Hot young tech entrepreneurs to watch

Faith Merino · November 1, 2010 · Short URL:

A list of rising and established movers and shakers

Bloomberg announced Thursday the winners of the 2010 America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs, a competition among startups founded by entrepreneurs under 25.  Also on Thursday, (pronounced “keep,” as in “wii”) announced the closing of a $300K round of financing, making founder Brian Wong, age 19, the youngest entrepreneur to receive venture investment.  The tech world is powered by young adopters, so who are the hot up-and-coming (and already here) young entrepreneurs?

Mark Zuckerberg, 26

I know it’s obvious—but it has to be said.  In 2008, at the age of 23, Mark Zuckerberg topped Forbes’ list as the youngest self-made billionaire in the world four years after creating  To be clear, he isn’t actually the youngest billionaire in the world.  That title goes to his former roommate and Facebook co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz.  But in terms of numbers, Zuckerberg beats out the competition.  Worth $6.9 billion, Zuckerberg is now worth more than Steve Jobs.  What does he do with all his oodles of cash?  Nothing.  He rents a house in Palo Alto, California and recently donated $100 million to public schools in Newark, NJ. 

Gurbaksh Chahal, 28

In 1998, at the age of 16, Chahal dropped out of high school to work full-time at his first company, ClickAgents, an advertising network for performance-based advertising.  Two years later, at the age of 18, he sold ClickAgents to ValueClick for $40 million.  He went on to create another advertising  network, BlueLithium, which he sold to Yahoo for $300 million when he was just 25 years old.  In 2009, Chahal created gWallet, which raised $12.5 million in funding, and in 2010, he created another ad network called RadiumOne.  I just wish he would stop taking pictures like this.

Brian Wong, 19

As previously mentioned, at 19, Brian Wong may be the youngest entrepreneur to receive venture investment.  Mark Zuckerberg (side note: sometimes when I mean to write “Mark Zuckerberg” I accidentally write “Mark Wahlberg”) raised venture capital when he was just 20 years old.  Wong has a pretty interesting back story.  Canadian by birth, Wong skipped four grades and graduated from college at the age of 18.  For a brief time, he worked at Digg, where he helped launch their Android app, and then went on to found Followformation, an automated, categorized Twitter discovery tool.  Definitely someone to watch.

Mike Moradian, 25

At 25, Mike Moradian won Bloomberg’s 2010 America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs with his startup  As a sophomore at UCLA, Mike had a particularly tough time with a calculus class, which led him to think about how students would benefit from knowing how professors grade.  Through the Freedom of Information Act, Mike got access to grade distributions at UCLA.  Founding CampusBuddy in 2008, Mike went on to aggregate grade distribution from 100 million grades for professors, classes, and majors at 250 public universities, starting with the University of California system.  Mike expects revenues of $400,000 this year and $1 million next year. 

Matthew and Brian Monahan, 26 and 23 respectively

The brother duo is a two-for.  At 22, Matthew sold his first business and moved to Silicon Valley, where brother Brian later met him.  The two started Inflection, a company that aggregates records and makes them available to users.  In September 2010, Inflection raised $30 million in Series A funding from Matrix Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.  Inflection operates, a site that gathers data on family history, as well as, a site that aggregates public information on…everyone.  A little creepy, but totally legal.

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Digg is a user driven social content website. Everything on Digg is user-submitted. After you submit content, other people read your submission and “Digg” what they like best. If your story receives enough Diggs, it’s promoted to the front page for other visitors to see.

Digg has been a force ever since. Acquisition offers have been made, Rose was on the cover of BusinessWeek and according to Alexa, Digg is in the top 100 most trafficked sites on the internet. The success hasn’t come without its share of problems though. The site has had to face services aimed at gaming the way stories hit the front page, as well as a user revolt. Digg has however been able to get over these hurdles as it continues to be one of the social news leaders.



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Inflection's mission is to transform the public records industry. The company owns and operates two emerging brands. The first is, which makes family history simple and affordable. The second is, the newly launched privacy-friendly people search engine.

The company is backed by tier one investors Matrix Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures and located in the heart of downtown Silicon Valley.



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gWallet has built a next-generation ad platform that connects reputable advertising offers with consumers in social games and virtual worlds, while delivering higher conversions and revenue to publishers and developers.
Unlike the companies involved in “Scamville” recently, gWallet provides legit offers from top tier brands via its direct sales force. The company received $12.5 MM in funding from Trinity Ventures, Adams Street Partners and Stanford University.



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Yahoo bought Blue Lithium in September 2007 for $300 million in cash.

Combining a powerful one-two punch of one of the largest online ad networks with innovative ad targeting and serving technologies, BlueLithium creates a customized site network for each advertiser that is optimized to their marketing objectives.


Gurbaksh Chahal

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Matthew Monahan

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