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Former Thirty under 30 stars are now bestriding the globe


Danielle Ryan

Danielle Ryan

Patrick Colison

Patrick Colison

John Collison

John Collison


Danielle Ryan

The third annual Sunday Independent 'Thirty under 30' is again a brand new list of the smart young turks who will be shaping the business world in coming decades.

Previous entrants on the list include John and Patrick Collison, whose online payment revolution at Stripe has turned them into billionaires long before they hit 30. They've also attracted funding from the likes of Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

We've also pinpointed Intercom's Eoghan McCabe, whose customer relationship management group has been backed by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and recently completed a funding round that valued it at about $500m.

Arklow developer Greg Kavanagh fronted one of the most audacious gambles of recent years ploughing hundreds of millions of euros into buying land around Dublin as prices crashed, banks panicked and the IMF rolled into town. Kavanagh's New Generation housebuilding firm has also been backed by bluechip British pension fund M&G to the tune of €300m plus.

Belvedere-educated globetrotter Jonathan Cloonan is making waves at WPP and Vice Media. He's also been named as one of Forbes magazine's global 30 under 30 and was recently listed as one of the top 40 Irish Digital Influencers in the US.

Danielle Ryan has business in her genes. Her grandfather was Tony Ryan, one of the country's first billionaires and the co-founder of Ryanair. Ryan's Roads business is expanding fast, with new movies, books and fragrances on the slate.

Jules Coleman was on last year's list with her Hassle.com housecleaning service dubbed "hailo for housecleaners". She sold the company to German group Helpling last July for about €33m.

Soundwave's Brendan O'Driscoll was also zeroed in on as one to watch, as his genius music social network app attracted the attention of the likes of Stephen Fry and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. It recently picked up an editor's choice gong on the Google Play store - only 50 of the 1.5 million apps there have been recognised with the award.

Innovative hardware developer Ben Harris has also featured with Drop, his ridiculously smart kitchen measuring device, which may become huge in the Internet of Things.

Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O'Brien made real waves last year with their food sharing group Foodcloud, matching retailers with excess food products with charities trying to feed the hungry. Tesco is now on board and helping push this social enterprise to bigger and better things.

Coderdojo's James Whelton is said to have been the first to hack the iPod - but co-founding Coderdojo, which demystifies technology and coding for kids, may be a better legacy.

Fashion has also thrown up some really bright Irish stars including Simone Rocha and JW Anderson - both now highly sought after designers on the London market, with fashion behemoth LVMH taking a stake in Anderson's business. Jennie McGinn, one of the three McGinn sisters behind the Prowlster website, was also one of the 30 under 30 future stars last year.

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