Meet the Future. Meet the Gen ZEOs.

Meet the Gen ZEOs

When we asked our first 10 Innovators what they saw as the hottest trends today, we took particular note of this trend “Young Consumers are the New Creators”. Hmmm, this filled us with new questions. Who are these new creators? How are they creating? What do they see as working and not working today? What is their advice to marketers? We, luckily, met six incredibly talented young creators who blew our minds with not only what they are creating, but how they are all running their own businesses at 20, 21, 22 and 23 years old. Not only did they make us all feel extremely old, but in some cases, this is their 4th, 5th, 6th business. Add “underachiever” to my list of personal take-aways.

But don’t just take our word for it. This week, we’ll introduce you to our six Gen ZEOs by releasing their full stories each day and host a live tweet chat on Friday, December 14th at 12pm PST.

In the meantime, here is a sneak peek at their stories…

12/13/18 UPDATE: These articles are all now live! Visit Gen ZEOs to view their stories

Swish Goswami, Founder of TRUFAN


AGE: 21

Founded Trufan in December 2017: a web platform that uses a proprietary algorithm to help some of the world’s biggest brands and influencers identify and reward their top fans on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram

This is Swish’s third business venture

  • Has worked for VC firm, JB Fitzgerald, as a freshman in college

  • Helped grow DUNK to 11MM followers

Two exciting things happening in marketing right now: 1) sequential marketing, which is how marketers display advertisements to consumers over time and try to stay top of mind, and 2) one-to-one marketing which is the field in which Trufan plays in.
— Swish
Aanikh Kler


AGE: 20

Aanikh joined forces with Swish to maximize Trufan

  • At 14 years old, Aanikh created the #2 most downloaded app on iTunes called UndrTheRadr, which is a Ringtone that could only be heard by people under the age of 21

  • Became the youngest social entrepreneur to receive venture capital funding on CBC’s Dragons’ Den

  • Has delivered 2 TEDx talks and spoken to 40,000 high schoolers

  • Donates 20 cents of every 99 cent download to Free The Children

What is unique about our generation is our ability to create change. No other generation has had the access to tools that can put an idea on a global scale
— Aanikh

ANDY MCCUNE, COO & Co-founder of Unfold

AGE: 23

Andy co-founded Unfold, which launched 2018

  • The only app focused solely on story content creation and has already earned 11+ million users (including Selena Gomez, Emma Watson, major publications, etc... )

“As storytellers and creatives, we built Unfold for ourselves first and foremost. We felt like the tools that Instagram Stories offered were too limited and didn’t allow us to tell our stories with enough depth “

Andy also owns Earth, a travel media company with more than one million followers

Growing up with social media has affected every aspect of our generation from the content we consume to how we spend money.
— Andy

TIFFANY ZHONG, Founder & CEO of Zebra IQ

AGE: 22

The “Gen Z Decoder” dropped out of Berkeley to found Zebra IQ: a new Gen Z research and rewards app with a self-service dashboard to connect brands to Gen Z and get real-time input

This is Tiffany’s Sixth Business Adventure

  • In high school, she started a magazine, joined an edtech start-up, created a social app, and worked for Product Hunt

  • Right after graduation, she became a full-time investor focused on early stage consumer startups at a $300mm VC firm in Silicon Valley

Today it is really critical for brands to be talking with their consumers constantly, not just doing one-off research projects. Consumers want to to feel heard and valued at every interaction and that their feedback is being incorporated along the way.
— Tiffany
Dylan Gambardella, Co-founder of Next Gen Summit

DYLAN GAMBARDELLA, Co-founder of Next Gen Summit

AGE: 22

Dylan co-founded Next Gen Summit as a freshman at Duke University

  • “to make it easier for young entrepreneurs to grow”

This is Dylan’s Second Start-up

  • “I recognized from my initial experience that it’s difficult to be a first time founder, and often our schools and communities don’t provide the entrepreneurial support or resources we need to grow. Next Gen was designed as a simple solution to fill that void.”

I believe members of GenZ want to push the limits. We don’t like to hear something isn’t possible - if anything, statements like that are fuel for our fires.
— Dylan

DRAKE REHFELD, CEO & Co-founder of Demeanor

AGE: 21

At age 20, Drake co-founded Demeanor: a product development platform and marketplace for influencers

This is Drake’s fifth business venture

  • In high school, he started an events SAAS program for public schools

  • Then went on to lead LavaLab, a product accelerator

  • At 19, joined Snapchat Research Engineering team

  • Then joined Team 10, a social media influencer talent agency

Influencer monetization is drying up: brand deals feel inauthentic. I cofounded Demeanor so that I can work on important things that actually matter.
— Drake