Canva: Melanie Perkins (2019)

Melanie Perkins is the founder of Canva
Phuong Nguyen for NPR
Melanie Perkins is the founder of Canva

Phuong Nguyen for NPR

When she was just 19 years old, Melanie Perkins dreamt of transforming the graphic design and publishing industries. But she started small, launching a site to make yearbook design simpler and more collaborative.

Her success with that first venture—and an unexpected meeting with a VC investor—eventually landed her the backing to pursue her original idea, and the chance to take on software industry titans like Adobe and Microsoft.

Today, Melanie’s online design platform Canva is valued at $6 billion, joining the list of Australia’s “unicorn” companies.