Entrepreneurs represent an essential — and exciting — part of our economy. These innovators keep pushing us through new ideas in business, technology and society, finding better ways to make money, as well as bringing interesting products to market. Many of us would like to entrepreneurs, but do not always know where to begin. Look at your interests, or try to find a need. Successful entrepreneurs often find ways to turn their passions into a product or service that others want. Reading about other entrepreneurs offer a chance for us to be inspired, and see that it is possible to pursue our dreams. Here are 6 entrepreneurs that can offer you inspiration in 2010:
1. Jess Lin, Todd Smith, Greg Wong
In an effort to help raise awareness of sex trafficking, and find help for victims, Jess Lin, Tod Smith and Greg Wong founded Hello Rewind. These entrepreneurs had a brilliant idea: turn old clothes into custom laptop covers. Many of the workers who do this are sex trafficking victims who are taught job skills to help them succeed later. Lin, Smith and Wong are watching their business expand, and are looking for ways to accommodate the growth.
2. Kevin Mann
Kevin Mann founded Graphic.ly as an outgrowth of his love of comic books. Seeing the possibilities in self-publishing on the Web, Mann decided that it would work for comic books as well. Graphic.ly is a place where comic artists and writers can find access to the marketplace, selling their work. In the works: interactive comic book store on mobile devices.
3. Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz was there when Mark Zuckerberg got famous for Facebook. Moskovitz is coming out of the Facebook shadow, though, with his efforts on Asana. The company is putting together a software program that is meant to help business workers engage in online collaboration. The company is also interested in making a pleasant work environment, with organic meals and yoga at the office.
4. Jason Aramburu
Jason Aramburu has found a way to turn the byproducts from food processing into profit. His company, Re:char, creates equipment to turn that waste into biochar. Biochar is a particular type of charcoal that helps keep moisture in soil. Farming and forestry could benefit from this type of machine, and the company could take off as demand for the machines increases.
5. Naveen Selvadurai
Thanks to Naveen Selvadurai, you are probably becoming aware of Foursquare, the location game that is becoming increasingly popular. You can use your smartphone to update your status as you check in at public places and places of entertainment in your town. It’s an interesting way to explore your city, and share your findings with members of your social network. Foursquare is also building on ways to make the application more helpful to businesses, including the ability for businesses to provide special promotions for those who visit regularly.
6. Andrey Ternovskiy
One of the most interesting and controversial web sites out there is Chatroulette. Creator Andrey Ternovskiy founded the service using a little less than $11,000 from his parents. The idea is that you can randomly connect to different users, around the world, using video chat. The site has spawned some interesting video, and some interesting experiences for users. Right now, Ternovskiy is looking for a way to turn this interesting idea into a viable business model.
No doubt there are many other entrepreneurs toiling away in the basements and garages that we will hear more of in the coming years. Who is your inspiration? Let us know in the comments below.