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Thursday, January 5, 2012



 Will you be one of the top entrepreneurs in 2012? Learn from the below and you can become a Digital Leader!


 10 Biggest Entrepreneurs of 2011
From: Business MBA



Also from BusinessMBA.org:

Do a quick search for important entrepreneurs. Do you see any wrinkles on those faces? You sure don’t—some of them might even still have baby fat. Inc. does a yearly list of the top 30 entrepreneurs under 30. Business MBA decided to find out how ten of these young adults are making huge impressions on business and on the world.

Matt Mickiewicz, 99designs Co-Founder—27 Years Old

Mickiewicz’s business partner, Mark Harbottle, is 37
Founded 2007
Located in San Francisco and Melbourne
27 employees, with plans to double that number over the next year
No official revenue released—“eight figures”
99designs is a hub for businesses to find graphic designers without having to do all the searching themselves
Recent acquisition of Series A funding from venture capitalists Accel Partners—$35 million
According to Matt, the United States is home to 74,000 graphic designers
99designs lists 100,000+ graphic designers
80% of the company’s business comes from word-of-mouth
77,000+ projects completed so far



Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowski, Dropbox Founders, 28 and 25 Years Old

Founded 2007
Located in San Francisco
50 employees
No official revenue released
Lets users access and share files from nearly anywhere using a file sync cloud
3 months in, landed $7.2 million in funding from venture capitalists and individual investors
The how-to video posted on Digg boosted beta waitlisting from 5,000 to 75,000 people in a few hours
Available in English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese
25 million users
1 million files saved every 5 minutes
Plans up to 100 GB of storage


Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram Founders—25 and 27 Years Old

Founded 2009
Located in San Francisco—Twitter’s old office, to be exact
4 employees (yes, 4)
No official revenue released
Allows photo editing in an app, along with location sharing
After it launched in the App Store at midnight on October 6, 2010, Instagram had 10,000 users in just a few hours
Now 7+ million users
150+ million photos uploaded in the first 9 months
1.3 million photos per day
15 photos per second
Flickr didn’t even reach 100 million photos until nearly 2 years after launch
16 options for photo editing
$7 million funding from Benchmark Capital
Plans for revenue: paid extra filters, exclusive accounts, advertising


Hussein Fazal and Kristaps Ronka, AdParlor Founders—29 and 24 Years Old

Founded 2008
Located in Toronto, Canada
15 employees
No official revenue released—“tens of millions”
After Facebook’s 2007 API, the pair began designing apps for fun
Along the way, they noticed Facebook didn’t have any solid ad networks
Ronka dropped out of school as the pair began coding and started AdParlor
One of fewer than 100 companies with access to Facebook’s ad API
Over 100,000 ads daily on Facebook
Over 500 million impressions


Alexa Andrzejewski, Soraya Darabi, and Ted Grubb, Foodspotting Founders—27, 27, and 29 Years Old

Founded 2009
Located in San Francisco and New York City
10 employees
No official revenue released
An iPhone app allowing people to search for food by dish, not cuisine, while seeing photographs of the meals and getting the locations of the restaurants serving it
Grubb was a programmer, but knew nothing about app development—so he learned in order to create Foodspotting
He programmed the prototype app in a tent in the wilderness!
In the beginning, Foodspotting was 1 of just 6 location-based apps in the iTunes App Store
$3 million in angel funding after highly successful run at Start-up Weekend in SF
600,000+ foods now “spotted” on the app
101,615+ follows on Twitter
Partnering with The Travel Channel and Zagat



Jason Baptiste and Andres Barreto, Onswipe Founders, 25 and 24 Years Old

Founded 2010
Located in New York City
12 employees
No official revenue released
Provides mobile website optimization for all levels of publishers
Content becomes interactive, customizable, “app-like”
Received over $6 million in funding from companies like Spark Capital and Lightbank before platform launched
Invented a WordPress plug-in specially for the iPad
Now, a deal with WP has Onswipe running 18.6 million blogs for iPad
Barreto is also a founder of Grooveshark and PulsoSocial—“TechCrunch for Latin America”



Siamak Taghaddos and David Hauser, Grasshopper Founders—Both 29 Years Old

Founded 2003
Located in Needham, Mass.
50 employees
No official revenue released
A voicemail/call routing system using its own phone number
Began with existing software, but developed their own proprietary software
Plans for all sizes of business: $9.95 to $199.00 per month
Grasshopper Group founded in 2010: will produce many products for entrepreneurs
May 2010: Created and circulated petition for National Entrepreneurs Day
President Obama one-upped them and made National Entrepreneur Week in November
Growth of 1,983% in 2007
Growth of just 5% during the worst part of the recession
However, Grasshopper is due to grow 20% on top of 2010’s revenue, with more than $15 million



Matthew Corrin, Freshii Founder—29 Years Old

Founded 2005, with seed money from his parents
Based in Chicago, with locations around the world—first location in Toronto
50+ locations in 4 countries—United States, Canada, Austria, and UAE
500+ employees
No official revenue released—est. $50 million
Custom fresh food—salads, soups, wraps, bowls—made affordable
A calorie, fat, sodium, cholesterol and protein counter tallies each online order’s total by ingredient
Aim to open 700 more stores—½ corporate, ½ franchise—in the next 5 years
To open a franchise: $30,000 up-front, 6% royalty, 3% advertising fees
Typical start-up fee: $250,000
Corrin had never worked in food service or retail before opening



Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox Founders—27 and 28 Years Old

Founded 2010
Located in New York City
25 employees
Projected revenue for 2011: $7 million
$10 per month for a shipment of 4-5 samples of beauty/cosmetic products to customers’ doors
At launch, Birchbox already had 660 members by word-of-mouth!
A beta test e-mail was sent to 40 friends in March 2010—and resulted in a waiting list of about 3,000
Currently about 45,000 members
Just 1 month after launch, $1.4 million seed
Accel Partners and First Round invested
Cosmetic giant Benefit was the first to join the project



Daniel Gomez Iniguez, Solben Co-Founder—20 Years Old

Founded 2009
Located in Monterrey, Mexico
15 employees
Revenue for 2010: $1 million
Projected Revenue for 2011: $3 million
An alternative energy project begun for a high school senior project
Sells technology for making biodiesel out of algae and plants, as opposed to cooking oil or animal fats
2010 GSEA Global Social Impact Award Winner
1st Place Entrepreneur Award 2010 in the Mexican Stock Exchange

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