1. Jason Glickman, Tremor Media Inc.
1Getty Images The Video Guy
Jason Glickman, Tremor Media Inc.
Anyone who’s played a YouTube video recently may be familiar with digital ad firm Tremor Media’s core product.
Mr. Glickman, 34, helped pioneer “super-overlays”—those interactive, clickable, roll-over ads that pop up atop video clips and can be expanded or collapsed as viewers wish. They’re shorter (as brief as five seconds) and more precisely tailored to an individual’s Web-use patterns than the old-school, 30-second commercials that delay your hundredth viewing of a cat playing the piano.
The new approach netted 6-year-old Tremor $71 million in VC funding from 2008 through 2010, fueling its purchase of rival ScanScout last year and of the Transpera mobile advertising network in February.
The company now has more than 175 employees working for 5,000 online clients. Its clips garnered a total of 90 million unique viewers last year, up from 70 million in 2009.
2. Archana Patchirajan, Sonpreet Bhatia, Puneet Mehta, MyCityWay
Archana Patchirajan, Sonpreet Bhatia & Puneet Mehta, MyCityWay
Ms. Patchirajan (center), 29, Ms. Bhatia (right), 32, and Mr. Mehta (left), 32, worked by day as Wall Street developers while moonlighting on their own to beat the entry deadline for the first city-sponsored NYC BigApps competition last year.
Although they didn’t win the top prize, they got seed money from the city and FirstMark Capital, to the tune of $300,000. The result, MyCityWay, is a mobile app that help users navigate the world’s big cities by aggregating real-time transportation updates, reviews and other location-based info. The company’s success—it has amassed 1.8 million users in 55 cities since the free app was unveiled in November 2009—prompted BMW i Ventures, the German automaker’s VC fund, to invest $5 million in February.
Ms. Patchirajan said the company is adding about one city a week as it builds more features into the service.
The trio of immigrants from India definitely doesn’t lack for ambition. “We plan to be in every major city in the world,” Ms. Patchirajan said.
3. Howard Lerman – Yext
Howard Lerman, Yext
According to Mr. Lerman, about half of online-search results that produce customers for the typical small enterprise come from just nine websites, including Yahoo, Citysearch, MapQuest, Yellowbook and Yelp.
That’s why in January, Yext unveiled a $400-a-year subscription service called PowerListings, through which business owners can instantaneously update their official company details across those sites that matter most. More than 3,000 companies are already subscribers, not including larger businesses that buy Yext’s proprietary Web platform to simplify their own customers’ searches for business information.
It’s a bold new growth path for Mr. Lerman, 31, who started Yext with two high school buddies in 2006. It was his fourth Internet startup since his college days, and the company’s Yellow Pages-like Web listings—advertisers pay for every call generated—turned Yext into the No. 2 player in that field, behind AT&T. Mr. Lerman now oversees 100-plus employees.
“The rate at which we’re adding PowerListings subscribers is phenomenal,” he said. “We’re really just getting started on this thing.”
04. Marc Cenedella, TheLadders.com
Marc Cenedella, TheLadders.com
In 2003, Mr. Cenedella launched TheLadders—his Web-based job search site for those making $100,000-plus—after teaching himself programming from a book. For this achievement, he
was named to Crain’s 40 Under Forty in 2009.
As New York crawls out of its recession blues, his company is seeing only green. TheLadders site boasts more than 4.5 million subscribers, including job-seekers and businesses in major markets across the country as well as in Canada and Britain. The company has expanded its résumé-service offering (it’s reviewed a total of 575,000 résumés), and more than 10,000 executive recruiters now rely on either its free or paid services—a 190% increase since January. The company, which now employs more than 400 people, just opened an office in London.
Mr. Cenedella’s startup success has transformed the 40-year-old into something of a Web-business guru. On a recent blog post, he warned digital entrepreneurs that the spectacular success of LinkedIn’s initial public offering will multiply the number of inexperienced job applicants looking to cash in on an anticipated Silicon Alley boom: “Accepting people with the wrong motivations into your ranks becomes a slow, gnawing cancer on your culture.”