These SD Entrepreneurs are Changing the World…and They’re Not Yet 30

- Sarah Lubeck

Forbes released its much anticipated list of ’30 under 30’ this week. We dug through it to learn about some of the ‘life changing’ entrepreneurs that are right in our backyard.

  1. Yuja Chang(24) and Watson Yim (27), Co-founders, Aira

    In 2014, as the once coveted Google Glass (RIP) was making waves in the tech space, Suman Kanuganti and Yuja Chang struck up a friendship with a blind professional, and started thinking of new applications for the glass technology. Three years later, the San Diego-based company has developed a full scale service that they alike in to ‘OnStar’ for the blind; A network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard can see what the blind person sees in real time – and guide them through specific tasks.In addition to creating some truly life changing technology, the social innovation company has raked in over $16 million in funding to date, and counts Dean Kamen and others as advisors.
  2. Dinesh Bharadia (29), Assistant Professor, UC San Diego

    While receiving his Ph.D. at Stanford, Dinesh Bharadia made a discovery: he built a radio that could transmit and receive at the same time and frequency. His research has been commercialized by Kumu Networks and Deutsche Telekom. Now, students and faculty can catch him teaching and conducting research at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.
  3. Natalya Gallo (29), Ph.D. candidate, UC San Diego/ Scripps Institute of Oceanography

    The rhetoric around climate change may be shifting on a national level, but at Scripps Institute of Oceanography (a department of UC San Diego), researchers and scientists are more focused than ever to share their life-altering discoveries with the world. One of these researchers is Natalya Gallo, who focuses on how climate change will impact fisheries.
  4. Stephen Goss (29), CEO & Founder, Zeeto Media

    In 2007, Stephen Goss came to the U.S. as foreign exchange student. He was only planning to stay for one semester. Unable to legally work in the U.S., he started some online affiliate marketing business. But Goss took his exploration in affiliate marketing one step further. He started asking users to answer survey questions to help better target ads.A few years later, he created Zeeto in San Diego, a platform for publishers to monetize their user base.The San Diego-based company has grown to employ a roster of more than 70 people in San Diego and is a frequent find on the Inc 5000 and many ‘best places to work’ lists.
  5. Laura Johnson (25), Co-founder, You & Yours Distilling Co

    When Yous and Yours Distilling Co opened its doors in March of 2017, Laura Johnson became the first female distillery owner in Southern California. The USD grad’s distillery mixes up beverages with its classic vodka and gin.And for $25, you can even tour its East Village distillery – a small price to pay for some life changing libations.
  6. Jeff Herman (29) and David Pain (27), Co-founders,  Fabric8Labs

    3D printing without lasers, powder and heat? It is possible, thanks to the duo behind Fabric8Labs. The EvoNexus portfolio company has created the world’s first non-thermal 3D metal printer and counts many industrial and aerospace customers as clients. The company is backed by Asimov Ventures and Mark Cuban.


Did we miss anyone on the list? Have any other ‘life changing’ entrepreneurs you thought should make the cut. Let us know: @SDlifechanging.