Every once in a while there is the brilliant man or woman who comes along and makes it all look easy. They have great ideas, they know how to build relationships, and they somehow manage their regular workload with an uncanny amount of grace. These are the top performers who we all strive to emulate. Then there are the ones like Jojo Hedaya—more on him later—that get all this stuff figured out before they’ve even turned thirty. These are the entrepreneurs and innovators who we’d rather not compare ourselves to, but nonetheless gain a lot from observing.
After all, while perhaps they have the advantage of a fresh perspective and boundless energy, young people are at a clear disadvantage. They don’t have years of experience under their belt nor have they really had a chance to figure out how the world works. So when they make it all look easy, it’s astounding. In this article, we’re going to do a quick profile of four of these impressive entrepreneurs to give you an educational glimpse into their young professional careers.
Even with all the technology they have at their disposal, being a first responder is still one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. One of things that makes being a first responder so dangerous is that they’re first. When you’re first on a scene, for example, when someone is trapped in a dangerous environment, it’s often the first time you’ve been in that environment.
This means there are countless unknowns. Is the ground stable? Is there a cliff nearby? What’s the terrain like? Mihir Garimella is helping first responders answer that question without putting themselves on the line with the intelligent drone that his company, FireFly, creates. These drones are put to use to help first responders explore an environment without risking life and limb. That way, they can better formulate a plan of action to help whoever they need to help.
Garimella created a life-saving device at the age of 18. Clearly, the sky’s the limit for this innovative inventor.
Back in 2014, during an interview with Creator Magazine, Josh Rosenwald was talking about the company him and his friend, Jojo Hedaya had started in college. On advising other young entrepreneurs, he half-jokingly advised them to “Go into real estate.” He continued, pointing out that the odds for success as a startup are very low, around 5 percent.
Joking aside, Rosenwald ended up taking his own advice after successfully selling Unroll.Me to Slice, a subsidiary of Rakuten Intelligence. Though you may have never heard of it, Rakuten Intelligence is the 17th largest internet company in terms of revenue. Now, Rosenwald still works for himself, but in a very different role: as a partner at the Beechwood Forest Group.
The company is a real estate investment firm that specializes in multifamily properties. There, Rosenwald is leveraging the skills and experience he gained growing Unroll.Me to 5 million users, as well as his background in finance to identify opportunities and build relationships.
Along with his partner, Jacob Thornton, Ian Ownbey founded the application called Bumpers in 2015. The app was created to enabled podcasters to create their podcast content using just the microphones on their mobile phones. Just like other entrepreneurs on this list, Ownbey was in his 20s when he and his cofounder came up with the idea that would become Bumpers.
Ownbey and Thornton had a simple mission when they founded this product—to make it easier for regular people to create a podcast. In addition to enabling you to record audio with your phone, the app also gave users the ability to edit and share podcasts, all while on their smartphone. Together with Thornton and with the financial backing of Spark Capital and Evan Williams, Ownbey spent the better part of 2016 developing the app which made its appearance in the App Store in mid-2016. Ownbey managed to launch this app with just a team of four and although Bumpers has since shut down due to a lack of funding, expect to see this entrepreneur back in the business of innovative ideas before too long.
The beginning of Hedaya’s career goes hand in hand with another entrepreneur on this list. In fact, Josh Rosenwald was Hedaya’s business partner when the two founded and built Unroll.Me into an email service with over five million users. The two have since gone their separate ways, with Rosenwald having stepped down to enter the world of real estate investments. Jojo Hedaya is playing a different role too, though he’s stayed closer to the first company he founded. Despite the fact that Slice bought Unroll.Me in 2014, Hedaya stayed on as Chief Product and Consumer Officer.
He still leads product development for Unroll.Me, while also keeping tabs on the operations side of the company. As if Hedaya’s plate wasn’t full enough, Jojo also regularly presents at tradeshows and conferences throughout the Bay Area, where Rakuten Intelligence is based.
Though everything that Jojo Hedaya, Josh Rosenwald, and Mihir Garimella have accomplished at such a young age is amazing, what’s really exciting is the future these young innovators have ahead of them. They are all still quite young and are going to continue learning and gaining experience. As they do so, they’ll undoubtedly encounter more and more problems. And as you see, when each of these entrepreneurs confronts a problem, they solve it.
With Jojo Hedaya, the problem of inbox overload resulted in an email service that makes email a better, more user-friendly experience for everyone. With Mihir Garimella, the problem of entering into the unknown as a first responder resulted in a safe, more effective way to conduct search and rescue missions with his FireFly drones. Surely, as these innovators continue to encounter problems, they’ll keep coming up with innovations to make the world easier and better for everyone.