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The Best Entrepreneurs Under 25

Once considered a negative, entrepreneurialism is now synonymous with opportunity. Following their own paths, entrepreneurs are some of the most innovative and dynamic forces fueling the economy. They often hatch the ideas and nurture the concepts that transform the business landscape. And, today, entrepreneurs are no longer just post-corporate second acts. They’re often young people who are just starting out.

With a profusion of new small businesses led by increasingly younger entrepreneurs, BusinessWeek Online embarked in September on a nationwide search to uncover the “Best Entrepreneurs Under 25.” We set out to find truly innovative businesses that both demonstrated clear potential for growth and established the talent of the savvy, young entrepreneurs behind them. In short, we were looking for the next generation of success stories.

First, we put out the word that we were looking for stand-up startups that were already in business—not in the concept phase—and we asked our readers to help us find them. That they did: In just one month, readers nominated nearly 100 entrepreneurs from far and wide. The nominees’ businesses ranged from a security software company to a book publisher to a voice-mail system.

Our editors then sifted through the talent pool and narrowed the selection down to 20 finalists. Over a two-week period, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 14, BusinessWeek Online offered readers the opportunity to vote for the finalists who they thought showed the most promise for success.

The response was overwhelming. More than 250,000 readers visited our special report and reviewed the profiles of our final group of entrepreneurs and their businesses. In the end, 17,155 votes were cast. The tally is now in. Meet the five “Best Entrepreneurs Under 25,” as chosen by BusinessWeek Online readers.

  1. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
  2. Nancy Montano, Los Angeles Pumping
  3. Joanna Alberti, philoSophie’s
  4. David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddos, GotVMail
  5. Anand Chhatpar, BrainReactions