Forbes has recognized four CREATE-X entrepreneurs in its most recent 30 Under 30 Atlanta. Ryan Babaie, Jared Duncan (a Georgia Tech graduate but not a Startup Launch alumnus), and Alex Nussey, founders of Wattch; Vedant Pradeep, co-founder of Reframe; and Seth Radman, co-founder of Infinite Giving, made this year’s list.

Forbes’ 30 Under 30 is an annual list of notable people in various industries and regions. All told, 600 people and industry figures representing 600 businesses are recognized for their achievements. For the 2023 list, the group raised more than $5.3 billion in funding, have a social media following of 613 million, and are 27 years old on average. Since its creation in 2014, CREATE-X has had founders on this list in five times.

Read about their journeys in the below Q&A responses.

Seth Radman: Infinite Giving

Seth Radman with saxophone
Interview by Seth Radman
The Beginnings

“I’m a saxophone player and have grown personally from the Yellow Jacket Marching Band and the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in Rosemont, Illinois. After two exits in the music tech space, I planned on volunteering at a few nonprofits. Instead, I decided to build technology that would help thousands. We created Infinite Giving to help nonprofits invest their reserve funds and modernize their donation pages to receive stock, crypto, and endowment gifts.”

The CREATE-X Experience

“Going through CREATE-X with my startup Crescendo was a turning point in my life. The program and coaches helped me develop a framework to build and launch products that people love to use. CREATE-X helped me build confidence as a founder and taught me how to go from idea to launching a successful startup. Since CREATE-X, I’ve built products used by over 300 million people across the world.”

The Outlook

“I’m proud of the impact we’re making at Infinite Giving. Thanks to our technology, nonprofits are fundraising up to 50% more and doing more good in the world. I’m personally proud of my unconventional path to entrepreneurship — starting as a mechanical engineer at an aircraft company, teaching myself how to code, and launching more than 40 tech products over the past decade.”

“I’m honored to be included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and listed alongside other incredible humans. However, it’s also important that founders don’t wait for “permission” from Forbes or Y Combinator to succeed. I’ve been working hard building startups for 10 years and have failed and been rejected by customers, investors, Techstars, YC, and Forbes countless times. If you want to do it, go do it — you don’t need permission.”

Advice for Success

“Talk to customers now and ship version 1 of your product in 10 days. I’ve made the mistake of hunkering down in my dorm room spending months building my product, just to find out I built the wrong thing. I’ve coached over 100 startups in CREATE-X, and the number one reason they fail is building something people don’t want. Talk to customers before writing code.”

Vedant Pradeep: Reframe

Vedant Pradeep headshot
Interview by Vedant Pradeep
The Beginnings

“In 2018, as Georgia Tech undergraduates, my co-founder, Ziyi Gao, and I were driven by a vision. We wanted to improve people’s health and ultimately save their lives. Initially inspired to support individuals living with Obsessive-compulsive disorder  — a struggle I personally deal with — we discovered that many in this population self-medicate with alcohol. From this, Reframe was born. As we journeyed further into the alcohol-free space, we also found that traditional recovery programs focused solely on abstinence. This left out a key demographic, what we call “gray-area drinkers” (those who don’t meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder but still struggle to control their consumption).”

“Since my childhood, I’ve been drawn to the idea of a superhuman (minus the superpowers), seen often in athletes like LeBron James, who has a team of folks dedicated to his fitness, nutrition, and emotional well-being. However, there’s a major caveat here. Most people would love to achieve the peak human condition but are deterred by the high price tag. Reframe counters this by offering an accessible solution.”

“Rather than dictate abstinence, Reframe provides a stigma-free, neuroscience-backed toolkit to help people develop a personalized alcohol reduction or sobriety plan. Through our app, they learn alcohol's impact on their bodies and improve their overall well-being — from nutrition to mental health to sleep to relationships.”

The CREATE-X Experience

“CREATE-X was instrumental in the inception of Reframe. Without this initiative, I genuinely believe our journey might never have commenced. The program provided us with invaluable resources but, more importantly, also connected us with remarkable mentors who have been pivotal in our growth and development. Mentors like Rahul Saxena and Raghupathy "Siva" Sivakumar offered insights and guidance that have been indispensable. Their expertise, coupled with the foundational support from CREATE-X, truly catalyzed the evolution of Reframe.”

The Outlook

“Earlier this year, Reframe was named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023. Most recently, Gao and I were also recognized by Fortune as one of 13 innovators shaping the future of health. This recognition has been humbling and emphasizes the contributions Reframe has made within the wellness space.”

“What truly fills us with pride, though, is the tangible impact Reframe has had on people’s lives. Our core mission has always been to enhance well-being and save lives, and witnessing the real, transformative effect our app has had on countless individuals is our most cherished accomplishment.”

“Being included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Atlanta list is an immense honor. It not only serves as a testament to our dedication and hard work but also provides a platform to elevate awareness about Reframe. This recognition amplifies our message and further propels our mission.”

Advice for Success

“I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as being too young to start a company. Age shouldn’t be a barrier; it’s the mindset and willingness to learn and adapt that truly count when embarking on an entrepreneurial journey.”

“I think it’s important to optimize for learning instead of scaling. By this, I mean focusing on acquiring knowledge and refining a business model first, rather than rushing to expand. This ensures a solid foundation before pursuing larger growth.”

Ryan Babaie, Jared Duncan, and Alex Nussey: Wattch

Picture of Ryan Babaie, Jared Duncan, and Alex Nussey
Interview by Alex Nussey
The Beginnings

“We had sort of the earliest bones of the company but before we enrolled in the CREATE-X program. My co-founders and I have backgrounds in this industry, moving into this sort of grid modernization, decentralization, and decarbonization. I think grid modernization is one of the most interesting challenges to be solved in the world today. It touches every element of our life. No one thinks about it; the light just turns on. This technology has been the same for 100 years, and it's starting to change rapidly. “

“My co-founders and I met on the Georgia Tech Solar Racing team. Our experience with the Georgia Tech Solar Racing team provided the industry connections necessary to develop the initial product and go to market thesis. The thesis is that we're focusing on these mid-scale energy systems and not homes. We kind of picked up the middle: corporate campuses, universities, municipalities, data centers, warehouses, those size projects. I think it's the most underserved part of the market.”

The CREATE-X Experience

“CREATE-X helped us meet our earliest investors and advisors. It also helped us build connections and community with other Atlanta founders. We kind of had this this high-level idea that we knew we liked. We joined CREATE-X toward the end of our time at Georgia Tech to home in the idea. One of the most incredible parts of CREATE-X has been meeting other founders. We spend a lot of time with customers, partners, and vendors, but, through work, I don't necessarily get a chance to meet other people on a similar journey and CREATE-X gave us that sort of chance to connect with other founders in totally different industries.”

The Outlook

“In most traditional corporate jobs, you solve a very narrow scope of problems. Especially when it's just co-founders, you have to do everything. There's no part of doing the job that isn't one of the co-founders’ jobs. When we started the company, we already had the trust, rapport, and mutual understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses. I think that was a unique element that our founding team brought that that was really a competitive advantage.”

“The incredible team that we get to work with every day makes us most proud. We wouldn’t be here without the early employees of Wattch that took a leap of faith and joined us on this journey. We really like working with people that are passionate about this space. It’s not about crazy hours or putting work above your own personal health, but we really like working with people that want to be working on these problems in this space of climate and energy. We were absolutely thrilled and are honored to be recognized alongside the other amazing people on the list.”

Advice for Success

“Stay focused on the customer. As a Georgia Tech engineer, it is easy to get distracted building the most interesting technology, rather than the products that actually solve the customer’s problem. Focusing on the customer leads to the largest impact.”