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Seven Filipinos make it to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2021 list

Seven Filipinos landed in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, which highlights millennial and Gen Z leaders who persevered and thrived despite global uncertainty.

They are:

  • Rexy Josh Dorado, co-founder of Kumu, a homegrown social media app
  • Guendoline Rome “No Rome” Viray Gomez, an artist and musician
  • Carmina Bayombong, co-founder of InvestEd Philippines, which provides educational loans to financially disadvantaged youth
  • Edward Christopher Dee, a researcher at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which specializes in comprehensive cancer treatment and research
  • Angela Chen and Aurelien Chu, co-founders of Eskwelabs, an edtech company that enables participatory and active learning experiences
  • Ryan Gervasa, founder of Virtualahan, a school that breaks down employment barriers for persons with disabilities
  • Gab Mejia, a conservation photographer 

“We’re honored to be recognized by Forbes and, above all, excited to be a beacon for the potential of the global Filipino community and its creative and economic power,” said Mr. Dorado, who is featured on the cover.

The criteria for making the list include their demonstration of leadership, how they embody the entrepreneurial spirit synonymous with Forbes, and their potential of success in their industry. Other factors like innovation, disruption — and size and growth of their ventures in some categories — also play a role.

“From a Filipino entrepreneur re-imagining social media platforms to a fintech unicorn founder and a group of Afghan teenage girls developing a low-cost ventilator to help fight the virus, these trailblazers are truly unstoppable,” said Rana W. Watson, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia editor.

Others featured in the list’s sixth iteration are K-pop singer Ji-eun Lee “IU” and actor Joo-hyuk Nam from South Korea; the current world No. 1 ranked women’s singles table tennis player Chen Meng from China; indigenous rapper Danzal Baker “Baker Boy” from Australia; Sazzad Hossain, founder of SDI Academy from Singapore; Hong Kong singer Jackson Wang; Indian teenage influencer Jannat Rahmani; May Nagahisa, a Japanese ballerina at Mariinsky Theater; and India’s Pranav Bajaj, co-founder of Medulance Healthcare.

The average age of Asia’s under 30s list is 26.4 years. Eighty-three percent consider being under the age of 30 an advantage in their career. 

Thirty honorees were selected in 10 categories: the arts; entertainment and sports; finance and venture capital; media, marketing and advertising; retail and e-commerce; enterprise technology; industry, manufacturing and energy; healthcare and science; social impact and consumer technology. This year’s class was chosen from 2,500 nominations, researched by Forbes journalists from across the region and vetted by industry veterans.

Of the 300 honorees on the list, 17 have startups that have managed to secure over $15 million in funding each. One of these is Razorpay, which became the latest fintech unicorn to come out of India, and is valued at $3 billion. India is the most represented on this year’s list, with 76 members in total.

The birthday cutoff to make the 2021 list was December 31, 1990. Ages were calculated as of December 31, 2020. Last year, five Filipinos made the list: Francis Plaza, founder of e-payment processing platform PayMongo; Louise Mabulo, founder of the Cacao Project; Breech Asher Harani, multimedia artist at Alexandrite Pictures; gymnast Carlos Yulo; and skateboarder Margielyn Didal. — Patricia B. Mirasol