30 Under 30 Honorees of 2006

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Alex Wang
Rainmaker Real Estate
Rainmaker Real Estate,
95 1st Street #110
Los Altos, CA
United States
Individual volume: 
$10 million

Wang took a risk and left college to start a dot-com business, which he describes as "a sort of Google for businesses." But the endeavor tanked after about eight months. "I'm not afraid of failure," says Wang. "Everyone makes mistakes; I just make sure I don't make them again."

Brainy pursuits: He returned to college, earning a degree in cognitive science. Then, he decided to put his knowledge of the human mind to work in real estate. His "traditional and conservative" Chinese parents initially discouraged him, even though they were successful commercial practitioners. But he persevered, and in 2005, he closed more than $10 million in sales.

Cultural mix: Wang was born in St. Louis but lived in Taiwan for a few years before settling in California. He's fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Acting bug: Wang also has an interest in acting and improvisation and has landed work as an extra in movies.