For nine years, we at Inc. have been introducing you to the coolest of the cool young entrepreneurs. But this year, we decided to up the stakes. 

Our annual "30 Under 30" list is now a "35 Under 35" list, in honor of our own 35th anniversary. To help us choose from more than 400 applicants, we tapped an outside judging panel of A-list entrepreneurs, who generously agreed to help us cherry-pick the best applications in two rounds. The result: an extraordinary group of young men and women who are on their way toward becoming tomorrow’s superstar entrepreneurs.

Many thanks to the judges who helped us find them--and don't forget to vote in our readers' choice competition, which runs through Wednesday, June 25th:

Elizabeth Gore

As the first-ever entrepreneur-in-residence at the United Nations Foundation, Gore works to support innovation and entrepreneurial thinking across the globe. In her role, she chairs the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council and builds global partnerships that positively affect the UN’s most pressing humanitarian issues. Gore previously served as vice president of global partnerships at the foundation, and founded strategic grassroots efforts such as Nothing But Nets, Girl Up, and the Shot@Life. 

Ben Kaufman

Kaufman is the CEO of Quirky, a company that aims to crowdsource inventions. At 18, the 30 Under 30 alum founded his first company, Mophie, and learned just how difficult it is to bring one single product to market. In 2009, Kaufman launched Quirky to break down the barriers that can stand in the way of bringing innovations to the marketplace.  

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Dave Lerner

The multihyphenate Lerner is a serial entrepreneur, an angel investor, a blogger, and the host of Venture Studio where he engages with entrepreneurs, investors, founders, and other vibrant members of the flourishing New York City entrepreneurial ecosystem and beyond. One of his latest projects is the Startup Genome, where, in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation and Endeavor Global, he is mapping the entire world’s early-stage investment and entrepreneurial ecosystems in a visually pleasing format. He's also the director of entrepreneurship at Columbia University and an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School; he was the director of Columbia’s Venture Lab for seven years. 

Rebecca Minkoff

A fashion industry leader, Minkoff has built a global lifestyle brand with a wide range of accessories, footwear, apparel, handbags, and jewelry, as well as men’s leather goods under the label Ben Minkoff.   Named Designer of the Year by the American Apparel & Footwear Association last year, Minkoff was named Marketer of the Year by Footwear News in 2012 and received the Breakthrough Designer Award from the Accessories Council in 2011.  

Eric Paley

Paley is a co-founder and managing partner at Founder Collective, a seed-stage venture capital fund started by a team of entrepreneurs. These founders are focused on helping the next generation of great entrepreneurs build important and lasting businesses. Paley sits on the boards of Bookbub,, ChangeCollective, GiveForward, Contently, Harvest Automation, Boundless, The Trade Desk, and Integral Ad Science. He is an angel investor, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School, and a columnist for Inc. magazine. 

Danae Ringelmann

In 2008, Ringelmann co-founded Indiegogo with a mission to democratize fundraising and has since propelled the company into becoming the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Today, as Indiegogo’s chief development officer, Ringelmann is focused on driving industry and customer development, as well as steering the company’s culture and values. She was listed on Fast Company’s “Top 50 Women Innovators in Technology” in 2011 and was named one of Fortune's "40 Under 40" in September 2013. 

Rainn Wilson 

The actor, writer, and comedian is best known for his Emmy-nominated portrayal of Dwight on NBC’s The Office. Wilson launched SoulPancake with his friends Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry in 2009 to give people a platform to explore life's big questions and figure out what it means to be human. The company has a successful television division, a premium YouTube Channel, and a thriving creative agency business. The Seattle-born Wilson lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer Holiday Reinhorn, and their son, Walter.  

Donna Fenn

A contributing editor at Inc. and the co-editor for's 35 Under 35 Coolest Entrepreneurs, Fenn has been writing about entrepreneurship for more than 30 years. She’s also the author of Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack and Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business.