This week, Forbes released its anticipated 30 under 30 list for 2021 and the founders behind several plant-based companies made the cut. For the 10th anniversary of its list, Forbes highlighted a total of 600 young entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, and entertainers from diverse backgrounds—who have collectively raised more than $1 billion in funding—that it says “are proof positive that ambition and innovation can’t be quarantined.” The list includes changemakers in 20 categories such as food and drink, consumer technology, and education. 

Plant-based for the win
In three different categories, Forbes highlighted changemakers who are tackling animal agriculture with their plant-based companies:

Food and Drink

  • Ross Mackay (29) and Eliott Kessas (29) who founded vegan chicken company Daring Foods
  • Matt Feldman (29) who makes vegan mushroom jerky under his brand Moku Foods
  • Michelle Wolf (28) who co-founded New Wave Foods, a company that makes vegan shrimp
  • Phaedra Randolph (29) who founded Spero Foods, which makes vegan alternatives to dairy and eggs

Consumer Technology

  • Ben Pasternak (21) of startup Simulate, which integrates technology into producing plant-based meat (including nuggets and patties) following a model similar to software companies

Social Impact

  • Kimberle Le (25) and Joshua Nixon (26) of Prime Roots who create vegan meats using koji (a fungus). 

Honorable mention
Forbes also included Michael Selden (29) and Brian Wyrwas (29), founders of Finless Foods—a startup that grows fish meat from a small number of animal cells—under its social impact category, recognizing the work the entrepreneurs are doing to create an alternative to industrial fishing.  

Last year’s vegan list
Last year’s 30 under 30 list also spotlighted a few vegans, including Abhay Rangan (who founded vegan brand Goodmylk at age 22), Zac Vouga (founder of vegan chain Plant Power Fast Food), and pop star Billie Eilish. Back in 2017, Forbes named vegan chef Chloe Cosarelli to its 30 under 30 list, as well.

Photo Credit: New Wave Foods/Forbes