- Ben Lux, 29; Max Winograd, 28; Mike Woods, 29
Max Winograd and two of his Brown University classmates, Ben Lux and Mike Woods, came up with the idea to start NuLabel while working on a capstone project for an entrepreneurship class. They were paired with an adjunct professor who had come from a label-printing company. "He told us that almost every major customer of theirs would throw half of every label away," recalls Winograd. "For every million shipping labels, you're throwing away 2,300 pounds of backing paper." It seemed like a problem worth solving. Seven years later, NuLabel has technology that helps food and beverage brands reduce packaging costs, waste, and downtime. They've done it by inventing a fluid-activated adhesive that's applied to label papers, but that remains completely dry to the touch until it's activated by a water-based, glue-free spray. The result was no sticky label backing to gum up machinery, and the complete elimination of backing paper. The environmental impact is potentially huge: Just think about all of those FedEx, UPS, and Amazon packages that require labeling.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16