Four Irishmen make the Forbes ’30 under 30′ lists

17 Dec 2012

Limerick brothers John and Patrick Collison, who are now building a Silicon Valley-based payments firm called Stripe, were among the four Irishmen listed among the Forbes 30 under 30 lists

Four young Irishmen involved in the worlds of software, social entrepreneurship and marketing have been listed in the influential Forbes ’30 under 30′ lists of people to watch in 2013.

James Whelton, CoderDojo

The co-founder of CoderDojo James Whelton was listed among the 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs. Whelton (20) formed CoderDojo with Bill Liao a year ago in Cork and today it is a global organisation with 130 dojos across 24 countries training 10,000 children how to write software on any given Saturday.

Whelton was this year honoured with an Ashoka Fellowship which came with a bursary of €100,000 as well as a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland bursary of €200,000. He will invest the prize money into the Hello World Foundation for boosting computing skills among young people.

Patrick and John Collison, Stripe

Limerick brothers Patrick (23) and John Collison (21) have been listed in the top 30 under 30 people in tech. They formed a start-up called Shuppa in 2007, which later became known as Auctomatic, attracted funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Y Combinator, and was acquired just a year later by Canadian firm Live Current Media for $5m (€3.2m) when the brothers were just 17 and 19, respectively.

Stripe, an online payments engine that simplifies the purchase of content and goods on websites, raised its first round of funding of US$2m in March 2011 from investment veterans Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital and Andreesen Horowitz. This was followed by a further funding round of US$18m in February 2012 by Sequoia Capital that at the time valued their company at US$100m.

A report in May by listed Stripe as ranking alongside Pinterest as one of Silicon Valley’s rising stars, giving it an informal valuation of US$1bn.

Jonathan Cloonan, GroupM APAC

27 year-old Jonathan Cloonan was listed among the 30 under 30 shaking up the worlds of advertising and media. At GroupM APAC (WPP’s media management arm which oversees Mindshare, Mediacom, MEC and Maxu), Cloonan is responsible for brokering multi-million dollar TV format deals across Asia.

He is also the youngest named account director in the Asian arm of GroupM’s branded content unit, ESP.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years