18 September 2011

Joost's List ~ Entrepreneurs on My Walk of Fame

My variant of the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame would kick off with this line-up, a diverse group of seven venture heroes and heroines...
  1. Alexander Graham BELL ~ Co-Founder of Bell Telephone System in 1877 in Massachusetts (todays AT&T, Verizon, etc). Made first long-distance phone call on Main Street cutting through Kendall Square. Later Co-Founder of National Geographic Society.
  2. Ruth HANDLER ~ Co-Founder Mattel Toys in 1945 with Harold Matson and Elliot Handler. Creator of the Barbie Doll. Later Co-Founder of Ruthton Corp to make women's prosthetics.
  3. Narendra PATNI ~ Co-Founder of Patni Computer Systems in 1972 in Massachusetts and India with Poonam Patni and colleagues. Known as the father of the IT services outsourcing industry.
  4. Steve JOBS ~ Co-Founder of Apple in 1977 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in California. Later Co-Founder of NeXT and builder of Pixar. Resilient pioneer of computers and consumer media.
  5. Eike BATISTA ~ Founder of EBX Group of companies starting in 1983 in Brazil. Dynamic operator in mining, infrastructure, logistics, and energy services.
  6. Helen GREINER ~ Co-Founder of iRobot in 1990 with Colin Angle and Rodney Brooks in Massachusetts. Later Founder of CyPhy Works. Pioneer in consumer and industrial robotics.
  7. Mo IBRAHIM ~ Founder of Celtel (later Zain, now Airtel) in 1998, pioneering mobile operator in Africa. Champion of good governance and civic leadership.
Even this group is not too sectorally varied, with too much infotech and no biotech represented, for example. So I might swap in Raymond BADDOUR, Co-Founder of AMGEN. In any case, every year I would add seven more with an eye on variety, including people from the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia in many sectors including biotech, foods, transportation, etc. I'd try to pick one from 1800's or earlier, one from pre-1960's, and the rest living entrepreneurs who started their firm(s) in the last 15-50 years. But no more than 2 or 3 MIT-related people in any given year, plus 2 or 3 selectees from outside US.

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