Forbes Announces Its Cleveland '30 Under 30'

The city's one out of 10 on the business magazine's new local list and will host the national Under 30 Summit in October

click to enlarge This is the first year Forbes is taking their list local. - Forbes
This is the first year Forbes is taking their list local.
For the first time in the 12 years since Forbes has been releasing its annual "30 Under 30" lists, which capture the entrepreneurial best according to a slew of judges, the business magazine is taking their rankings local. To just 10 U.S. cities.

And Cleveland's on that list.

A part of Forbes' localized edition, five judges—Mayor Bibb, Browns GM Andrew Berry, CincyTech's Ashley Keating, L'uva Bella Winery CEO Marisa Sergi-Schumann and Eddie Taylor, Jr.—handpicked the "must-know young people changing the world," from a Cleveland area code.

The 30 who made this year's list will soon gather with others recognized by the mag at the Under 30 Summit, which will for the first time be hosted in Cleveland, from Oct. 8 to 11.

The list, published Wednesday afternoon, compiles a comprehensive assembly of the city's most diligent and industrious, from CEOs and startup founders in their mid-twenties to part-time magician-slash-coffee-shop owners to a 9-year-old DJ who apparently books three shows a week. (Since she was five.)
click to enlarge Cocky's, run by founder Natalie Bata, is set to open its third location in Columbus, later this year. - Cocky's
Cocky's, run by founder Natalie Bata, is set to open its third location in Columbus, later this year.

"It's a truly humbling feeling," Natalie Bata, the 29-year-old founder of Cocky's Bagels, told Scene. "As soon as I saw it, my first instinct was to send it to my parents. My dad sent it to everyone."

Bata's inclusion comes at a ripe time for the chic bagel diner: she's seen $2 million in revenue (up from $25,000 in 2017, in her food trailer days) and is set to open Cocky's third spot this year, in Columbus.

"It feels surreal, it doesn't feel real," Elie Haoui, 23, the cofounder of Milk + Honey, told Scene. "I'm serious: I was crying all morning like a baby."

Haoui, like several on Cleveland's "30 Under 30," ignored glaring risks to pursue steep leadership roles and crystallize ideas that kept them up at night. And they seem to have the natural gene of hard work.

It's how Haoui explains his success—at 23—as a college dropout, part-time magician (since he was 4), and café exec on track to clock $2 million in sales in 2023, after opening a second location at Tower City Center.

"My parents are Lebanese immigrants who knew the value of work," Haoui said. "My dad told me nothing in life is free. I mean, when I was little, I had to mow the lawn, sweep the floors, do the dishes—just for a $3 deck of playing cards."

The full list posted on Forbes' site is as follows:
  • Jared Anderson, 24, and Sandor Gyerman, 24. Cofounders of andor.creative
  • Natalie Bata, 29. Cofounder of Cocky's Bagels
  • Reilly Berk, 25. CEO of Berk Enterprises
  • Devon Carter, 29, and Laura Frias, 26. Cofounders of Recognize Education and Learning
  • Ryan Cleary, 29. Cofounder of FloatMe
  • David Davis II, 25, and Tim DeStefano, 23. Cofounders of FBA Flip
  • Nichole Davis, 25. Founder of Wayfinder Patient Advocates
  • R. Joshua Dobbs, 28. Founder of ASTROridinary Dobbs Foundation
  • Conrad Geis, 26. President of Geis Development
  • Aaron George, 26, and Dan Lozada. Cofounders of SupplyNow
  • Lily Goodwin, 9. DJ on The Lily Jade Show
  • Palak Gupta, 29. PhD candidate at Case Western
  • Elie Haoui, 23. Cofounder of Milk + Honey
  • Ethan Homes, 29. Founder of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce
  • Kuan Huang, 29. Cofounder of Aropha
  • Karim Janmohamed, 24. Co-CEO of Karali North America
  • Jonah Katz, 22, and Andrew Hamilton, 23. Cofounders of Layer
  • Samira Malone, 28. Director of the Cleveland Tree Coalition
  • Sergio Mazzola Poli de Figueiredo, 29. Surgeon at Cleveland Clinic
  • Aiden Meany, 29. Founder of Found Surface and Impossible Art
  • Geeta Minocha, 25. Founder of Ohio Public Banking Coalition
  • Andrew Newsome, 29. Vice President of ScaleCo
  • Selina Pagan, 27. Co-director of Young Latino Network
  • Maria Paparella, 25. Founder of Chair-ity
  • Leopoldo Peña, 28. Cofounder of Presta
  • Nathan Sundheimer, 29. Head of U.S. Healthcare Partnerships
  • Cameron Tolbert, 26. Founder of Native Ingredients
  • David Tirpak, 29. Founder of Miracle K9 Training
  • Mitchell Vargo, 26. Partner of Forward Hospitality Group
  • Dianne Williams, 27. Founder of Little Zen Yoga

Subscribe to Cleveland Scene newsletters.

Follow us: Apple News | Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Or sign up for our RSS Feed
Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

Mark Oprea

Mark Oprea is a staff writer at Scene. For the past seven years, he's covered Cleveland as a freelance journalist, and has contributed to TIME, NPR, the Pacific Standard and the Cleveland Magazine. He's the winner of two Press Club awards.
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.