.47 PM

Andrew Bergevin also known as ANDY M A started making techno music at age 15 whilst also growing several niche instagram pages. This allowed him to grow a combined following of 500000 like-minded fans of techno music. This allowed him to promote his own music to a targeted audience on a large scale. He has worked with some of the biggest PR agencies in the electronic music scene promoting upcoming events and festivals, but also with record labels and independent artists promoting new releases. He has now started DJing whilst also continuing to grow his niche pages on social media.

25. Sophia Amoruso

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.52 PM

Girl boss, indeed! Back in 2006, a 22-year-old Sophia Amoruso decided to take her hobby of scavenging for vintage clothing online and created an eBay boutique where she sold her thrifted finds. Fast-forward five short years, and her hot online clothing shop, Nasty Gal, was raking in $23 million in revenue, reported a three-year growth rate of 10,160%, and had more than $40 million in investments.

26. Alexa von Tobel

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.39.57 PM 

While attending a top-tier business school, Alexa von Tobel realised many of her peers lacked financial education. This inspired her to launch LearnVest, a personal finance platform with a mission to help users feel confident about their money. In 2015, Northwestern Mutual acquired LearnVest, retaining von Tobel as its leader.

27. David Karp

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.02 PM

At 35 years old, high school dropout David Karp is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. After learning HTML at age 11 and beginning his first internship at just 14, Karp founded Tumblr, a microblogging platform, in 2007 when he was only 21. Host to more than 190 million blogs, Tumblr was sold to Yahoo in 2013 for a staggering $1.1 billion. Instead of focusing on making money, Karp was driven by passion and dedicated to keeping Tumblr a space for creativity and self-expression.

28. Kathryn Minshew

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.06 PM

When Kathryn Minshew was looking for a new job, she realized the resources available online were not only frustrating but also didn’t embody what the modern, professional woman cared about. After a failed attempt at creating a job-related site in 2011, Minshew successfully founded The Daily Muse, a website dedicated to helping women discover their passions and search for jobs that reflect them and their interests. Now rebranded as The Muse, Minshew’s site has more than 75 million users

29. Elnaz Sarraf

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.11 PM

Elnaz Sarraf began her entrepreneurial journey by co-founding iBaby in 2013. The company sold highly sought-after smart baby monitors to major retailers internationally. The early success was not enough for Sarraf, however. She wanted to make a bigger impact and figured education would be the best area for her to do so. In 2017, she founded Roybi Robot. The product, Roybi, uses state-of-the-art technology to support children’s learning by focusing on their interests and abilities. Sarraf raised $4.2 million in seed funding to support the enterprise. Roybi was named one of the best inventions of 2019 by Time and featured on the magazine’s cover.

30. Sean Belnick

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.16 PM

Sean Belnick first started his own business back when he was only 14 years old, locking himself in his bedroom for almost three days, he emerged with what we now know as Bizchair. He began selling a few office chairs here and there, eventually gaining an employee until he finally got his sales down to a tee. He currently sells office furniture to the likes of Google, Microsoft, and many more. He is now worth an estimated $50 million.

31. Lois Panayiotou

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.21 PM

Lois founded Collab House in 2017 as an influencer marketing agency. Connecting models, influencers and creators with brands around the world to deliver exceptional marketing campaigns. Lois was given the opportunity to help plan and implement effective online marketing campaigns for many major brands as well as start ups across a wide range of industries. She met some really talented people along the way and her team started to grow. Now Collab House is a marketing powerhouse with 146,000 followers and the ability to design and build brands from the ground up, helping them manage every aspect of their online presence.

32. Angelo Raguso

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.27 PM

Angelo Raguso is a 29 year old from south-Italy. After a ten-year career in the field of electronic music where he has published his productions tracks on famous record labels such as Spinnin’ Records, Elrow , Trax Records , Nervous records and many others, he decides to expand his work background, after a period as social media manager for the uk-house label Freakin909 with whom he worked, he makes himself available to everyone by offering social-media growth services, in a few years he manages to work directly with agencies such as Clickfunnels, OnlyFans and many others celebrities & brands.

 33. Susan Gregg-Koger

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.31 PM

Susan Gregg-Koger is the CEO and co-founder of Modcloth.com, operating the site via her college dorm room where she managed to process orders herself whilst keeping up with her academic classes, that’s hard work right there! Her website was designed by her then boyfriend (now her husband – below) and the site went from strength to strength and is going remarkably well even now. The site boasts over 300 designers all creating one-off unique garments for their customers, sounds great.

34.Rishi Kacker

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.36 PM

Rishi is one of the co-founders of Voltage.com, a security based company, the nature of the business is the encryption and protection of online and offline data through the use of electronic devices. In other words they stop people stealing data and identities etc.

35. Matt Pauker

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.40 PM

Matt was Rishi Kacker’s (above) business partner and another one of the co-founders of Voltage.com. The business started in 2002 and Matt is still there at the time of writing this. Matt has been involved with the design and architecture of the business and still gets deeply involved in all the processes which come with it. The company is now used by some of the biggest named brands and businesses in the world, and it is still growing.

36. Sean Whalen

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.45 PM

Sean is a very physical entrepreneur and doesn’t mind getting in there, and really getting his pulse racing. Sean developed the AlterG treadmill, which is essentially a treadmill for use in anti-gravity. Why? Well besides it being a very good idea, it is perfect for those athletes or the elderly who have injured themselves. It allows you to train using only 20 percent of your natural body weight, which allows the user to develop strength much more adequately, safely, and without causing any more pain than necessary.

37. Aaron Levie

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.50 PM

Aaron is the CEO of the website Box.net, for those of you that know of Box.net, here is one of the founders. Starting back in 2005 Aaron aged just 18 years old created the website as a business project for college. The website came on in leaps and bounds through the college project and it was decided to bring the idea and project into the real world, Box.net was then officially incorporated that same year. The website business managed to gain capital from business “Angel” Mark Cuban, followed by some rather large sums of investment from third parties.

38. Dylan Smith

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.54 PM

Dylan is the second in command at Box.net, and currently resides as the CFO there. Dylan has been the go-to-guy in a number of other various start-ups besides Box.net. Smith is the right-hand man of Aaron and focuses his efforts more towards the sales, management and budget side of the business. Together they have so far managed to raise nearly $15 million in funding for start-up corporations.

39. Joshua Dziabiak

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.40.59 PM

Joshua started his first company, a web-based hosting and design site aged just 15yrs, by the time he was 18 yrs he had managed to grow the business to such a degree that he sold it for $1 million. Now that’s not bad by anyone’s standards, £1 million by the age of 18yrs from a company he started as a mere boy!

40. Eric Koger

Screenshot 2023 03 31 at 4.41.03 PM

Eric was the design expert behind the Modcloth.com website, andalso helped with the hosting side of things. Eric is still very much a part of Modcloth.com and helps with the design, working closely with other designers they employ to oversee things are how they want them to be. He also helps with the financial side of the business like budgeting and sales reports.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.