For our annual survey of the most promising technology entrepreneurs, Bloomberg Businessweek’s editors and writers weighed input from venture capitalists, angel investors, and other representatives of startups. We also relied on an ongoing direct dialogue with readers and startup founders and on the expertise of our editorial staff. Each slide lists the company name, executives aged 30 and under, a business description, and the wisest funding decision that executives feel they have made.
Entrepreneurs: Clara Shih, 29; Steve Garrity, 29
Funding: $3.1 million from Sequoia Capital, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Twitter Vice-President Michael Abbott, Facebook design head Aaron Sittig, and CitySearch co-founder Thomas Layton
Clara Shih and Steve Garrity started Hearsay two years ago in Shih’s San Francisco apartment. While writing a book about the use of social networking as a marketing tool, Shih discovered that the Fortune 500 companies she was talking to needed strategic help. She and Garrity decided to provide it.
Wisest funding decision: Taking money from Sequoia. “These guys know what they are doing,” Shih says.