Forbes Will Host its Marquee Under 30 Summit in Cleveland Next Year

State of Ohio will host conference for young "rock star entrepreneurs" through 2025.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted raving about the Under 30 Summit coming to Ohio. - Sam Allard / Scene
Sam Allard / Scene
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted raving about the Under 30 Summit coming to Ohio.

A handful of suited men in their fifties, plus Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, announced Wednesday morning that the annual summit produced by Forbes Magazine in concert with its "30 Under 30" list will be coming to Cleveland next year.

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, local political and business leaders celebrated the "Under 30" summit for its potential to highlight Cleveland on a global stage and to convene thousands of young "rock star entrepreneurs," to say nothing of social media influencers, in Northeast Ohio, where a recurring concern for businesses is access to young talent.

Fresh off the 2022 event in Detroit, Michigan — hosted in partnership with Dan Gilbert and Rocket Mortgage — Forbes' executives announced that Ohio's state economic development agency, JobsOhio, had secured a title sponsorship for three years, meaning the Under 30 summit will be held in Ohio through 2025: Cleveland in 2023, Cincinnati in 2024, Columbus in 2025.

“The summit will bring together the best young minds across industries, venture capitalism, public policy and more,” said Randall Lane, Forbes Chief Content Officer and founder of the Under 30 franchise. “Our goal with the next Under 30 Summit is to help spotlight Ohio’s talented workforce and ample opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. We’re confident that Ohio’s entrepreneurial spirit will be felt on the world’s main stage.”

Lane also noted that Forbes' prominent list does not recognize only 30 entrepreneurs, but 30 recipients across 30 categories, for a total of 600 honorees. The total attendees would number in the thousands. He said that while women and people of color receive only a tiny fraction of venture capital in the United States, they are well represented on the Forbes' lists.

"The boardrooms of tomorrow are in Forbes today," Lane said.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted noted that bringing the summit to Ohio was harmonious with his efforts at Innovate Ohio, which have included standardizing the process by which entrepreneurs can bring their intellectual property to market, promoting innovation districts statewide, and luring venture capitalists with the lowest capital gains rate in 40 years. Husted also noted the secondhand cultural electricity that awaits Ohio with hundreds of young creative people  coming to the state. In addition to panels and networking, the summit typically includes celebrity keynote speakers and A-list concerts.

Forbes CEO Mike Federle said that the word audiences most closely associate with Forbes content is "success," and that inclusion in Forbes magazine connoted "instant validation" for subjects across industries.

The same might be true for summit hosts. Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, who alongside Chief Strategy Officer Bradford Davy was said to have been a major force in bringing the summit to Cleveland, joked that he'd waited five years for his own nomination to the annual Forbes list.

"But I guess picking Cleveland as the first city in the state to host this amazing conference is a solid consolation prize," he said.

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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