10 Filipinos on Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 Asia

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In February 2016, Forbes Magazine listed 300 young entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders in Asia across 10 fields, namely: arts (art and style, food and drink); manufacturing and energy; entertainment and sports; consumer technology; finance and venture capital; enterprise technology; media and marketing; health care and science; social entrepreneurs; and retail and e-commerce.

Repoters in China, Australia, India, and other countries in Asia worked to research and come up with nominations that cover all fields. A panel of 30 judges helped decide who would make it to the final list. Judges include designer Kenzo Takada, Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh, venture capitalist Kaifu Lee, businesswoman Solina Chau, and magnate Allan Zeman.

Filipinos in the first-ever “Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia” are:





Leandro Leviste
Leandro Leviste.jpg
  • 22, Founder of Solar Philippines
  • He started Solar Philippines in 2013 to help bring down electricity rates in the Philippines. He is the son of Senator Loren Legarda with businessman Tony Leviste. He graduated from Yale University. In 2014, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) lent Solar Philippines USD 1 million to set up a 700-kilowatt solar rooftop power plant. Solar Philippines' USD 150-million, 63-megawatt solar farm, the largest in Luzon, was completed in January 2016.






Charice Pempengco
Charice Pempengco.jpg
  • 23, Singer
  • In 2008, the YouTube video of her singing “I Have Nothing” went viral. She was then invited to guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show where world-class musicians took notice of her. She also starred in Glee, performed a duet with Celine Dion at the Madison Square Garden, a recorded the hit single “Pyramid” with Iyaz. It topped the Billboard Dance Chart in 2010. According to Forbes Magazine, Pempengco was the second Filipino to rank on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.






Rachel De Villa
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  • 23, Co-founder and CTO of Cropital
  • Cropital is a multi-awarded crowdfunding platform for Filipino farmers. De Villa won in the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) by Go Negosyo. Her works were also recognized at the Unilever Philippines' Creamsilk Women Empowerment Scholarship and Young Entrepreneurs Society Philippines' Startup Summit Philippines National in August 2015.






Valenice Balace
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  • 27, Founder and CEO of Peekawoo
  • With help from Kickstart Ventures, she created Peekawoo, a dating platform service, in 2013. It had about 25,000 users as of late 2014. The site is part of the new wave of tech companies that seeks to revitalize technopreneurship in the Philippines. She has two patents:
    • System and Method for a Global Directory ServiceEurope 10841380 B - 1225 PCT/SG2010000456 Issued December 15, 2010
    • System and Method for Receiving and Synchronizing Content on a Communication Device Europe 10841380 B - 1225 PCT/SG2010000457 Issued April 2013





Amin Hataman
Amin Hataman.jpg
  • 15, Inventor
  • The son of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman invented biodegradable bags made from coconut by-product that disintegrate after a few days. His invention won the bronze medal from the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environment Project for his invention in 2015. He also bagged a gold medal in the International Young Inventors Olympiad in 2014.






Koh Martinez Onozawa
Koh Martinez Onozawa.jpg
  • 26, co-founder & CEO of Loudbasstard
  • Ozonawa is a Filipino-Japanese anthropologist and designer from Cebu who set up Loudbasstard in 2012. It offers bamboo music amplifiers that symbolize the traditional Philippine culture. The company now averages monthly revenue of USD 20,000 and has added hybrid speakers to its product line. The company only has 5 employees but has a network of contractors selling in Japan and in the country. It is now targeting the US market.






Xyca Cruz Bacani
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  • 29, Photographer
  • She is a Filipino domestic helper who was recognized for her black-and-white photos of street life in Hong Kong. Her photos reveal conditions of domestic workers who face human rights issues. In 2015, she bagged the Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellows award and went to New York to enroll in a six-week Photography and Human Rights program.






Ronson Culibrina
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  • 25, Artist
  • He is a fine arts graduate from the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP). His paintings were made of deconstructed figures, symbols, and other elements that challenge stereotypes. In 2014, he had his first solo exhibition titled “Before the Sun Down” at 1335 Mabini in Manila. In 2015, the world-renowned Michael Janssen Gallery in Berlin started representing him.






Raphael Mijeno
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  • 28, Co-founder and CFO of SALt
  • Mijeno, a Business Management graduate, co-founded with his sister Aisa SALt enterprise that produces an eco-friendly light source that runs on saltwater. SALt won the Kotra Award-Startup Nations Summit in 2014 and Asia Entrepreneurship Award in 2015, among others. SALt made noise when Aisa had a chance to be on stage with US President Barack Obama and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November in Manila in 2015. Mijeno has background in accounting, finance and sales and has worked for an Australian and British firm.






Henry Motte-Muñoz
Henry Motte-Muñoz.jpg
  • 29, Co-founder of Bantay.ph
  • He is a French-Filipino social entrepreneur who was a graduate of the London School of Economics and Harvard Business School. He co-founded Bantay.ph, a platform that uses technology to mobilize citizens to demand good governance. It has received USD 150,000 in donations so far. He launched Edukasyon.ph because he was inspired to help improve the source of information on academic opportunities in the country and overseas. Edukasyon.ph is a student-course matching service with a database of classes and scholarships.






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