What young startup leader/exec do you believe has created an exceptional brand for themselves?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
One of our investors, Dharmesh Shah of Hubspot, is the first who comes to mind. Everyone knows and respects him in Boston.
2. Noah Kagan
People who create brands usually have great brands themselves. Noah Kagan (of Mint and AppSumo) has an exceptional brand because he gives so much of himself away online. He has countless hours of video available discussing his marketing secrets. OkDork is his website and detailed blog about life hacks. He’ll respond to you on Twitter @noahkagan.
Ilya Pozin has amassed an amazing following on social platforms and become one of Inc.’s 30 Under 30 and a columnist for Forbes in just a few short years.
4. Aaron Levie
I have seen Aaron Levie speak multiple times and have read numerous articles about him. His personality shines through, and the story is the same. He’s a hard worker who spends every day at the office. He collaborates with his team and walks the entire building. He wears a distinctive pair of running shoes, and he’s a big thinker. If you want to work at Box, you must know the culture immediately!
As the founder of The Middle Finger Project, Ashley’s brand aligns well with her personality and spirit. It’s sassy, irreverent and fresh in a world of boring and safe marketing personalities. I love reading her adventures, revelations and insights into branding and marketing because she walks the talk.
Jason Goldberg has developed an exceptional brand out of something that at first failed. His initial attempt called Fabulis was later revamped and relaunched as Fab. It’s a website that sells a variety of design items. It currently has more than 200 employees and generates $300,000 in revenue daily.
Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, has done an outstanding job in the last couple years of positioning himself as both a talented entrepreneur and as an advocate of a free and unencumbered Internet. His brand continues to grow with each new angel investment he makes and each new cause he takes on.
8. Jeremy Bloom
Jeremy Bloom of Integrate has done a great job of branding himself. I also happen to know that he’s a good boss (my sister works for him, so I have insider information). They are doing great things, and in the process, he’s made a great name for himself. He’s been very smart in the way he’s served as a spokesman and brand evangelist for his company. It’s something all entrepreneurs can learn from.
I’m more impressed with people who are bootstrapping sustainable businesses than the folks backed by big VC money. I like what Adam Brault has going on with his team over at &yet. He’s been putting together a really talented technical team and slowly expanding his consulting business into training, conferences and products.