5. After years working with large consumer product companies like Stride Rite and Keds, Pieri grew frustrated with the difficulty mom-and-pop shops had launching new products. "The more innovative a product—as opposed to mainstream and "known"—the harder it was to get distribution," she explains. In response, she launched The Grommet, a discovery platform that connects customers with inventors' stories and their products, five years ago. Pieri, whose company helped launch products including SodaStream and Fitbit, counts HP CEO Meg Whitman as a mentor and has a side-gig as an entrepreneur in residence at Harvard Business School.