2013 Innovators to Watch: 16 to 20

chrislarsen_12016. Chris Larsen, co-founder and CEO, OpenCoin
Chris Larsen has been disrupting the financial services industry for so long it’s no surprise he’s into — what else? — virtual currency. The brains behind E-loan and Prosper now has launched an open platform for currency exchange. It handles every currency you can think of — dollars, yen, yuan, bitcoins — and a few you haven’t, such as ripples, the platform’s own currency. Larsen certainly shook up the loan business, and online lenders — some good, others not so good — are all over the web now. The same could be true for OpenCoin and ripples.

samaltman_12017. Sam Altman, executive vice president of mobile, Green Dot/GoBank
Sam Altman arrived at Green Dot by way of acquisition: Loopt, a location-based mobile social networking platform was acquired by Green Dot in early 2012. Not bad for a company founded by Altman during his sophomore year at Stanford University. Green Dot wasted no time putting Altman to work on a mobile-first bank account, GoBank. Altman helicoptered in (only he will get that joke) and brought the simplicity, fun, and contextual aspects of Loopt into Green Dot’s platform, which is set to open its doors Independence Day.

danrosen_12018. Dan Rosen, General Partner, Commerce Ventures
Dan Rosen has a history of investing in mobile and payments-related startups. Commerce Venture’s current portfolio includes social marketing firm Linqia, payments platform Marqueta, digital coupon provider SavingStar, and merchant loyalty program OwnerListens.

benmilne_12019. Ben Milne, founder and CEO, Dwolla
Ben Milne built Dwolla to solve a problem — moving money was painful and expensive. Dwolla’s fees are barely there — just $0.25 for transactions over $10. Milne’s emphasis is on helping small businesses and nonprofits, to save them from paying credit card fees. But noble goals aside, Dwolla is simply the coolest and cheapest way to move money. It was recently ordered to stop moving money to and from Mt. Gox, the bitcoin exchange, but don’t expect that to slow down Dwolla. In 2012 it reported that it was moving $1 million a day. That can only have grown since.

harrybrandicourt_12020. Harry Brandicourt, SVP, Managing Director, Strategic Planning Group, Fifth Third Bancorp
Harry Brandicourt attended the United States Naval Academy and spent time chasing drug runners in the Caribbean. He now oversees Fifth Third’s innovation team within the bank and is a thought-leader on organizational innovation in the financial services community. Brandicourt is working to bring the startup mindset — rapid prototyping, short implementation cycles — within the walls of the bank.

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