We are pleased to announce the launch of our search for The 2008 SAI 25: The World’s Most Promising Digital Startups.
Digital business has now gone global, and some of the most exciting new companies are being founded and built outside the U.S., especially in Europe and Asia. Over the next few weeks, we will be crawling the globe–the US included–to find the 25 digital startups that we believe have the best chance of being worth truckloads of money someday. In February, we’ll present our findings. In the meantime, we need your help!
The SAI 25
The SAI 25 is not about “buzz.” It’s not about celebrity founders, sectors du jour, or hype. It’s not about “products” or “features.” It’s not about “cool technology” or “great places to work.” The SAI 25 is about business and money. Specifically, it’s about identifying the 25 startups that we think have the potential to become the most valuable digital businesses.
How are we going to do that?
By analysing the hundreds of detailed nominations submitted by readers, entrepreneurs, VC firms, PR firms, and our own SAI 25 Advisory Board.
SAI 25 Advisory Board
The SAI 25 will be chosen by our Advisory Board, which is comprised of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and analysts in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Collectively, members of our Advisory Board have analysed, invested in, and/or built thousands of digital businesses over the past 15 years–from moonshots like Yahoo and Google to flameouts like PointCast. Some of this year’s Advisory Board members are listed below.
Submit Your Nominations!
The world’s a big place, so we need your help. Over the next few weeks, we will be gathering nominations and performing an initial analysis and screening. From time to time, we may solicit your feedback about certain companies. In the meantime, please submit your nominations.
This is not a popularity contest, so the more details you can give us the better. We will treat any information you label “Confidential” as confidential–i.e., we will consider it in our selection process, but we won’t publish it or distribute it publicly. Helpful information would include:
- Detailed description of business and/or technology. Please explain the value proposition, market opportunity, and competitive advantage with as much precision as possible. (i.e., don’t just say the company is “a leading…”. Tell us exactly why it is so promising and why it is going to continue to win).
- Web site URL, if any.
- Users / Customers (with growth rates)
- Revenue growth
- Bottom Line
- Financial position
If if you don’t mind your nominations being public, you can submit them in the comments below. If you would like to keep your nominations confidential, please send a detailed email to Jonathan Kennedy ([email protected]), and please put “SAI 25” in the subject line. We will keep the names of all nominators confidential.
2008 SAI 25 Advisory Board
Current members of our 2008 Advisory Board include:
Kevin Ryan, CEO, Alleycorp. Kevin was the CEO of DoubleClick in the 1990s. He is currently the co-founder of six digital start-ups based in New York City (including the parent of this site) and the CEO of Alleycorp. He is an investor in and advisor to several private Internet companies, including TheLadders.com.
David Siminoff, General Partner, Venrock. David is a partner at the global VC firm Venrock. He was previously president and CEO of Spark Networks, a network of dating sites, and he has founded, invested in, and/or advised numerous digital start-ups over the past 15 years. In the 1990s, David was the lead media analyst at Capital Research. David’s wife Ellen was employee No. 6 at Yahoo.
Henry Blodget, CEO, SAI. Henry was one of Wall Street’s top-ranked Internet and eCommerce analysts in the late 1990s. As a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch & Co, he ran the firm’s global Internet research team, and in 2000, was the “most read” Wall Street analyst in the world. Henry is now CEO of SAI, Inc., the parent of this site, and previously ran Cherry Hill Research, an Internet research and consulting firm.
Danny Rimer, Partner, Index Ventures. Danny runs Index’s London office. He is on the board of Joost, MySQL, Oanda, Spot Runner, FON, Stardoll, Lovefilm, and Viagogo. Prior to joining Index, Danny was a general partner of The Barksdale Group and a Managing Director at Hambrecht & Quist. At H&Q, Danny was the underwriting analyst for companies including Amazon, Netscape, and Verisign.
James L. McGregor, CEO, JL McGregor & Company. Jim is a journalist-turned-businessman-and-investor who has lived in China for 20 years. His consulting company, JL McGregor, owns Pacific Epoch, one of the leading China business research boutiques. Jim was a partner and the China managing director for GIV Venture Partners, a $140 million venture capital fund specializing in technology investments in China and India. He is an advisor to many Chinese Internet startups and was an early investor and board member of Sohu.com.
Dwight Merriman, Chairman and Co-Founder, Shopwiki / Panther Express / 10gen. Dwight served as the Chief Technology Officer of DoubleClick for 10 years. In the past two years, he has co-founded the companies above and serves on the board of Phanfare.
Thank you in advance for your nominations and insights. May the most promising startups win!
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