Today marks the last day for public voting in Forbes’ annual “30 Under 30” listing of 2013’s most important, influential, innovative young leaders. For the past couple months, voters have taken to their social media accounts to nominate or vote for their favorite entrepreneurs with status posts, hashtags, tweets and likes. In its third year, the ranking identifies the top 30 leaders in 15 categories, including finance, technology, music, energy and more – consistent with 2012, when Forbes added six new categories: education, social entrepreneurs, games & apps, sports, marketing, and Hollywood.
After tonight closes, Forbes’ editors and reporters will work with panels of expert judges to choose each category’s 30 twentysomethings. Through the end of the year, they’ll be narrowing down the likely millions of nominees to just 450 lucky leaders and creating content for the expected January 6 release.
If past lists are any indication, the voters, editors and judges are on point: Many winners are household names that return to the rankings every year, while others achieve historical milestones not long after being ranked.
Among this year’s nominated is Los Angeles’ very own Lin Miao, CEO and founder of incubator-accelerator Be Great Partners. Not even a year old, Miao’s organization is already making waves in the investment and startup scenes with a $6-million fund and a facility packed with bright young stars of its own. The innovator’s plan is to invest that fund in 500 startups within BGP’s first year. A lofty goal, maybe, but even before BGP, Miao had already left his mark on the tech industry. He was ranked on Business Week’s 2007 “Best Young Entrepreneurs” list and sold his first company for $60 million at the age of 24.
Since launching the fund in March, BGP has been expanding at breakneck speeds, guiding its more than 20 resident startups, hosting regular networking events and building its presence. In fact, at its Be Great Fest in September, the launch party and networking event for its “Incubate LA” campaign, Miao announced its plans for nine co-working spaces around Los Angeles. Starting with Culver City, the satellite sites, dubbed Be Great Labs, will offer budding startups the same resources and amenities as BGPs home base on Miracle Mile. The next space is expected to open this winter.
It’s no coincidence that Miao leads a company looking for startups with the potential to disrupt and revolutionize their industries – he just may be doing that himself. And he even sums it up best: “The boldest innovators have always disrupted the status quo.”
To vote for Miao – or any other innovative young leader – log onto Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and tag @ChairmanMiao and @BeGreatPartners with the hashtag #Forbes30Tech. Check out Forbes’ page for the other categories and hashtags. Voting closes tonight.