Saturday, June 06, 2009

SBJ: TechCrunch, Founders Fund award 22 entrepreneurs $50K

The recipients were divided into four groups: Disruptive Innovation, Engineering Leadership, Product Design and Marketing, and General Management:
Disruptive Innovation

  • Scott Banister, chairman of San Francisco-based Zivity, an adult social media Web site for photographers, models and fans of female pin-up photography. Banister was a co-founder IronPort Systems Inc., a San Bruno company that Cisco Systems Inc. acquired in 2007 for $830 million. He was also an early advisor and board member at PayPal, which eBay Inc.acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002.
  • Andrew Frame, founder and chairman of free home phone service Ooma Inc. in Palo Alto
  • Will Harvey, co-founder of There Inc., a San Mateo-based host of an online virtual world. He was previously founder and CEO at another virtual world company in Palo Alto, IMVU Inc.
  • Blake Kirkorian, co-founder and CEO of Sling Media Inc., the Foster City company that developed hardware and software that lets users watch live TV from their computers and mobile devices. It was acquired by EchoStar Corp. in 2007 for $380 million.
  • Mike McCue, co-founder of TellMe Networks Inc. in 1999, which developed voice recognition for telephony. The company was sold to Microsoft Corp. in 2007 for $800 million and became a Mountain View-based subsidiary of the software giant, where he continues as general manager.

Engineering Leadership

  • Michael Abbott, senior vice president of applications software and services at Palm Inc. in Sunnyvale, where he leads development of its WebOS software platform.
  • Adam D’Angelo, the chief technology officer of Facebook Inc. in Palo Alto until he left in May 2008.
  • Sandy Jen and Elaine Wherry, co-founders of Mountain View-based Meebo Inc., the Web-based instant messaging company.
  • Eric Ries, venture adviser at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Menlo Park. He was previously a co-founder and chief technology officer at IMVU.
  • Richard “Rich” Skrenta, founder and CEO at search company Blekko Inc. in Redwood City.

Product Design and Marketing

  • Michael Birch, co-founder and CEO of social networking Web site Bebo Inc. in San Francisco, which was acquired by AOL in 2008 for $850 million.
  • Daniel Burka, creative director at social content Web site Digg Inc. in San Francisco. He is also co-founder of SilverOrange of Prince Edward Island, Canada, a group of Web developers who produce user-focused Web systems.
  • Adam Goldberg, co-founder and chief innovation officer at advertising analytics companyClearSaleing Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. He is also president at stealth startup
  • Zach Klein, founder of stealth startup Spurd Inc. in Brooklyn. He is former partner atConnected Ventures in New York City, which is the parent company of the CollegeHumor Network., and he was co-founder of video-sharing Web site Vimeo.
  • Jeffrey Veen, founder of stealth mode Internet services company Small Batch Inc. He was one of the founding partners at product experience design company Adaptive Path Inc. in San Francisco

General Management

  • Scott Diepzen, senior vice president of communications at Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) in Sunnyvale. He joined Yahoo from online collaborative software company Zimbra Inc. of San Mateo, where he was president and chief technology officer. Yahoo paid $350 million for Zimbra in 2007.
  • Michael Jones, an entrepreneur and angel investor who was CEO of Userplane of Los Angeles and a senior vice president of AOL.
  • Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, CEO-in-residence at Accel Partners of Palo Alto, previously president of Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Asia and Latin America presence
  • David Sprosty, senior vice president of connectivity solutions and mobile at Best Buy Inc.(NYSE:BBY) of Richfield, Minn.
  • Jason Rapp, CEO of InterActive Corp.'s online gift company, based in New York City.
  • Scott Weiss, Cisco's vice president of security technology. He joined the company when Cisco bought IronPort, which he co-founded.


Anonymous said...

Great list of innovators

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