Entrepreneurial experts inspire Boston in Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit

October 23, 2016

Following a night dedicated to music, Forbes Magazine kicked off their three-day summit with an eventful afternoon of young and wildly successful entrepreneurs who shared their stories and offered advice.

Revolutionary. Otherwise known as the word of the day at the Forbes Under 30 Summit on a balmy October afternoon. How do successful business owners get to where they are? Forbes set out to make it a point to answer that question by showing that setting up a workshop in the birthplace of the American Revolution should inspire those who are trying to start their own companies to return to their roots in order to foster success.

CEO and Founder of Virgin Groups, Sir Richard Branson was invited to share his stories of revolution and words of advice with those who were willing to hear it. Virgin Groups, which comprises over 400 companies, was one of the many sponsors of the summit.

“I don’t think there’s a big difference between an entrepreneur and an adventurer,” said Branson during his on-stage interview with Forbes editor Randall Lane.

Courtesy of Forbes Magazine
Courtesy of Forbes Magazine

Women dressed as flight attendants passed out fake boarding passes upon entrance to Faneuil Hall, followed by an informative brochure that rested on the seat of each wooden chair in the building that detailed how to make the most of this pretend inflight experience. This suggested silencing phones during in-flight activity and encouraged building  relationships with the persons seated next to you.

Everyone who has ever had an idea to change the world is of the mindset that they are going to change the world. One of the many events that took place at this years Summit was a pitch competition where finalists joined investment company Sound Venture founders and partners Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary on stage to present their company in a way that would interest the pair. The winner of the “Change the World” competition would win $1M in prizes and investment money. Sound Ventures and Rough Draft Ventures, a Boston based investment firm, will each be investing $100,000 in the winning company, and runners-up will get $25,000 investments from Rough Draft, while Forbes will donate $225,000 in free advertising.

More than 1,000 applicants from around the world submitted ideas, according to organizers. That number was narrowed down to just 14, and the finalists would be selected during the Monday and Tuesday events at Faneuil Hall and Northeastern University venues.

“Invest with people you would want to work with yourself,” said Ashton Kutcher about how his team selects their investment opportunities.

During the Monday afternoon elimination round, eight start-ups pitched their ideas, along with the progress that they have already made in their hunt for making the world a better place. The investment groups were looking for businesses that had already begun to make a difference, not a company that simply was pitching a business plan.

Four of the companies originated from the profit sector, and four came from the non-profit sector, according to the Forbes application guidelines. Among those finalists included Slice Capital, which is an online investment service that helps everyday people get involved with shares in startup companies, and Opus 12, a company that is working on the technology that will convert wasted carbon dioxide into useful chemicals and fuels.

The winner of the non-profit competition was Atlanta based honorCode, which is dedicated to infusing web development into K-12 classrooms. The winners of the profit competition were Pillar Technologies, a business that prevents damages on construction sites using sensors and predictive analytics, and Opus 12, according to Forbes website.

Other guest speakers at the event included olympic medalists Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman, as well as model and actress Chrissy Tiegen and chefs Chris Coombs and Bobby Flay.

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