Robotics, automation, 3-D printing, drones and autonomous vehicles are among the hot areas in industry this year, and the young entrepreneurs on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Manufacturing and Industry are finding lots of opportunities. These innovators are making factories and agriculture more efficient, finding new uses for robotics and sensors, and reinventing old products in new ways.
Consider Alex Rodrigues and Brandon Moak. The two college dropouts turned down job offers from GM Cruise and founded Embark, raising $47 million to build a fleet of autonomous 18-wheelers. Another entrepreneur in autonomous vehicles, Jordan Greene cofounded AEye, which has raised $30 million to meet the demand for self-driving vehicle sensors. And not content to stick with land-based transportation, Ugo Vollmer, Clement Renault and Antoine de Maleprade founded Shone, which retrofits cargo ships for autonomous delivery.
In robotics, Adam Sachs and Sammy Khalifa, both engineering grads from MIT, cofounded Vicarious Surgical (along with Dr. Barry Greene, a surgeon in the Baltimore area) to develop low-cost surgical robots. The promise of their technology helped them raise $22 million from investors that include Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Ventures and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.