Eight Irish people included in Forbes’s ‘30 under 30’

Irish people including entrepreneurs, actors and a rugby player make all-important list

Eight Irish people have been included in Forbes’s prestigious “30 under 30” list of leading young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

These are journalist Sally Hayden, actor Jessie Buckley, entrepreneurs Conall Laverty, Ciara Clancy, Kevin Glynn, Brian Liston and Edel Browne, and Irish international rugby player Peter O'Mahony.

The Forbes list includes young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who are aged under 30 years of age and who are seen as transforming business, technology, finance, media, healthcare, science, policy, social entrepreneurship, retail and the arts and entertainment.

This year’s list features 300 young disruptors across 10 categories, hailing from 34 European countries and immigrating from another 22 non-European countries.


Among the best-known names on the list are Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, actress Florence Pugh and singer Sigrid.

Mr Laverty (29) is the founder and chief executive of Wia, a Dublin-based start-up that has developed a cloud platform that enables developers to turn sensor-based hardware into internet-of-things devices.

More than 35,000 developers across the world uses Wia's platform, and clients include the BBC, Vodafone and Samsung.

The company, which was last year selected for the highly respected Blackbox Connect accelerator programme in Silicon Valley, has raised €1 million to date. It is working with Vodafone on the roll-out of its narrowband internet-of-things network, and is also busy developing its own hardware, which Mr Laverty described as being like “Lego for IoT.”

"It's such an honour to be recognised by Forbes in this way. Definitely the first time I can say that I'm on the same list as Spider-Man and Harry Potter, " Mr Laverty said.

Investigative journalist

Freelance investigative journalist Sally Hayden (29) focuses on migration, conflict and humanitarian issues, writing regularly for The Irish Times.

Ms Hayden won the best foreign coverage award at the Newsbrand Ireland journalism awards last November for her work for The Irish Times on topics such as Boko Haram and Syrian refugees.

Bafta nominee Jessie Buckley (29) , who won Most Promising Newcomer for the lead role in the critically acclaimed film Beast, also made the list. Her latest movie, Wild Rose, has also been warmly received.

Beats Medical founder Ciara Clancy (28) worked for several years with sufferers of Parkinson’s before setting up her business, which provides a soundwave treatment for patients.

Ms Clancy, a previous European winner at the Cartier Women's Initiative awards, launched Beats Medical in 2012, when she was just 22 years old.

Her company has developed an app that offers individually tailored treatments for people with Parkinson’s, addressing mobility, speech and fine hand movement symptoms.

Award-winning device

Edel Browne (21), founder of Free Feet Medical, also makes the list for her focus on Parkinson’s. Her company has developed an award-winning device designed to treat gait freezing in Parkinson’s, a symptom affecting more than 70 per cent of those diagnosed with the disease.

Ms Browne said she was “thrilled and humbled” to have been named on the list.

Kevin Glynn (28) is selected under the retail and ecommerce section, as the co-founder of Butternut Box, a London-based pet care start-up that has served up three million meals. The company, which was established in 2016, has raised $8 million in investment.

Brian Liston (26) is co-founder of Seed CX, a Chicago-based institutional digital assets trading platform

Munster rugby player and Irish international Peter O’Mahony (28) makes the list under sports and games. The 29-year-old was also picked for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist