When Forbes released its “30 under 30” list on Tuesday, a handful of the coveted spots went to entrepreneurs working on one of the biggest problems facing Silicon Valley today — housing.
The seventh annual list pays homage to 600 of society’s best and brightest young innovators (there are 30 honorees for each of the 20 categories). This year, the list includes 28-year-old Jesse Vaughan, co-founder of San Francisco-based startup Landed. The startup, backed by accelerator Y Combinator, helps teachers afford to buy homes in their school district by raising money to fund part of the teacher’s down payment. When the teacher sells his or her house, Landed’s investors get their money back, plus 25 percent of any appreciation in the home’s value.
It’s a needed service — fewer than 1 percent of homes for sale in San Francisco are affordable for someone making a typical teacher’s salary of $72,000, according to a report by real estate website Trulia. Landed’s goal is to prevent those teachers from fleeing the Bay Area in search of cheaper housing.
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Forbes also recognized HubHaus, a co-living startup that provides group homes in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Founded by Shruti Merchant and Kerry Jones, HubHaus rents rooms in large five-nine bedroom houses to individual tenants. When the renters move in, they get a place to live as well as a ready-made group of friends — HubHaus encourages the social aspects of group living, arranging regular activities and paying for roommate dinners.
Another real estate-related entrepreneur who made the list is 29-year-old Ryan Williams, co-founder of Cadre. The New York-based startup, which Williams founded with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, connects investors to real estate deals. The startup’s technology-enabled platform bypasses traditional middlemen– and the related extra fees — by connecting investors directly. So far the startup has raised $133 million and is worth about $800 million.
Other entrepreneurs on the list are disrupting the interior design industry, such as 26-year-old Beatrice Fischel-Bock, co-founder of Hutch. The Los Angeles-based founder started Hutch during her senior year at George Washington University, and earned $1 million before graduation. The startup lets users upload photos of their rooms via the app or website, virtually redesign them, and then buy what they need to make that look a reality.
Amanda Zuckerman, another “30 under 30” honoree, does something similar with Dormify. The New York-based 26-year-old founded an online platform that helps college students find everything they need to decorate their dorms.
The list wasn’t all about housing this year — the honorees span a wide range of industries, from entertainment, to music, to technology, to food. Other local honorees include the founders of self-driving car startup Drive.ai, Lyft’s first head of inclusion and diversity — 25-year-old Tariq Meyers, and 23-year-old Vitalik Buterin — creator of the Ethereum blockchain platform.
Photo: Resident Albert Ong II washes dishes in the kitchen of his HubHaus while wearing a HubHaus teeshirt in Sunnyvale, Calif. on Thursday, July 6, 2017. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)