Top 20 Entrepreneurs of 2020
HighKey Agency Inc.
Top 20 Entrepreneurs
Los Angeles, Jan. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ‘Brave’ isn’t a word that many people think of when they think of entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the case. The decision to take one’s financial future into their own hands, come what may, can’t be called anything other than brave. HighKey Agency knows that it’s a decision every successful entrepreneur makes.
Entrepreneurship is a varied path, and it’s becoming increasingly more common with each year that passes. But it’s a path that doesn’t have a clear way forward, and that means it’s easy to stumble and lose one’s way. For anyone who manages to follow that path to fruition, it speaks highly to their resourcefulness, determination, and strength.
Whether it’s networking, innovating new ideas, inspiring those around them, or any number of other tasks, the job of an entrepreneur is broad and seemingly endless. But for those who chose that path, it can be lucrative and satisfying.
Some entrepreneurs are more successful than others, to the extent that they could be considered the top of their industry. Below are 20 of the top entrepreneurs from 2020.
David Meltzer is the co-founder of Sports 1 Marketing and formerly served as CEO of the renowned Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment agency, which was the inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire. Finally, David is considered one of the top esports entrepreneurs/investors.
He is a three-time international best-selling author, a Top 100 Business Coach, and host of the top entrepreneur podcast The Playbook. David is the executive producer of the Bloomberg Television Series and Amazon hit show 2-Minute Drill and also is the executive producer of Entrepreneur’s number one digital business show, Elevator Pitch. David is featured in many books, movies, and TV shows, like Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy and Beyond the Secret, airing on Netflix.
David has been recognized by Variety Magazine as their Sports Humanitarian of the Year and awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
His life’s mission is to empower over 1 billion people to be happy! So for the past 20 years, he’s been providing free weekly training to empower others to be happy. This simple yet powerful mission has led him on an incredible journey to provide one thing: value.
Adam Weitsman has faced his fair share of hardships in life, but he hasn’t let any of them hold him back. From deaths in the family to debt to even prison time in 2004, it seems as if Weitsman has been through it all. Despite that, he has come out the other side stronger.
With the support of his family and with all he had been through motivating him, he grew Upstate Shredding into one of the largest scrap metal companies on the West Coast, and one of the largest companies in the automotive shredding industry.
While he and Upstate Shredding have won various awards, including winning the AMM Scrap Company of the Year award two years running in 2015 and 2016, today Weitsman is known just as much for his philanthropy. An avid collector of antiques, he’s donated several stoneware pieces to the New York State Museum, and he has donated $175,000 between four Boys & Girls Clubs. When he decided to get his life back on track after his eight months in prison, he did nothing halfway. Now, he lives happily in Skaneateles with his wife and three children.
From a young age, Rob Deutsch had an appetite for sports. Playing cricket and rugby at the competitive level, he gained enormous insight into functional training techniques. Later, his ten years of experience in financial markets helped him master best practices in business and leadership.
In 2012, Deutsch walked away from a successful finance career after seeing a tremendous opportunity to bridge the gap between big commercial gym memberships and expensive personal trainers. Deutsch wanted to help individuals better balance the demands of juggling work and life while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In 2013, Deutsch launched F45 Training from his hometown of Sydney, Australia, and forever changed the fitness landscape worldwide, offering a new, efficient approach to fitness.
Though Deutsch has since resigned, F45 Training was one of the fastest-growing functional fitness concepts in the world. A state of the art training facility that produced motivating coaches, high success rates, and happy clientele, the fitness concept had over 1700 franchises around the world. Though those days are behind him, Deutsch was passionate about how F45 Training could change people’s lives, and now he is looking to what the future holds.
Randall Emmett has been on his path of film production practically his entire life. Even as a kid he was in a performing arts high school. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in New York City, where he raised money for his first feature film, which he sold the rights to before moving to California. Since then, he’s kept racing down that path without losing momentum.
Now, with his expertise in raising money for films being his primary route to success, Emmett has produced over 120 films, including Mark Wahlberg’s Lone Survivor. All told, they’ve grossed well over $1 billion. He is the co-chairman at Emmett Furla Films, which was started 22 years ago. While juggling sometimes dozens of projects at once can be challenging, Emmett approaches each one with the same passion, drive, and creative ingenuity.
His talents are nothing short of impressive. He certainly hasn’t produced over 120 films by accident, after all, and he’s been nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his work on The Irishman. On his way to directing his second film, Wash Me in the River starring Robert De Niro, Emmett is sure to maintain his usual high levels of quality.
Born and raised in Camden Town in London, David Granados has lived a varied life, casting his net wide and taking in an assortment of experiences. Only 25 years old, he’s already spent time with the RAF cadets and worked in retail, banking, real estate, and litigation. The first business that was truly his, though, was when he was only 18, working on an algorithm that scanned commodities markets and gave entry signals for trades.
Following that path further, Granados is now the founder of Billa Technologies, known for a payment app that makes paying the bill or tab in a restaurant or a bar seamless and simple, as well as an AI that can recommend local restaurants or dishes to try.
While deadlines can be a hassle, Granados is nevertheless proud of the team he has put together, many of whom he counts among his friends, and he is proud of their dedication to Billa Technologies and of the work that they’re all doing.
Growing up in Sacramento, Van Taylor showed Entrepreneurial behaviour at a young age, selling anything he could think of from the time he was 13 years old, be it candy, clothing, music, cars, or anything in between, always working to afford what his parents couldn’t buy him. By 15, he had his first car, which he kept hidden from his parents. By 16, he was a teen father, and wasn’t taking that role or of his schooling particularly seriously. It was a near-death experience during a break-in that convinced him to step up and take his schooling and his responsibility to his child more seriously.
He started his first marketing business in college, creating a marketing campaign for newly launched Metro PCS, helping the brand grow rapidly. It earned him his first six-figures and cemented his love of entrepreneurship.
Now 37 years old, he’s married and a father of seven, but he hasn’t slowed down. He now mentors business coaches, and entrepreneurs passing along the years of experience from him building multiple businesses to success, he’s now passing the knowledge to those he mentors. He’s also thrown his hat into the philanthropic ring, helping feed thousands of families in West Africa in 2020, and building a coding school in Senegal West Africa to help eradicate poverty through technology, set to compete in 2021. Van is a true example of living his truth, he’s unlocked his passion, and purpose now turning it into his legacy!
As a child, Los Silva and his family lived all over the place, from Central America all the way to Atlanta, Georgia, before finally settling down in Orlando, Florida. This scattered upbringing is reflected in his current work, but in the best way possible.
At 20, he started selling video projectors on eBay, and things have only escalated from there. EBay seems rather humble by comparison, as he now runs an eight-figure agency and several seven-figure sister companies, not content to simply pick one avenue and stay there. His biggest focus, though, is helping other businesses scale to seven or eight figures.
Silva, always humble and down to Earth, is unquestionably proud of his accomplishments in business, including scaling a business from $300,000 to eight figures in less than a year and winning an award for making $10 million in a year on one brand. Ultimately though, what he is most proud of is the family he’s built with his wife and children.
Growing up on a farm in Arkansas, Alan Belcher appreciated riding horses and learning how to drive anything with a motor. Nevertheless, in a town so small that his class at school had less than 40 students, it felt like he had no room to grow.
While he grew up playing basketball and baseball and even played college baseball, he decided that being a UFC fighter was his true goal. A lifetime of sports, schoolyard fights, and childhood MMA matches meant he was well-suited for it. By 2010, he was a top contender. By 2013, his MMA career ended after his opponent illegally jabbed him in the eye during a fight.
Growing up doing all sorts of odd jobs meant he had a good head on his shoulders for business, and he had even opened a gym and taught kids martial arts in the past. After his MMA career, it was only a few years before he owned six gyms, and eventually, he partnered with Paul Halme to start Combat Business.
Since then, he’s had irons in all sorts of fires, online and offline. Be it gyms, coaching, SaaS, or real estate, Belcher shows no signs of slowing down.
Get Engaged Media Partners - Cam Fordham, Alex Dermer and Ben Hiott
Get Engaged Media is a leading full-service marketing agency. Founded in 2016, they specialize in influencer marketing, content creation, design, music marketing, brand management, digital strategy, and more. Get Engaged saw massive growth in 2020, growing their annual revenue by 300%.
This growth is no mystery; their expertise in streamlining all aspects of digital campaigns has enabled them to create memorable viral moments. They connect products and services with celebrities and influencers to create buzz-worthy content for both social media and traditional press outlets. Because of this expertise, Get Engaged boasts a vast client list, including Raising Cane's, LG, Spotify, Kendra Scott, ESPN, The PGA, Major League Soccer, Crocs, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and many more.
Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida until she was 22, Billionaire Barbie’s life wasn’t quite as cheerful and pleasant as her namesake’s. She’s been taking care of herself since she was only 14 years old and has been on her own ever since. After getting into some trouble in Atlanta, she spent time in prison and used it as the wake-up call she needed to get her life on track.
Now, she’s the CEO of Billionaire’s Hair, bringing in huge numbers both on and offline and has grown her startup business to a million dollar company. She’s worked with celebrities like Summer Walker, Mulatto, Moniece Slaughter, Alexis Skyy and more. She’s also worked on some very popular reality tv shows including Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, Hip Hop Squares, & appeared in a cameo on 3 episodes of season 7 Basketball Wives LA.
She didn’t get there easily, though; her biggest achievement was also her toughest lesson. A 4th of July pop-up sale brought in $250,000 in three days. It was the business’s biggest sale up to that point, and while she was rightly proud, she also learned soon after that she, her business, and her suppliers were not ready for that sort of scale.
Good things come to those who work for them, though. Determined to stay on track and still making up for that fumble to this day, the next goal for Billionaire’s Hair is streamlining ordering and shipping, while keeping business booming.
Bravery, courage, resiliency, and perseverance come to mind when one thinks of Katie Hamilton. After being married to ex-Major League baseball player Josh Hamilton, whose drug addiction and other woes have been highly publicized, Katie found a way to overcome tremendous adversity and continue to raise four daughters while starting a successful podcast; authoring her first book, set to come out in August 2021; making investments in real estate, the biopharmaceutical and therapeutics industries, and cutting edge advancements in technology; partnering with many successful companies; using her social influence and platform to help others attain success in their industries as well. She has also appeared on many television shows on ESPN, HBO, TLC, and E!, and most notably Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County and Lifetime’s Marrying Millions.
Through public speaking and various media outlets, Katie shares her inspiring experiences of forgiveness and resilience, to name a few, and how she discovered the secret to experiencing joy during seasons of deep pain and is yet another way she is leaving her mark on the world. Beyond any financial goals, she knows sharing her personal journey will encourage others to discover their true identities and live a life without regret. Katie is determined to leave a lasting legacy of hope as healing for her four daughters and women worldwide.
Alfredo Delgado, a seven-figure earner, and successful business owner, better known as “Mr. Bitcoin,” is no stranger to hard work and sacrifice.
As a young kid growing up in Brooklyn, he was constantly shuffled from parent to parent, never knowing stability. Due to this, he joined a few gangs and eventually dropped out of high school. When he was 19, he was sick of life on the street and started his first business by selling brand name clothes on eBay. Since then, he has strived for success in everything. He started his first crypto business in 2016 which allowed him to share his successful strategies with others to create multiple six and seven-figure earners.
Mr. Bitcoin now speaks on stage in front of thousands, sharing motivation and strategies that can be implemented by anyone. He has won multiple awards for his performance. Most recently, in 2018, he won an award from MyEcon for becoming the highest-ranking affiliate in the shortest amount of time. Helping others achieve what others deem “impossible” is what drives him. Any set-back he encounters is usually short-lived as his wife, family, and the team he has built over the years, help him clear his head and stay on track. Alfredo has been called many things throughout his life, but to the successful six and seven-figure earners that he helped create, he will always be known as “Mr. Bitcoin.”
Jayson Waller is the CEO and spokesperson of POWERHOME SOLAR. Founded in 2014, he has overseen growth that has led POWERHOME SOLAR to employ more than 1,600 people and reach more than $300 million in annual revenue. POWERHOME SOLAR is ranked number 255 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America, marking the third time in four years that the company has made the top 300.
Under Waller’s leadership, POWERHOME SOLAR has developed partnerships with the pro football franchises Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, and Pittsburgh Steelers; the pro baseball franchise Cleveland Indians; and NC State Athletics. Waller is a champion for the community, guiding efforts to assist members of the military through the company’s associations with the Lifetime TV series Military Makeover and Major League Baseball star Justin Verlander’s Wins for Warriors Foundation. Waller has earned several awards and was most notably named a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2019 Southeast Award.
Waller also hosts True Underdog, a Top 5 Entrepreneurship podcast on Apple. His show has featured guests, including Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank fame, NFL legend Barry Sanders, and IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden.
Tim Timberlake is the lead pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida and Creedmoor, North Carolina. He is a gifted communicator and teacher who has the ability to communicate to people from all walks of life. His sense of humor, combined with his in-depth Bible teaching, give the listener and reader the tools to transform their lives from the inside out.
Tim is the author of the popular book “Abandon” and the highly anticipated upcoming March 9th release of “The power of 1440”, which is being endorsed by some of the world’s best leaders, and has an incredible foreword from world-renowned leadership expert and New York Time’s bestselling author Dr. John C. Maxwell.
Along with speaking at various conferences and churches around the globe. Tim is using many tools to spread wisdom and knowledge to people. He uses social media to connect and engage with over 400,000 followers to feed them with inspiring and authentic content. His dedication and a deep sense of humor helps him connect with people with ease to transform their lives.
New York City native Philip Scheinfeld has always followed the motto ‘persistence always beats resistance,’ in both his personal and professional life. A top leader in the NYC luxury real estate market, Scheinfeld climbed to the upper echelons of luxury brokerage.
Scheinfeld went to Pace University, on track to develop an app and leave school to pursue a startup company. He graduated with a degree in Business Management, instead. Shortly after when a friend appeared on a real estate reality series, he realized the startup life was not for him. He then took the dive into real estate.
Now 30, Philip Scheinfeld runs a top team at Compass where he has sold over $195,000,000 worth of real estate in the last three years alone. With 2021 approaching, Scheinfeld plans to officially launch his team in Miami where he has already done a number of deals since the pandemic.
Scheinfeld isn’t a run-of-the-mill agent. The architects, attorneys, designers, and other brokers in his rolodex contribute to keep his clients happy. In a sea of nearly 10,000 listings, it’s difficult not to drown, but Philip knows how to stay afloat.
Above all, Scheinfeld understands the dream he is bringing to clients, as it’s been his own story from the start. He’s giving people an opportunity to live their best lives.
Ben Newman is a highly regarded performance coach, international speaker, and best-selling author, whose clients include Fortune 500 companies around the world, business executives, sales organizations, and athletes in the NFL, PGA, NBA, MLB, UFC, and NCAA.
Ben serves as a mental conditioning coach for the 17-time National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide football team and has worked with players from the last three Super Bowl Champion teams. He was recently selected by Influencive.com as one of the Top 10 Motivators in Sports and Real Leaders Magazine selected him as one of their 2019 and 2020 Top 50 Speakers in the World.
In 2021 Ben’s highly anticipated new book UNCOMMON LEADERSHIP will be released. Despite COVID-19, the BNC Speakers group and BNC Coaching group have had a tremendous impact on organizations around the world finding alternative ways to drive growth.
Ben’s powerful storytelling is internationally recognized by his clients, which have included Microsoft, United States Army, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Miami Dolphins, MARS Snackfoods, North Dakota State Bison Football, AFA Singapore, Wells Fargo Advisors, Great-West Life Canada, Boston Medical Center, St. Croix, New York Life, and The Minnesota Vikings, as well as thousands of executives, entrepreneurs, athletes, and others.
Eric Marcus - MajorLeagueTrading
Eric Marcus grew up in Virginia, just a few hours from Washington, DC. He became an entrepreneur at a young age, constantly helping his parents in the numerous businesses they owned or helping with the many real estate flips. If he wasn’t in school or helping his parents, then he was looking for new opportunities.
He got his start with electrical work, helping his dad with a rental property. It allowed him to start saving up money to later invest in the stock market. Eventually, it led to him becoming a full-time trader.
Marcus owns and runs MajorLeagueTrading.com, a trading education website that helps struggling traders turn a profit by providing members with up to $150,000 in capital to trade with. It solves the problem of traders lacking the capital and knowledge to effectively trade the markets.
Early on, it seemed like there wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything that needed to be done, and Marcus regards automation with software as the best thing he did with the business, along with learning how to delegate to his specialized team members.
In the chaos of 2020, multiple new students are up over six figures and climbing.
Jordan Montgomery grew up in the small town of Kalona, Iowa, raised in a hard-working family. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2009, and he was active in one of the top academic centers for entrepreneurship in the country.
Montgomery was 22 when he first began to see success as a rising star in the financial services industry. He became the youngest Managing Director in the history of a 150 year old Fortune 100 financial firm. His early stage results allowed him to become a thought leader nationally for other financial advisors. Today, Montgomery is the owner of Montgomery Companies- a full scale coaching and consulting firm that specializes in developing teams and individuals in the performance business. Montgomery is also a highly regarded keynote speaker and performance coach, speaking all across the country with clients ranging from business executives, sales organizations, and entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies and athletes.
Even so, his home and his family are his top responsibilities. His family and his faith have been the guiding forces in his life whenever times get difficult, but especially his wife, Ashley. She is his business partner, his best friend, and his pillar. She co-founded Montgomery Companies with him, and as far as Jordan sees it, she’s the one who keeps the show running. Together, they are an unstoppable duo.
Andrew Andrawes was born and raised in Kuwait, and had a very conservative childhood. This left him wanting to travel the world and the ability to work from anywhere. He came to the United States and graduated from USC with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Years after graduating, he worked for a construction company; it took some time to realize the nine-to-five office life was not for him. Andrew co-founded his first business at 25, which was a tech startup that facilitated local meetups and experiences.
At 29, he hit rock bottom. He stepped down from a business he co-founded, and he felt lost. Ultimately, that feeling encouraged him to start Thundrr, now a leading talent management and influencer marketing agency.
Andrew has also been dedicating his time to Forma, a CBD brand that pushes the medicinal boundaries by helping customers find alternatives to harmful substances. He also co-founded California Blendz, a hemp brand designed as an alternative to tobacco.
Running a successful company takes a lot of trial and error. Transitioning from being an employee to a business owner was not easy to say the least. It affected many aspects in his life, but all of the stress and uncertainty was worth it to get to where he is today.
Brady Bell was raised in Ulysses, Kansas, and he had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. Now 42 and with a 12-year-old daughter, he founded Pure Spectrum CBD in 2015.
Bell’s first real business venture came to fruition his first year out of college in the real estate industry. After the real estate crash, he shifted to the corporate world, but realized it wasn’t meant for him. He moved to Colorado, switching to first the cannabis industry and then hemp, leaving a six-figure job to work as a trimmer for $10.00 an hour. He was going all-in to reach his goals.
While Pure Spectrum CBD began in Bell’s basement, now they ship to all 50 states and over 80 countries, with partnerships with CrossFit, OCR Stars, Team USA Triathlon, Team USA Weightlifting, and their affiliate team of many of the best athletes. Partnered with the NGB, they even overruled the DEA’s stance on the difference between hemp and marijuana to make distribution easier.
Running a business always comes with chaos, but that’s where Bell thrives. He accepts failure, takes risks, and faces challenges. To help, Bell put together a team he swears he would be nothing without.
It’s plain to see that entrepreneurship can come in many forms and follow many paths that can all lead to success with the proper dedication and passion. From hair care to marketing to film production and so many things in between, the options are as endless as the personalities involved, and the sky’s the limit.
It’s true that 2020 was a unique year, and many aspects of business that once seemed foundational have been shaken. Despite that, one thing is clear: the entrepreneurs on this list, and anyone else inspired by the paths they’ve taken, are going to continue to impress, to break new ground, and to go beyond.
We at HighKey Agency look forward to seeing what they will do going forward, and how they will continue to push the envelope in 2021.
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