Five young innovators from the Philippines and one Pinoy at heart made it to Forbes Magazine’s 3rd annual 30 Under 30 Asia list, which recognizes 300 young innovators and leaders from the region who are all under 30 years old.
The six Filipinos on the list were Carlo Delantar, country director of Waves for Water; Patrick Lynch (technically), cofounder of fintech startup First Circle, and Archie Oclos, an artist; Miko Aspiras, the pastry chef behind the Tasteless food group; Stephanie Sy, founder of Thinking Machines; Bretman Sacayanan, behind the Bretman Rock makeup blog.
Below are their profiles, as featured on Forbes:
Carlo Delantar, 26, Country Director of Waves for Water
Waves for Water (W4W) is an international non-profit organization with a mission to provide clean water to every person who needs it. After helping the NGO with relief efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, Carlo Delantar saw potential for the W4W model to benefit water-insecure communities in his native Philippines in the long term, becoming W4W’s Country Director there. With only a small team, Delantar enlists the help of travellers there to distribute water filtration systems. So far, they have handed out some 10,000 water filters, helping one million Filipinos to access clean water.
Miko Aspiras, 29, Chef
Fillipino pastry chef Miko Aspiras was just 11 years old when he first started baking, proudly assisting his aunt. He has had his eye on the culinary path ever since. Aspiras started as a commis chef at the Shangri-La in Manila, and has worked in a number of top hotels since such as Resorts World Manila and Raffles. The 29-year-old has also started his own food group called Tasteless; he co-owns seven restaurant concepts under that umbrella in the Philippines.
Archie Oclos, 28, Artist
A firm believer that art can inspire social change, Archie Oclos takes to the streets to tackle his country’s socio-political issues. The 28-year-old Filipino artist has criticized the country’s war on drugs through his murals — depicting President Rodrigo Duterte with a crown made of guns — as well as the treatment of its indigenous people. Oclos keeps his technique simple, often opting for industrial paint and heavy brushstrokes, so viewers could focus on the subjects and message.
Bretman Sacayanan, Vlogger
Bretman Rock, born Bretman Sacayanan, is a 19-year-old social media sensation with more than eight million followers on Instagram, and almost two million subscribers on his YouTube channel. The beauty vlogger is known not only for makeup tutorials, but also his often humorous views on life. Born in the Philippines, Rock relocated to Hawaii when he was seven years old. In 2017, Time Magazine recognized him among the 30 Most Influential Teens alongside Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim and Actress Millie Bobby Brown.
Patrick Lynch, 28, Cofounder of First Circle
First Circle is a Philippines-based fintech company cofounded by Irish native Patrick Lynch. With the aim of providing finance to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) who find it difficult to secure capital, First Circle uses available information such as social media, credit, network and cell-phone data to create credit scores to determine the feasibility of a loan. Backed by the likes of Deep Blue VC and 500 Startups, First Circle has loaned millions of dollars to businesses in the Philippines.
Stephanie Sy, 29, Founder of Thinking Machines
Thinking Machines is a data science startup established in 2015, designed to make artificial intelligence systems work for humans. Founder Stephanie Sy and her team want to make companies more effective by encouraging them to make data driven decisions. With offices in Manila and San Francisco, clients include corporates, government agencies, NGOs and startups. A notable project has been working with the Philippine government (MMDA) on tackling traffic congestion in Manila, by translating data from a transportation app called Waze.