Repost from Forbes:

America is rich in small businesses. These enterprises account for over 30 million U.S. businesses and some two-thirds of net new jobs. While venture-backed startups generally skew white, male and coastal, these Main Street companies actually look like—and drive—America. To shine a light on these entrepreneurial heroes, Forbes has created the Next 1000. This year-round initiative showcases the ambitious sole proprietors, self-funded shops and pre-revenue startups in every region of the country—all with under $10 million in revenue or funding and infinite drive and hustle. Fueled by your nominations and screened by top business minds and entrepreneurial superstars, these new faces will number 1,000 by year’s end. Let’s get started with the first class of 250 standouts.

Ofo Ezeguwu: 

While attending Temple University, Ezeugwu says he heard horror stories from students living on and around campus, ranging from female residents being harassed by landlords to students living in infested apartments. So, he decided to take action by creating WhoseYourLandlord, a multipurpose platform that allows users to submit landlord reviews, increasing housing literacy in communities. Since 2016, WhoseYourLandlord has raised $1.1 million and reviewed 22,000 landlords across more than 300 U.S. cities.

Francisco Aguilar:

When Aguilar, 37, saw the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, he was working on a grad school research project on emergency response technology. “It was a problem that needed to be solved,” says the Costa Rican-born founder-CEO of Bounce Imaging. First responders can toss his bocce ball-size 360-degree cameras into dangerous spaces and know what’s happening inside while staying at a safe distance. The company serves over 300 police and fire departments plus the FBI and Department of Defense.