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The eccentric hobbies of 10 leading under-30 entrepreneurs

Sanjana Ray
27th Apr 2017
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They say that geniuses often have an eccentric side. And when it comes to entrepreneurs, the idea of ‘normal’ flies right out the window. As Steve Jobs candidly put it, “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” As an entrepreneur, your key to success lies in your ability to think outside the box, disrupt the system, and finally, adopt creativity that never allows you to stand in the line of tradition.

And the best way to do this is by taking your delightful ‘weirdness’ to the other aspects of your life as well. When you aren’t spending daylight hours figuring out the perfect strategy to scale your company, you could blow off some steam by doing something new, exciting, and adventurous – anything that will have adrenaline pumping through your body and making you feel inspired.

Here are 10 highly successful entrepreneurs under 30 and their eccentric hobbies:

(Disclaimer: These 10 have been chosen out of Inc.’s list of ‘The 30 Most Brilliant Young Entrepreneurs of 2017’.)

Max Mankin, Modern Electron

The Co-founder and CTO of Seattle-based Modern Electron believes in effective time management. When he and his Co-founder, Tony Pan, aren’t dedicating all their time to develop software to manage electricity generation and distribution, Max spends his free time building machines that automate tasks. To the 20-something co-founder of a growing company that demands all his time and energy, this is a fun and highly effective hobby for his personal life. “I’m working on automating brushing my teeth,” says Max.

Katlin Smith, Simple Mills

Running a food-based startup that had a $8.2 million turnover in the last quarter can be exhausting to say the least. For Katlin Smith, a break doesn’t involve taking a kick-boxing class down the neighbourhood or binge-watching shows on the weekends. The 28-year-old Founder finds her solace in piloting small aircrafts and landing on glaciers or dirt airstrips. If that isn’t badass enough, she even worked as a wilderness trip leader for a few years alongside her daily itinerary.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Karen X Cheng, Karen X

A one-woman creative agency, Founder Karen X Cheng of Karen X writes and directs viral videos for leading brands like Beats and Credit Karma. Running a business in a market as competitive as San Francisco can certainly be taxing, and Karen couldn’t agree more. She has an avid interest in illusion-making, and inspired by the concept, she even built her own photo-booth gravity room. Now who wouldn’t love to take a picture in that?

Meika Hollnder, Sustain Natural

When Meika Hollender was a teenager, she began to understand the taboo of talking about sexual health with those around her. She also recognised that not speaking about it led people to make some very uneducated guesses and decisions, which led to long-term harmful consequences. To this end, when she grew up, she decided to help spread awareness among individuals of all ages, and she began by producing organically made condoms. After this being well-received in the market, she decided to go on and make non-toxic tampons and pads. Her hobby is on the same line as her profession. In her free-time, Meika leads a series of talks and engages in several fundraisers and workshops advocating safe-sex.

Jen Rubio, Away

Twenty-nine-year-old Jen Rubio runs a leading travel business alongside her Co-founder, Steph Korey. However, she sometimes lets Steph take on the reins when it gets a bit much, to spend some time in the air. Literally. Jen is a licensed pilot and also loves to skydive in her free time, whilst visiting countries across the world.

Allen Gannet, TrackMaven

Allen Gannett of TrackMaven has quite a unique hobby which he swears by. He travels to Iowa, USA, for every Presidential Primary in hopes of meeting and photographing every past, current, and future President. Interesting, isn’t it?

Nadav Ullman, Dashride

Dashride is a 10-member team based in New York City that has managed to procure deals with at least 400 taxi-fleets, by providing them with the tools to ‘uberise’ their services. Its Co-founder, Nadav Ullman, has often spoken about his plans to branch out. The US, Australia, and England already subscribe to their services currently. In his free time, however, Nadav is a strong voice speaking out against climate change, and has approached the New York state authorities to divest state pension funds from fossil fuels and put them into clean energy.

Brian Streem, Aerobo

Have you seen the hilarious ‘TrumpInCinema’ Instagram page that recently made viral a few videos of people dressed up in uncannily accurate face-masks of Trump, Putin, and Kim Jong-un? To credit the genius behind the page, we reveal his identity – Aerobo Founder, Brian Streem!

Han Jin, Lucid VR

This Santa-Clara run startup employs a camera-maker that allows anyone to easily film in VR. Its founder, 29 year old Han Jin, blows off steam in a way familiar to most- by cooking. However, his hobby goes a step further than the Sunday-dinner one-pan steak making. Han Jin not only loves beating the batter for himself, he makes it a point to serve his team a five-course meal of dishes from across the world!

Devaki Raj, CrowdAI

Devaki Raj, 27, may have a lot on her plate as the Co-founder of an IT startup, but she refuses to compromise on her youthful desire to experiment and have fun. A keen bungee-jumper, she is also up to taking on the challenge of eating anything – from wild meats to insects to unidentified sea-creatures. A true foodie if there ever was one, Raj shares her interesting meal experiences on her social media pages as well.

Do you have any eccentric hobbies of your own, which you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

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