MOUNTAIN VIEW — LinkedIn Corporation , the professional social network, has released a new list for 2016 of professionals under 35 called the LinkedIn Next Wave. The annual list is driven by LinkedIn data, encompassing millions of member interactions combined with editorial insights to name the top 120 professionals 35 and under — all of whom are transforming their industries to make a lasting impact on today and tomorrow’s business landscape.
Microsoft is acquiring LinkedIn for $26 billion and the deal is waiting to close.
The LinkedIn Next Wave list spotlights the top professionals you should know. The honorees have demonstrated an impact on business: working to make companies millions, save companies millions or create new million-dollar market categories. Others are inventing programs or organizations meant to enrich the lives of millions. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, although some common trends emerge:
- Next Wavers value a strong professional network. The Next Wave honorees have 25 times more connections than the average LinkedIn member, proving that a strong network is critical to success.
- Move over, Ivies, and think twice about your MBA. Sixty-three percent of the Next Wavers do not have an Ivy League education and 60 percent did not attend graduate school.
- Artificial intelligence should be the next skill you add to your resume. From Otto’s self-driving trucks to COSY’s retail robots and Amazon’s Alexa, this year’s list is packed with artificial intelligence. Even the job interview, something that has remained the same for decades, is benefiting from machine learning and A.I. at Next Waver Mark Newman’sHireVue.
- Earth-friendly business is key. Sustainability is the future of business. Whether it’s the plant-based burger that “bleeds” from Impossible Foods, the sustainable protein source in crickets used by Exo, or AeroFarms’ creation of a vertical farm that takes up less than 1 percent of the land required of conventional growers, professionals are making money saving the earth.
“LinkedIn has unique access to what is going on under the hood of the professional world and through our Next Wave list, we are identifying the leaders who are defining the future through their incredible and innovative work,” says Daniel Roth, executive editor, LinkedIn. “This is an exceptionally inspirational group and I’m going to be following all of them; you should, too.”
The complete list can be seen here.
- Technology: Don Burnette, the co-founder of Otto, the self-driving truck startup recently acquired by Uber, and seen as critical to the company’s autonomous future.
- VC & Finance: Connie Chan, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz frequently tapped to broker high-profile deals in China.
- Retail: Jonas Cleveland, the founder of a startup deploying robots inside Walgreens, Home Depot and other retailers to check inventory nightly, making a time-consuming process more efficient and accurate, positively impacting retailers’ bottom line.
- Social Impact: Emily Miller, a former Army engineer and co-founder of Rumi Spice, an economic partnership focused on giving rural Afghan farmers an alternative to the opiate trade by sourcing high-quality saffron.
- Education: Christopher Gray incited the biggest Shark Tank fight to date over his app Scholly, which connects students to millions of dollars’ worth of scholarships.
- Media: Daniel Lippman, the co-author of Politico Playbook, who catapulted his career from college by copy editing top journalists. He’s now charged with reinventing the site’s flagship newsletter for a younger audience.
- Marketing & Social Media: Elias Friedman, creator of The Dogist, with 2.2 million Instagram followers, who helped inaugurate a new genre of lucrative dog marketing, attracting big-name sponsors like Google, Uber and Purina.