26 Up-And-Coming Tech Entrepreneurs You Need To Watch

Leah Busque TaskRabbit
Leah Busque is the founder of TaskRabbit

Business Insider recently released the Silicon Valley 100, our annual list of people making waves in California’s digital scene.  It is comprised of VCs, senior executives, and founders. This year there were a bunch of new additions and you need to meet them. These entrepreneurs weren’t well known one year ago. Now they are red-hot.

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title=”Kevin Chou”
content=”CEO, Kabam

Kabam is like a hardcore version of Zynga–it relies on a smaller number of players that are willing to spend more money on its Facebook games. Kabam’s Kevin Chou raised $85 million in May this year.”
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title=”Ryan Howard”
content=”Founder and CEO, Practice Fusion

This startup is building an electronic platform for health records. It raised $36 million in 2011 and moved into some swanky new offices to make space for its quick expansion.”
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title=”Vikash Varma”
content=”President and CEO, Stoke, Inc.

Varma and Stoke, a mobile broadband startup, raised a stunning $93 million in 2011.”
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title=”Sam Shank”
content=”CEO and Cofounder, HotelTonight

Hotel Tonight lets you book last-minute, overnight stays at discounted rates. In 2011, it raised both a Series A and Series B round of financing for a total of $12.3 million. Investors include Battery Ventures, Accel Partners, First Round Capital and angels Rich Barton, Erik Bachford, Brad Gerstner, and Hugh Crean.

It was also named one of the 20 Hot Silicon Valley Startups To Watch last summer.

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title=”Satoshi Nakamoto”
content=”Founder, Bitcoin

Bitcoin was rampantly popular among geeks in Silicon Valley for a while last year. It was touted as something that would replace modern currencies–a purely digital currency that can be transferred directly from person to person over the internet.”
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title=”Phil Fernandez”
content=”CEO and President, Marketo

Marketo is one of the valley’s new enterprise darlings, and plays in the field of marketing automation. It raised more than $50 million, and more than doubled its revenues in 2011.”
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title=”Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta”
content=”Cofounders, Pulse

Pulse is a reader app that gives a you a very nice visual look at your RSS feed. Kothari and Gupta made lots of great media partnerships in 2011. They also raised an additional $9 million in venture funding.”
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title=”Uri Levine and Ehud Shabtai”
content=”Cofounder and President; Cofounder and CTO, Waze

Waze raised $30 million last year to build out its socially-powered traffic tracking app. It’s one of a few companies that also has Mary Meeker, one of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ top partners, on board.”
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title=”Sarah Lacy”
content=”Founder, PandoDaily

Sarah Lacy left TechCrunch last year to found her own news site called PandoDaily. She said she wants to build the ‘site of record’ for startups in Silicon Valley, and she raised $2.5 million from a ton of investors to do it.”
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title=”Sam Zaid, Elliot Kroo, Jessica Scorpio”
content=”CEO and cofounders, GetAround

GetAround was the winner of TechCrunch Disrupt 2011. It allows users to rent cars from each other. If you don’t mind getting eye rolls, you can call it the ‘AirBNB of car rentals.'”
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title=”Leah Busque”
content=”Founder, TaskRabbit

Busque launched TaskRabbit in 2008.

TaskRabbit is a local network that allows users to post and complete tasks in their neighborhoods. Think Craigslist and Twitter mushed together.

Although it has been around for a few years, TaskRabbit gained more traction this year than in the past few combined. It was featured on ABC Nightly News as a solution for America’s job crisis and it has raised ~ $20 million in the past year.”
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title=”Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran”
content=”CEO and Cofounder; CTO and Cofounder Klout

Klout measures your influence online with your Twitter, Google+ and other social networking accounts.

It may or may not be a measure of how much less influential you are on the Internet than Justin Bieber (who has a perfect 100 Klout score)–but it’s still incredibly popular. Klout’s top team also raised around $30 million last year.”
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title=”Alexander Asseily and Hosain Rahman”
content=”Founder; CEO, Jawbone

Jawbone, the company behind the Bluetooth headsets and the UP health device, raised another $40 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and DST’s Yuri Milner in December 2011.”
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title=”Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp”
content=”Cofounder and CEO, Uber

You wouldn’t expect to find a lot of disruption in the taxi industry, but that’s just what Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp saw–and exploited–with a hit smartphone app for hailing town cars.

Uber, which lets you order a town car directly from your phone and charges your credit card automatically, is now growing like wildfire and expanding to new cities just about every month.”
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title=”Ren Ng”
content=”Founder and CEO, Lytro

In 2011, Ng’s team invented a new kind of camera. With it, you take the picture and then decide where to set the focus. It’s so cool that Steve Jobs wanted to build it into the next iPhone.”
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title=”Aaron Levie”
content=”CEO and Cofounder, Box.net

26-year-old Aaron Levie’s Box.net is on a hot streak. After turning down a $500 million plus offer, the company raised more than $90 million toward the end of the year. It’s generating between $25 million and $40 million in revenue annually.”
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title=”Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Yashwanth Nelapati”
content=”Cofounder; Cofounder; Engineer, Pinterest

Pinterest grew like wildfire last year, ending the year with more than 11 million visits in a week in December. It’s been described as a ‘Reddit for girls,’ and the company bills itself as ‘an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you.'”
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title=”Now check out the stars on the east coast:”
content=”The 2011 Silicon Alley 100 >>
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