Each year, the Kairos Society, the San Francisco organization for entrepreneurs interested in solving global problems, offers up its list of top global entrepreneurs under the age of 25. This year, 1,000 early stage startups were referred from over 60 countries. And just 50 made the cut.
Each applicant went through a rigorous process of interviews. Evaluations were done by a selection committee of investors and industry leaders. Kairos looked at the problem each company aims to solve, its current traction, current industry players, and the company's potential to succeed and make a difference in their field. "We look for the teams that have the passion, intelligence, grit, and dash of insanity to solve billion dollar problems," says Ryan Bloomer, a partner at Kairos. "The selection committee of industry leaders then evaluate their current position in the market and whether they can disrupt the very companies they run and have invested in. That's the magic."
Just last week, listees presented their companies at the Kairos Global Summit in New York, where a handful of investors like Tim Draper and Ev Williams were on hand to write checks. "We're supporting these companies as they launch and grow their businesses," says Alex Fiance, CEO of Kairos. "When they're ready for the next round, we plan to invest in many of them."