Eight Filipinos have made it to the Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia 2021” list, including young entrepreneurs, startup founders, a COVID-19 researcher, a photographer, and a musician.
The prestigious list, released on April 20, 2021, recognized 300 Millennials and Gen Z leaders who are bravely facing the challenging environment brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and finding new opportunities amidst the new normal.
The Filipinos included in this year’s edition are Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez, best known as London-based musician No Rome, Rexy Josh Dorado, cofounder of Kumu, Angela Chen and Aurelien Chu, founders of Eskwelabs, Ryan Gersava, founder of Virtualahan, Carmina Bayombong, cofounder of InvestED, Edward Christopher Dee, COVID-19 researcher, and Gab Mejia, photographer.
Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez
Guendoline Gomez, whose stage name is No Rome, performed with English pop-rock band The 1975 at Coachella in 2019. He is the first Filipino artist to play at the influential music festival.
Gomez is behind the hit single “Narcissist,” featuring The 1975, which racked up more than 12 million YouTube views in the past two years. The London-based Filipino musician recently collaborated on a song with The 1975 and singer-songwriter Charli XCX.
Rexy Josh Dorado
Only 28 years old, Dorado co-founded Kumu which is one of the top-grossing social media apps in the Philippines.
More than 6 million registered users flock to the social platform to live-stream themselves. So far, Kumu has raised more than US$8 million, including $5 million in March 2020 led by Singapore-based Openspace Ventures.
Angela Chen and Aurelien Chu
Two 29-year-olds founded Eskwelabs, an edtech startup based in Manila that provides online courses on data science and analytics to help people in underserved communities in the Philippines, such as stay-at-home moms and young people without university degrees, find better work in the digital age.
Eskwelabs was one of the two winning startups of the “Building the Digital Skills of Employees” category at the Asian Development Bank’s Digital Week 2019 hackathon.
27-year-old Ryan Gersava founded Virtualahan in Davao City to break down employment barriers for stigmatized people, including those with disabilities and recovering drug addicts, by providing digital-focused job-skills training for roles that can be done remotely.
Gersava was a finalist for the 2020 Cisco Youth Leadership Award.
Carmina Bayombong cofounded InvestED in 2016 to provide educational loans to students. The startup has its own credit rating and risk-control algorithm for lending to financially disadvantaged youth in the Philippines.
Bayombong’s work has won her multiple awards including The Philippines Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service, Cartier Women’s Initiative Laureate for Southeast Asia and Dubai World Expo’s Top 120 Global Innovators.
Edward Christopher Dee
At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dee studies how to deliver better care to disadvantaged populations in the U.S. and the Philippines.
Dee writes for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler, focusing on the social impact of illness. Last year, Dee served on the Philippines’ Covid-19 task force, which used social media to combat fake news about the virus.
The Filipino photographer’s work has been featured on National Geographic, United Nations Development Programme, and World Wide Fund for Nature.
Mejia is a cofounder of Youth Engaged in Wetlands, a youth network across 30 countries launched in 2018 focused on the conservation of wetlands and migratory birds.
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