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The Best Young Entrepreneurs of 2011: Readers' Picks

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 27, 2011

Each year we ask readers to send us suggestions for a roundup of America’s best young entrepreneurs. We narrow the nominations to 25 promising companies run by individuals age 25 or younger and ask readers to choose the ones they think hold the most potential. More than 5,000 readers voted since we published profiles of the finalists in September. Here are the five that got the most votes, along with the percentage of readers who chose them:

1) scoreAscore: 11.8 percent. Jordan Passman founded this online music brokerage business in May 2010 to connect composers with music buyers who need scores for film, commercials, video games, or other productions. Passman, who runs the business solo in Los Angeles, expects revenue of $250,000 this year.

2) ThinkLite: 8.3 percent. Babson College students Dinesh Wadhwani and Enrico Palmerino started ThinkLite in 2009 to help businesses save money with custom, energy-efficient lighting systems. With clients including AT&T and Kodak, they expect $3.5 million in revenue this year.

3) Delta Produce: 6.6 percent. University of Maryland classmates Kosta Dionisopoulos and Christos Marafatsos distinguish their produce distribution business by offering clients online marketing services and helping them save money by coordinating group purchases. The pair, who started Delta Produce in 2009, now employ 18 people and expect $2.6 million in revenue in 2011.

4) Appleton Learning: 6.2 percent. Glenn Clayton grew the tutoring business he started at the University of Alabama into an enterprise that now employs 1,000 tutors and serves 6,000 students. He expects revenue of $4.2 million this year.

5) Desmos: 6.1 percent. Eli Luberoff began working on software to help students and teachers collaborate remotely during a year off from Yale. After testing the product with publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Pearson, he launched it in May and expects revenue of $200,000 in 2011.

For more, see the rest of the stories and features in this year’s special report.

Reader Comments


October 27, 2011 1:17 PM

The winner only got 11.8% of the votes? The top 5 got 39% of the total number of votes? You might as well show what the rest of the companies received.

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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