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  • Age
    35
  • Title
    Co-founder and CEO
  • Company
    Zenefits

Set aside, for a moment, the fact that business software company Zenefits—it offers cloud-based HR software that helps companies manage healthcare coverage—has reached 1,600 employees, 10,000 customers, and a $4.5 billion valuation in just two years. How its CEO and founder, Parker Conrad, got here is just as impressive: Conrad graduated from Harvard after flunking out, beat testicular cancer at 24, and was pushed out of his previous startup, SigFig, by his own co-founder. But even with $583 million in funding, a nosebleed valuation, and growth that shows no sign of slowing, Conrad says Zenefits feels like an underdog. The company competes with insurance brokers and business software incumbents alike, so “it feels like we’re threatened on every side,” Conrad says. Already he’s fought state regulators and an ongoing lawsuit with ADP. But he’s not deterred. “It’s so clear to me that we’re right.”

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