- Mathilde Collin, 28, Laurent Perrin
While working at a software company in her early 20s, Mathilde Collin had a realization. Every type of software she could think of had evolved in some way over the previous decade, except for the one she and her co-workers used the most: email. In 2013, she took that notion to European startup studio eFounders, where she met fellow Parisian Laurent Perrin. Just months later, the French duo co-founded Front, a San Francisco-based software company that has amassed $79 million of funding in less than five years and tripled its revenue every year since 2014.
Collin and Perrin define Front as a "shared inbox for teams"--a modernized version of email that pulls disparate communication channels like Outlook, Slack, Salesforce, social media, and text messages into one platform. Managers can assign employees to handle specific conversations without the hassle of cc's and bcc's, and teams can group-edit messages in real time before they're sent. Collin believes Front can affect a fundamental part of modern life--after all, everyone uses email. "We have an entry point to deeply change how people work," she says, before pausing to acknowledge, "It's an incredibly ambitious thing to do." --Cameron Albert-Deitch