15 Leading Innovators For the Next Decade

Innovators of the Future

Innovation is occurring at a rapid pace around the globe, pushing the world economy forward while working hand-in-hand with technology. During the annual Techonomy conference from August 4-6 in Lake Tahoe, leading minds come together, focusing their energies on the problems in today’s world and how they can be solved through innovation. The conference’s organizers have highlighted 15 individuals who will carry the torch of innovation into the next decade, highlighting high-growth sectors with th
Photo: Comstock Images | Getty Images

Innovation is occurring at a rapid pace around the globe, pushing the world economy forward while working hand-in-hand with technology.

During the annual Techonomy conference from August 4-6in Lake Tahoe, leading minds come together, focusing their energies on the problems in today’s world and how they can be solved through innovation. The conference’s organizers have highlighted 15 individuals who will carry the torch of innovation into the next decade, highlighting high-growth sectors with the potential to raise the global standard of living and use ‘creative capitalism’ to achieve these goals.

Some names are more familiar than others, but they all share a common characteristic: they are pushing the envelope. So, who are the 15 leading innovators for the next decade? Click ahead to find out!

By Paul ToscanoPosted 4 Aug 2010

Kevin Czinger

A former Goldman Sachs investment banker, Kevin Czinger is the President & CEO of Coda Automotive, which is a California-based designer of electric vehicles that are manufactured in China. Czinger has a history of financing successful emerging growth companies and his life-long interest in the automotive industry translates into innovation in the high-growth market of electric cars. The flagship CODA vehicle - the CODA Sedan - is slated to offer an all-electric engine, a top speed of 80mph, a ra
Photo: Kevin Parry | WireImage | Getty Images

A former Goldman Sachs investment banker, Kevin Czinger is the President & CEO of Coda Automotive, which is a California-based designer of electric vehicles. Czinger has a history of financing successful emerging growth companies and his life-long interest in the automotive industry translates into innovation in the high-growth market of electric cars.

The flagship CODA vehicle - the CODA Sedan - is slated to offer an all-electric engine, a top speed of 80mph, a range between 90-120mph and zero emissions.

Elisabet de los Pinos

The founder and president of Aura Biosciences, Elisabet de los Pinos heads up the company that uses nano-particles to deliver drug therapies in a more precise manner to specific locations in the body. The process has potential in delivering cancer-killing drugs to targeted tissue, traceable by magnetic imaging technologies. Aura Biosciences says that it “isn’t really a pharmaceutical company, but one that employs advances in nanotechnology to devise new ways to make already approved drugs more e
Photo: Joancortes.com

The founder and president of Aura Biosciences, Elisabet de los Pinos heads up the company that uses nano-particles to deliver drug therapies in a more precise manner to specific locations in the body.

The process has potential in delivering cancer-killing drugs to targeted tissue, traceable by magnetic imaging technologies. Aura Biosciences says that it “isn’t really a pharmaceutical company, but one that employs advances in nanotechnology to devise new ways to make already approved drugs more effective.”

Achim Kopmeier

Co-founder of Epuramat, Achim Kopmeier, is leading innovation maker of various water purification products. His company develops these products for industrial use and for remote, economically underdeveloped locations where potable water is difficult to come by. Kopmeier, a water-treatment engineer from Luxembourg, developed his strategy from the idea that water can be delivered to consumers in a cheaper way without the need for an unweildy infrastructure. His innovation is the Extreme Separator
Photo: Facebook.com

Co-founder of Epuramat, Achim Kopmeier, is leading innovation maker of various water purification products. His company develops these products for industrial use and for remote, economically underdeveloped locations where potable water is difficult to come by.

Kopmeier, a water-treatment engineer from Luxembourg, developed his strategy from the idea that water can be delivered to consumers in a cheaper way without the need for an unweildy infrastructure. His innovation is the Extreme Separator (ExSep) which allows companies to reuse water from industrial processes in a cost-efficient way.

Allan Golston

A former investment banker, Golston heads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Educational Development programs, and hopes to help devise new financing methods for charter schools. For the foundation, he leads efforts to reduce inequalities and increase access to educational opportunities for low-income Americans. His innovation comes from developing education opportunities around the world in unprecedented ways. Golston oversees the major areas of grant-making for the foundation, which has an
Photo: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

A former investment banker, Golston heads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Educational Development programs, and hopes to help devise new financing methods for charter schools. For the foundation, he leads efforts to reduce inequalities and increase access to educational opportunities for low-income Americans. His innovation comes from developing education opportunities around the world in unprecedented ways.

Golston oversees the major areas of grant-making for the foundation, which has an endowment of over $33 billion at the beginning of this year, making it the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world.

Christina Lampe-Onnerud

The founder and CEO of Boston Power, Lampe-Onnerud is leading the way in a new generation of lithium ion batteries. As this type of battery comes into greater use around the world -- in devices from cell phones and laptops to electric cars - the power capacity and rechargeable capabilities of these units become increasingly more important. Leading the way, Lampe-Onnerud’s technologies may revolutionize the battery industry, by providing lithium ion batteries that can be recharged thousands of ti
Photo: Boston Power

The founder and CEO of Boston Power, Lampe-Onnerud is leading the way in a new generation of lithium ion batteries. As this type of battery comes into greater use around the world -- in devices from cell phones and laptops to electric cars - the power capacity and rechargeable capabilities of these units become increasingly more important.

Leading the way, Lampe-Onnerud’s technologies may revolutionize the battery industry, by providing lithium ion batteries that can be recharged thousands of times, versus hundreds for most batteries today.

Robin Li

Robin Li is co-founder and CEO of Baidu, operator of the most popular search engine in China and the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ 100 Index. In a country that has the potential to be the largest single market for Internet services, Baidu stands in a unique position, one that is ripe for innovation. Li made a name for himself in the US, where in the late 1990s he designed one of the first photo image search algorithms. However, he clearly understood the opportunities inheren
Photo: ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

Robin Li is co-founder and CEO of Baidu, operator of the most popular search engine in China and the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ 100 Index. In a country that has the potential to be the largest single market for Internet services, Baidu stands in a unique position, one that is ripe for innovation.

Li made a name for himself in the US, where in the late 1990s he designed one of the first photo image search algorithms. However, he clearly understood the opportunities inherent in China and molded this understanding to create a rapidly growing company.

Brent Constantz

The founder and CEO of Calera, Brent Constantz, is a leading pioneer in carbon sequestration technologies, which capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants. Using a process known as bio-mineralization, the carbon dioxide is bound used in producing cement, capturing the gas and keeping it out of the atmosphere. Constantz started Calera after pursuing a Pre-doctoral fellowship to study coral growth mechanisms in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific oceans. In his research, he found that mechani
Photo: Getty Images

The founder and CEO of Calera, Brent Constantz, is a leading pioneer in carbon sequestration technologies, which capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants. Using a process known as bio-mineralization, the carbon dioxide is bound used in producing cement, capturing the gas and keeping it out of the atmosphere.

Constantz started Calera after pursuing a Pre-doctoral fellowship to study coral growth mechanisms in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific oceans. In his research, he found that mechanisms involved with coral production could be brought on land for both construction and medical purposes. He found that this process is not only earth-friendly, but requires carbon dioxide and has the potential to reduce carbon in the air while creating building materials.

Rajiv Mehrotra

CEO of VNL, Rajiv Mehrotra is an Indian-born designer of solar-powered cellular mobile phone base stations. His technologies hold the promise of bringing mobile phone and broadband services to remote or impoverished regions with underdeveloped infrastructure.
Photo: VNL.in

CEO of VNL, Rajiv Mehrotra is an Indian-born designer of solar-powered cellular mobile phone base stations. His technologies hold the promise of bringing mobile phone and broadband services to remote or impoverished regions with underdeveloped infrastructure.

Mark Palmer

President of StreamBase, Mark Palmer’s innovation lies in event processing services, with many of his clients in the government sector. Although most of the details of his work are classified, the techonomy conference has listed him as one of the most promising innovators of the future.
Photo: Streambase.com

President of StreamBase, Mark Palmer’s innovation lies in event processing services, with many of his clients in the government sector. Although most of the details of his work are classified, the techonomy conference has listed him as one of the most promising innovators of the future.

Stephen Quake

An academic, Stephen Quake is a Stanford biosciences professor who has invented technologies for handling genetic samples that are the basis of two companies – Fludigm and Helicos BioScience. Quake has used the principles of phsyics to invstigate questions in biology and human health, demonstrating the first successful single molecule DNA sequencing technology. In 2009, Quake and two colleagues were able to sequence his genome using the commercial version of this technology. His second innovatio
Photo: med.stanford.edu

An academic, Stephen Quake is a Stanford biosciences professor who has invented technologies for handling genetic samples that are the basis of two companies – Fludigm and Helicos BioScience.

Quake has used the principles of phsyics to invstigate questions in biology and human health, demonstrating the first successful single molecule DNA sequencing technology. In 2009, Quake and two colleagues were able to sequence his genome using the commercial version of this technology. His second innovation was in the development of Microfluidic Large Scale Integration, which can be used for applications as diverse as developing new drugs for hepatitis C to measuring gene expression in individual cancer cells.

Miles Rubin

Miles Rubin is the founder and co-chairman of Coda Automotive, a California-based designer of electric vehicles that are manufactured in China. He is an 81-year-old entrepreneur who earlier in his life was CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel industries, and later of Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear. The flagship CODA vehicle - the CODA Sedan - is slated to offer an all-electric engine, a top speed of 80mph, a range between 90-120mph and zero emissions.
Photo: Getty Images

Miles Rubin is the founder and co-chairman of Coda Automotive, a California-based designer of electric vehicles that are manufactured in China. He is an 81-year-old entrepreneur who earlier in his life was CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel industries, and later of Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear.

The flagship CODA vehicle - the CODA Sedan - is slated to offer an all-electric engine, a top speed of 80mph, a range between 90-120mph and zero emissions.

K.R. Sridhar

The co-founder and CEO of Bloom Energy, K.R. Sridhar is an innovator in battery technologies. As a maker of solid oxide fuel cells that generate electricity by chemical reaction rather than combustion, his area of innovation raises the possibility of an energy source that could be applicable off the grid. Sridhar, a former NASA scientist, developed a method of containing and controlling electrochemical reactions using ethanol, natural gas, biodiesel or methane to create a better fuel cell. Bloom
Photo: Getty Images

The co-founder and CEO of Bloom Energy, K.R. Sridhar is an innovator in battery technologies. As a maker of solid oxide fuel cells that generate electricity by chemical reaction rather than combustion, his area of innovation raises the possibility of an energy source that could be applicable off the grid.

Sridhar, a former NASA scientist, developed a method of containing and controlling electrochemical reactions using ethanol, natural gas, biodiesel or methane to create a better fuel cell. Bloom Energy hopes to build a refrigerator-sized unit that can light up a remote village far from the grid. Bloom has already sold some units to the headquarters of eBay that will produce enough energy to power 250 homes.

Kevin Surace

The CEO of Serious Materials, Kevin Surace is leading innovation in sustainable building materials like ultra-insulated windows and glass, as well as a drywall substitute that functions to provide insulation. With these innovations, Surace is looking to reduce energy usage in the world’s largest contributor, the buildings and other large-scale construction projects.
Photo: Serious Materials

The CEO of Serious Materials, Kevin Surace is leading innovation in sustainable building materials like ultra-insulated windows and glass, as well as a drywall substitute that functions to provide insulation. With these innovations, Surace is looking to reduce energy usage in the world’s largest contributor, the buildings and other large-scale construction projects.

Anne Wojcicki

Anne Wojcicki is a Stanford-educated geneticist is the founder of 23andMe, which develops tests to identify gene markers for susceptibility to particular diseases. After spending 10 years managing investments in biotech companies, Wojcicki founded 23andMe in 2006. She is also married to another global innovator, Google’s Sergey Brin. The Wojcicki and her company’s innovation lies in genetic coding, where they are developing new technologies that help customers understand their own genetic inform
Photo: Getty Images

Anne Wojcicki is a Stanford-educated geneticist is the founder of 23andMe, which develops tests to identify gene markers for susceptibility to particular diseases. After spending 10 years managing investments in biotech companies, Wojcicki founded 23andMe in 2006. She is also married to another global innovator, Google’s Sergey Brin.

The Wojcicki and her company’s innovation lies in genetic coding, where they are developing new technologies that help customers understand their own genetic information, from health to ancestry. The company currently tests for over 100 diseases, conditions and traits and reportedly has gotten investments from companies like Google and Genentech.

Mark Zuckerberg

Perhaps the most well-known of innovation leaders, Mark Zuckerberg is the founder of Facebook. Although he has experienced a wide-range of criticism in recent months over privacy issues, there is no question that Facebook has transformed the development of global culture and society. The continuing innovation in social networking will be a major influence in nearly every global sector, and Zuckerberg will no doubt be a critical component in its evolution.
Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps the most well-known of innovation leaders, Mark Zuckerberg is the founder of Facebook. Although he has experienced a wide-range of criticism in recent months over privacy issues, there is no question that Facebook has transformed the development of global culture and society.

The continuing innovation in social networking will be a major influence in nearly every global sector, and Zuckerberg will no doubt be a critical component in its evolution.