Forbes is known for producing annual lists of the powerbrokers-that-be in various industries around the world, and this January the company named Atlanta’s Jewel Burks as the top leader on its “30 Under 30 In Manufacturing” series.
At the young age of 26, the young Black entrepreneur is already making major waves in an industry still mostly dominated by older white men. Burks, along with her business partner Jason Crain, 29, founded Partpic, a visual search engine that allows users and companies to quickly identify and order replacement parts.
Burks has deep roots in Atlanta, where her startup won the Rise of the Rest business pitch competition in the city. In just two years, Partpic raised $1.5 million in investment funds, was valued at $6.5 million, and was chosen to present its startup to President Obama at the first White House Demo Day event.
“An entrepreneur from a family of entrepreneurs, Burks began her career at Google before her grandmother’s breast cancer diagnosis led her to decide to move back home to Atlanta,” according to the Forbes list.
After taking a job with industrial parts distributor McMaster-Carr, she realized there was a need for a service that could help companies find replacement parts.
“I was surprised that there was this huge company that was having fails in their technology on a daily basis,” she said. “I wanted to create a better way.”
Forbes released its latest manufacturing power ranking on the heels of news that many U.S. and Chinese manufacturers are experiencing a slump. Domestic U.S. manufacturers face 20% higher structural costs compared to foreign manufacturers for expenses like employee benefits, taxes, and tort litigation costs. Still, technology services like Partpic could help stimulate the manufacturing sector, and the startup has already grown quickly.
At the age of 26, this young black entrepreneur has already started a million-dollar company, earned a reputation as a leader in her field, and personally met the president in the White House.
In fact, the Atlanta inventor is so successful she has appeared on the 30 Under 30 List twice, once in the number one position, and again in the ninth position, listed as a cofounder with her business partner Crain.
Reported from Metro Atlanta Black News