Silicon Valley may still be a magnet for innovators, but Texas is quickly making its own mark as a smarty-pants hot spot. Fortune’s annual 40 Under 40 honors the most influential people in business, from entertainment to healthcare to food, with a heavy emphasis on technology.
While many of these young innovators are based in the Bay Area, Texas found representation on the 2015 list with three impressive execs.
Joining Whole Foods Market, which is headquartered in Austin, two years ago, Buechel is probably still considered “the new guy” due to the fact that the next shortest time on the executive team is a 19-year tenure. He’s also the youngest, at age 37, and as the EVP and CIO of Whole Foods has forged important partnerships to boost the technological component of Whole Foods’ services.
In addition to working on systems that allow traceability into the supply chain and inform customers about products’ nutritional and allergen information, he’s also teamed up with Apple Pay (making Whole Foods one of the first retailers to offer this payment platform) and home delivery service Instacart. Another item on his plate is the development of the company’s recently announced millennial-aimed 365 by Whole Foods.
What’s better than going into business with your best friend? Sheth teamed up with his best man to establish Austin-based Vista Equity Partners in 2000, one of the first private equity firms focusing solely on software. Because of this, co-founder and president Sheth has an advantage in the market with investment companies who are newer in the software business.
“In software there are a lot of great technologies, but not as many great business people,” Sheth told Fortune. “We’ve really learned how to put systems in place that improve the companies that grow up around the software.” A 39-year-old billionaire, Sheth and Vista Equity Partners’ future in the equity game have never looked brighter.
The El Paso native is the co-founder and CEO of OvaScience, a company that uses a woman’s own mitochondria to “freshen up” older eggs before they’re fertilized, enhancing embryo quality for in-vitro fertilization. Since the company’s founding in 2011, 10 babies have been born using the technology.
The Texas winners join other notable influencers on Fortune’s list, including Taylor Swift, Ronda Rousey, John Oliver, and Jessica Alba.