Four young Irishmen have been listed on the influential Forbes “30 under 30” lists of people to watch in 2013.
James Whelan, the co-founder of CoderDojo, was recognized in the 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs category. The 20-year-old formed CoderDojo with Bill Liao a year ago in Cork. The Irish led organization is a global movement of coding clubs for young people. CoderDojo teaches young people how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, and games. Whelan first caught the attention of the public in early 2011, when he hacked the iPod Nano, after which some students expressed an interest in learning how to code. Forbes reports there are now 130 dojos across 22 countries, with 10,000 kids learning to code for free each week.
Dubliner Jonathan Cloonan was also cited for his success in the world of advertising and media.
The 27-year-old is a 'Wire and Plastic Products' (WPP) fellow based in Singapore. According to Forbes, Cloonan is the youngest account director in the Asian arm of GroupM’s branded content unit, ESP. The Trinity graduate is responsible for brokering multi-million dollar TV format deals across Asia.
Speaking to IrishCentral, Cloonan expressed his delight over the accolade.
“The Forbes 30 Under 30 for 2013 includes Mark Zuckerberg, Mary Kate Olsen, and Lady GaGa so it's a massive honor to be named alongside people who are at the very top of their game, on a global level and at such a young age,” Cloonan told IrishCentral over email.
The politics graduate spent a year working for TV Guide in New York City. He says his Irish heritage has been an asset working in a global corporate environment.
“I've worked on three continents in three-years and now look after 13 markets in APAC. There is something about the Irish attitude and outlook that is welcomed across all cultures,” Cloonan added.
“We are politically neutral, tend to be driven, quite easy going and also fun, which are valuable qualities needed on a global stage. So I'm thrilled that there are three other Irish chaps named alongside me.”
Brothers Patrick (24) and John Collison (22) were also named on the coveted list in the technology group. The Limerick brothers formed a startup called Shuppa in 2007, that later became known as Auctomatic. The company attracted investors from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Y Combinator. In 2008 it was acquired by Canadian firm Live Current Media for $5 million. In early 2010, John and Patrick began working on Stripe, a simplified online payment system that allows retailers to accept payments without having to store customers’ credit card details.
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com last year, John Collison explained the thinking behind Stripe: "Stripe was founded to make it easier for people to charge money online. A product we're creating for developers is to make it easy for developers who build a site to incorporate payments into that. That's what we're building.
Earlier this year the company was valued at $100 million.
The annual Forbes 30 under 30 lists honors disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs in 15 categories, ranging from energy to Hollywood.