It’s hard to think that, since our launch, we’ve featured more than two-hundred extraordinary people revolutionizing their respective fields. From a political activist fighting immigration law to a Pixar story-boarder who is now an Academy Award nominee for his debut short film, it has been incredible to watch these individuals persevere… and thrive. While the word “hope” was used a lot four years ago, we feel like today many are disillusioned and have stopped believing in the prospect of a better tomorrow. This is precisely why reading about game-changers possessed of boundless creativity and executing their projects from conception to completion is more important than ever. The BR!NKers below might not have much in common (we’ve remained diverse in this round of updates by including, say, a health startup and a comedian), but they wake up every morning with the drive and determination to do the things that they love and believe in. No matter what.



It’s hard to believe that it was only last month…
…that the “Shit Girls Say” video became viral, leading to a plethora of amazing (and not-so-amazing) derivations, from “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls” to “Shit Liza Minnelli Says.” While a “Shit New Yorkers Say” was inevitable, no one could have imagined that it would have been written and acted so perfectly by none-other than Eliot Glazer, whom we featured a while back for the release of his book, “My Parents Were Awesome.” I don’t know about his parents, but with more than three millions hits to this day, he clearly is. 

Ren Ng is ready for his close-up. The CEO/Founder…
…of the California-based Lytro, the camera that captures the entirety of the light field to adjust focus long after the shot is taken, is finally ready to release and ship his long-awaited product. Meanwhile, the company has been racking up awards, including the top prize in the annual Last Gadget Standing competition at CES this year (a big deal, as the geeks out there won’t fail to notice). If you haven’t seen Lytro in action, check this out:


BR!NKer Isabel Castillo was illegally brought from Mexico…


…to the United States at six, and could now face deportation. When we featured her, the brilliant and passionate college graduate talked about her relentless support toward the DREAM Act, which would grant American residency to undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors and are now attending college or in the military. It should come as no surprise that Isabel’s extraordinary (and dangerous) fight is still going strong. According to a poll published this week, 91% of Latinos support the DREAM Act. On the other hand, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both came forward opposing it – the former referred to it as a “handout.”


After a long career as a Pixar story-boarder, Enrico Casarosa
… got the opportunity to direct his first (and very personal) animated short movie about a young boy who climbs a ladder leading him to the moon, which has been touring the festival circuit and will be available for all to see as the short film airing before the long-awaited summer Pixar release “Brave.” Since we last chatted with Enrico, La Luna was actually nominated for an Academy-Award in the Animated Short Film category… and we have a good feeling about Enrico’s chances of winning. According to the New York Times, the “slight but magical seven-minute film […] is as luminescent as the golden fragments these moon sweepers rake into piles.”



There is no stopping ZocDoc, the…


…free health information technology company that allows patients to book Doctor appointments online. When we last featured co-founder Cyrus Massoumi, ZocDoc had raised about $70 million and was starting a nation-wide dissemination of its services. Massoumi was profiled on Forbes yesterday, and the article announced that ZocDoc has expanded its presence in 15 cities with the rate of appointments jumping to an astonishing 6.6 million. We encourage you to check-out their website if you haven’t done so, as the conveniency of their online appointment-scheduling services is nothing short of inspiring.


Last but not least, 19 year-old Eden Full won a spot on the coveted…
… list of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 two months ago. The Thiel Fellow, provided with $100,000 to drop out of college and focus on developing/implementing her cheap (roughly $10) device that optimizes solar panel energy collection by up to 40%, just won a $260,000 social entrepreneurship award for her efforts in developing countries. Those are incredible numbers, but what truly impresses us is the potential of the SunSaluter to save energy, reduce costs, and prevent the scarcity of essential resources.






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