Some of Chicago’s youngest entrepreneurs hit a brand-new milestone Wednesday with the release of Forbes’ first-ever Chicago-specific 30 Under 30 list.

Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists typically honor the top innovators in several fields on a continental level. The annual accolade now includes local lists for areas which Forbes considers “often overlooked, but serv(ing) as home for some of the world’s most talented young innovators,” editor Kristen Stoller said in a news release.

The new lists threw a spotlight on tastemaking 20-somethings in 10 cities and territories, including Boston, Miami and Puerto Rico. Chicago’s class technically includes 33 winners, as three sets of co-founders were selected in pairs.

This year, 600 honorees, 27 years old on average, were named to 30 Under 30 North America lists across 20 industries. The average Chicago local honoree was 25, reflecting the relative youth — and constant growth — of the Chicagoland tech and startup landscape.

Kevin Kaspar, 22, was surprised but thrilled to be named as part of the first class of Chicago 30 Under 30 honorees. Co-founder of Infernoguard, a startup devoted to private wildfire risk assessment, Kaspar was also recognized last year in Chicago Inno’s 25 under 25 list.

Many of Kaspar’s mentors have been recognized on previous Forbes lists, he said, but he didn’t expect to make the leap himself.

“(25 Under 25) was the first inkling of getting recognized in that manner, but upping the stakes and moving to a Forbes list was never something I thought of,” Kaspar said. “When I was nominated, it was a total shock to me.”

Many of the 30 honorees are known for developing digital products or platforms, but Forbes also tapped performers, mental health advocates and organizers of spaces uplifting communities of color.

Winners include Amethyst Davis, founder of the Harvey World Herald, a hyperlocal newspaper serving a previous news desert; Andrew Lee, co-founder of Demi, a tech-enabled composting system designed for apartment buildings; and Carson Rhoads, who strengthened the historical presence of house music in Chicago by establishing ARC Music Festival.

Across all 10 local lists, this year’s 30 Under 30 local class has already brought in a combined $1.4 billion in funding. Most founders and developers honored on the Chicago list benefit from some sort of financial partnership with universities, megacorporations like Amazon and Google or local angel investors.

Several honorees are also alumni of The Garage, a startup incubator housed at Northwestern University.

Aspen Buckingham and Steven Jiang, Garage graduates turned video game designers, said the list continued to affirm their sense of community in the Chicago startup space.

“There were a lot of other friendly faces on the list,” Buckingham said. “It was so heartwarming.”

Buckingham and Jiang’s company, Overture Games, is currently working toward the full release of Intervallic, a game designed to combat burnout in musical instrument practice. Overture’s nine team members have put all their time toward development and none toward publicity so far, Jiang said, so the nomination came as a total surprise.

“Our vision here is obviously achieving the goal we have for the company, which is solving practice burnout,” Jiang said. “We’re lucky to be on the list, and that people recognize our work.”

The Chicago 30 Under 30 list was assembled by a panel of four judges, including entrepreneurs, philanthropists and alums of last year’s 30 Under 30 class. The process is kept fairly under wraps, though it involves nomination from industry leaders and past winners.

Kaspar, Buckingham and Jiang still don’t know who nominated them, and didn’t find out they had won until the list dropped Wednesday morning.

Between nomination and final selection, though, teams fill out a sheet explaining their project or company’s mission and providing some key metrics, Buckingham said.

Though the list makes a point of identifying emerging personalities, honorees don’t work alone.

Though one of the youngest on the list at 22, Kaspar has already spent nearly seven years of work on Infernoguard. Many hands have touched the project, he said, most of them students.

“There have been a lot of teammates,” Kaspar said. “I am more thankful that they have supported me through this journey than I am to be recognized.”