From college-age wunderkinds to seasoned entrepreneurs, Technology Review presents 100 innovators under 35 whose work and ideas will change the world.
All hail the TR100! These 100 brilliant young innovators-all under 35 as of Jan. 1, 2002-are visitors from the future, living among us here and now. Their innovations will have a deep impact on how we live, work and think in the century to come.
This is the second time Technology Review has picked such a group. The first was in 1999, our magazine’s centennial year. That was a wonderful experience, but we’ve learned a lot in the last three years, and we think this installment is even more exciting than the first.
For one thing, we’ve chosen a special theme for this version of the TR100: transforming existing industries and creating new ones. We looked for technology’s impact on the real economy, as opposed to the now moribund “new economy.” The major hot spots where we think a fundamental transformation is in progress include information technology, biotechnology and medicine, nanotechnology and materials, energy, and transportation. The bulk of the TR100 come from those five areas.
|Watch the events as they happened at MIT World.|
|View photos and read transcripts from the symposium. (Please note: These are raw, unedited transcripts).|
|< if userLevel>2 then %>< else>< end if>Read the PDF (1.8 MB) of the Technology Review magazine article profiling the 2002 TR100.|
|Continue to explore the TR100 and their accomplishments with our annotated link list.|
|View a list of the honorees indexed by industry.|
|Download a PDF of the agenda for the TR100 Symposium and Awards Ceremony to be held Thursday, May 23, 2002 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.|
|Tell us who we missed in the TR100 forum.|
Innovator of the Year
After emigrating from Ukraine to Chicago as a teenager, Max Levchin enrolled as a computer science student at the University of Illinois so he could create and break codes. He moved to Silicon Valley after graduation to start a company based on his cryptography passion. In 1999, he cofounded PayPal in Palo Alto, CA, which quickly became the Internet’s leading person-to-person payments processor. One in four transactions on eBay is settled using PayPal’s system for debiting and crediting checking accounts and charge cards. In February, the company went public, raising $70 million.As chief technology officer, Levchin not only manages servers that store encrypted data about the company’s 15 million members but has led the development of an antifraud program called Igor, named after a Russian fraudster it helped apprehend in 2000. Igor monitors PayPal’s transactions for unusual behavior, alerting personnel to freeze suspicious accounts or head off cash en route to dubious destinations. The FBI has also enlisted Igor to combat wire fraud. Citibank and Bank One, and even eBay itself,have launched rival online payment services, but none has matched PayPal’s market share.
Technology in the Service of Humanity
When Ethan Zuckerman went to Ghana in 1993 as a Fulbright scholar in percussion, he immediately tried to get online; he was a Usenet junkie and eager to e-mail his girlfriend (now his wife). But in bustling Accra, he found only one temperamental Net connection. Zuckerman later became vice president of R&D at Web-hosting company Tripod, which made him a dot-com millionaire, but he never forgot Ghana’s inadequate communications. In July 1999 he left Tripod and in February 2000 cofounded Geekcorps in North Adams, MA. Geekcorps sends volunteers with information technology expertise to underdeveloped countries for four-month stints, where they help businesses-from furniture factories to radio stations-get online, expand sales and thus create jobs.One volunteer even helped launch the Ghanaian parliament’s Web sites. Funded by foundations, aid agencies and private donors, Geekcorps has sent 35 tutors to Ghana and several other countries.A recent merger with the International Executive Service Corps gives Zuckerman the support to expand much further. There’s no shortage of volunteers; more than 1,100 people are on Geekcorps’s waiting list.
|Download a PDF of the 1999 TR100 honorees.|
|The Technology Review archive has the original profiles from our November/December 1999 issue.|
|Find out about these innovators’ recent work in a feature from our current issue.|
Adeyeye’s homepage at the University of Singapore.
Read more about Ahlberg’s software company Spotfire.
A white paper that Barlage co-authored with a team of Intel researchers.
Go to the Nav3D Corporation homepage to see some examples of Barrows’s synthetic vision software.
Belcher’s homepage at the University of Texas.
Belding-Royer’s faculty page from University of California-Santa Barbara.
An abstract for one of Berger’s key papers can be found here (registration required).
Find out more information about Boppart from his Beckman Institute-based homepage.
Read about Brignon’s France-based aerospace company Thales.
Read about Brosette’s medical data-mining startup, MedMined.
Check out Burge’s MIT faculty page.
Carmack is the founder of Id software. He has been featured extensively in the gaming press including Firing Squad and Gamespy.com. He has also been mentioned on Slashdot and was one of Time magazine’s Digital 50.
Learn more about David’s company, Syrrx. For more information about structural proteomics, read “The Next Wave of the Genomics Business“ (Technology Review, July/August 2000) and “The Protein Hunters” (Wired, April 2001).
See examples of Debevec’s cutting-edge computer graphics research at debevec.org.
Learn more about Elisseeff’s research at her Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.
Find out about Frankel’s daily doings at his Weblog. More of his Web-based work is posted here. Information about his original company Nullsoft and his Winamp application are also online.
Read about Gidwaney’s software tools support company.
More biographical information about Gmachl can be found at the Bell Labs Web site. Applied Optoelectronics licenses the technology. Click here for more information on mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers.
Hariharan co-founded StrandGenomics; he also helped to start the Simputer Trust. Syrrx is a San Diego-based biotechnology company that works with StrandGenomics in the field of structural proteomics.
Harrington’s company Athersys is headed for the biotech spotlight.
Check out the homepage for Hershenson’s company, Barcelona Design.
Kalanick founded Scour.com in 1998. He went on to found Red Swoosh. He has been profiled extensilvely in media outlets including CNET, Service Networks, ABC News, Wired, and USA Today.
Visit the homepage for the Center for Transportation Technologies and Systems.
Learn more about therapeutic proteins at the Viral Genomix Web site.
Kockelman’s homepage at the University of Texas, including a list of publications.
Learn more about Krajewski’s work at General Motors’ Materials and Process Lab.
Laken works at Exact Sciences where he is adapting his innovation for broader genetic tests. Laken talks about his work in this press release. A write-up of his work appeared in Johns Hopkins magazine (third item).
Christina’s Arthur D. Little bio page.
Find out more information about Lee’s traffic engineering work on his page at the National University of Singapore Web site.
Visit Lendlein’s biomaterials company, mnemoScience.
Check out the executive bios of PayPal, Levchin’s “startup.”
Learn more about the late Lewin at the company he founded, Akamai.
USA Today featured this teen scientist just before she entered Harvard.
For more information about Long’s work, go to this page at the University of California, Berkeley.
For more on LEDs, read “LEDs Light the Future“ (TR September/October 2000). Find Ihor’s bio on the site of his innovative light company, Color Kinetics. See his multicolored LED patent at the USPTO.
Mallapragada’s homepage at Iowa State University.
McCanne’s bio page from Inktomi.
Read more about Montulli’s pioneering contributions to Netscape and the Web at his personal site.
Morrison’s faculty page from University of Michigan Medical School. A description of Morrison’s stem-cell research.
Nastar’s Paris-based startup, LTU Technologies provides more information about his work. More background can also be found at his old home page at INRIA. His work has also been featured here (in French).
Read about O’Connor’s biochip startup, Nanostream.
For more information on Palmscape in English click here.
Company information about Olek’s company Epigenomics.
Pun, Suzie Hwang
See the homepage for Insert Therapeutics, a startup founded specifically to commercialize Pun’s innovation.
The W3C hosts information on Reagle and his work on digital signatures, encryption, PICS and P3. His MIT homepage is here. Detailed information about his work at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School. His work has also been profiled in Digital Mass.
Everything you need to know about Jonathan Rosenburg you can find at his homepage. Want more? Read more about Rosenberg and Dynamicsoft here. More details about Session Initiation Protocol is here and here.
Read more about Sabatini’s work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. His startup is called Akceli, Inc. The Sabatini Lab homepage directs you to more information about reverse transfection and a list of his publications.
Santini’s company, Microchips, is developing his drug-delivery technology.
Check out Shaffer’s homepage at University of California, Berkeley.
Click here for more on Keith Schwab at UMD.
Soh, Tom Hyongsok
Check out Lucent spinoff Agere Systems, where Soh heads optical microelectromechanical development.
Stefanopoulou’s homepage at the University of Michigan, including current projects and publications.
Su heads the Emerging Products group at IBM.
Read about Globus, a project developing technologies for grid computing. Tuecke’s homepage at Argonne National Labs. “Supercomputing and Business Move Closer,” (New York Times, Feb. 19 2002).
Find out how Tuttle’s company, Bang Networks, is reinventing the Web.
Utterback’s signature blend of computer programming and the fine arts can be seen at Creative Nerve.
Visit Wee’s Hewlett-Packard homepage.
Learn more about Ye’s University of Colorado research group.
In November 1999, we named the members of the first TR100. And a remarkable group they were-brilliant, creative, and out to change the world. They still are.
For many of the 1999 TR100, commercialization of their innovations and scientific advances has been a primary concern over the last several years. It’s been a challenging job, especially given the rapidly changing technology market. The dot-com mania, at its peak in 1999, has long since subsided; wireless and telecommunications markets are sluggish. But research in biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology is exploding. And many of the original TR100 continue to show a remarkable ability to aggressively turn that research into real technologies.
Take Peter Seeberger. A professor of chemistry at MIT, Seeberger was chosen to the 1999 TR100 for his innovative work in the esoteric field of carbohydrate biochemistry. Then, at the awards ceremony, he met another young innovator, fellow honoree Carmichael Roberts, cofounder of Brighton, MA-based Surface Logix, a drug discovery startup. Their ensuing collaboration culminated in the formation of Ancora Pharmaceuticals to commercialize carbohydrate-based vaccines. This spring, Seeberger and an Australian biologist he met through Roberts are collaborating on groundbreaking research that could lead to the first effective vaccine against malaria, a disease that plagues five to 10 percent of the world’s population, killing two million every year.
David Clemmer is another 1999 TR100 member who still has high ambitions. Last October, he shipped his life’s work from his lab at Indiana University to Waltham, MA, and a small startup called Beyond Genomics, where he is a founding scientific advisor. The company is the first in a new discipline called systems biology, and Clemmer’s invention, a novel lab instrument to automate the process of taking chemical snapshots of living cells, is the linchpin of its business plan. The goal: to better understand the biological processes behind human neurology and find a cure for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.
Tejal Desai, a researcher in tiny machines used for drug delivery and diagnostics, says “the TR100 raised the visibility” of her fledgling field. “Before that, no one was paying much attention.” A rising star in the hot new field, Desai left the University of Illinois at Chicago in January 2002 to become an associate professor at Boston University. Meanwhile, Columbus, OH-based iMedd is working to commercialize an insulin release capsule that Desai developed; human tests are scheduled to begin soon.
Even for some named to the original TR100 for their innovations in information technology and the Internet, the growing opportunities in biotech have been too tempting to ignore. Adam Beberg, an expert in using networks of linked PCs for distributed computing, made his reputation breaking encryption codes. Now Beberg is using the same distributed-computing tools to help crack some of biotech’s biggest problems: understanding how proteins fold into their final three-dimensional shapes and how genes code for proteins. Tens of thousands of PCs around the world, which together offer more computational power than supercomputers, are now joined in Folding@home and Genome@home, thanks to Beberg and his collaborators at Stanford University (including 2001 honoree Vijay Pande).
The Internet business has not exactly been smooth sailing during the last few years, but even in those rough waters, some TR100 members have managed to flourish. Marc Andreessen, for one, has not lost his magic touch. One of the founders of Netscape, Andreessen cofounded startup Loudcloud in September 1999 to outsource Internet services. In March 2001, Loudcloud went public and raised $150 million, braving a disastrous climate for Internet investments.
Others tied to the “new economy” haven’t fared as well. In 1999, Michael Saylor and his company, MicroStrategy, were riding high. Saylor had a grand vision for his Internet software; he called it “query tone,” and TR’s 1999 profile said it “would make it possible to answer any question you might have, in the form you want it, quickly and reliably.” Unfortunately, there were a few financial questions that the company couldn’t answer. In March 2000, MicroStrategy was forced to “restate” its recent financial records; as a result, the company’s stock price dropped 140 points in a day, losing 62 percent of its value. But Saylor has survived. The slimmed-down McLean, VA-based software company now thrives by selling data-mining software for corporations. “Two years ago, we were in several different lines of business,” Saylor says. “Today we are in one.”
For others, the Internet roller coaster has been a bit less dramatic. Open-source software guru Miguel de Icaza was named not only a member of the TR100 but also TR’s innovator of the year in 1999 for his leadership of GNOME, an effort to create an easy-to-use, open-source graphical interface for Linux. De Icaza cofounded Boston, MA-based Ximian in October 1999 to create software products for GNOME users and has continued carrying the open-source banner. Most notably, de Icaza has led an effort to develop Mono, an open-source alternative to Microsoft’s .Net software for Web-based applications.
The Internet was not the only tech sector to suffer hard hits since the first TR100. Telecom and networking saw their prospects rise and fall. Wim Sweldens was one of the survivors, joining the management ranks at Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs. As a director of research, he’s now playing a major role in managing what’s arguably the world’s most talented technical corps. That’s not to say his own research days are over. During the last two years, Sweldens has continued to publish seminal work on compression algorithms.
In 1999, Steven Jurvetson, managing director of San Francisco-based Draper Fisher Jurvetson, was an outspoken proponent of e-commerce. Now he has turned his attention to nanotech, becoming chairman of the NanoBusiness Alliance and investing in several nanotech startups. “Nanotech represents the natural culmination of a number of technology trends,” suggests Jurvetson.
Joseph Jacobson is one of those technologists out to prove Jurvetson right. In 1999, Jacobson was best known as cofounder of E Ink, a company commercializing paperlike electronic displays. Now Jacobson, director of the NanoMedia group at MIT’s Media Lab, is well into his next project. His lab recently used radio waves and nanoscale antennae to control strands of DNA. Jacobson is optimistic that the technique can be used to improve disease diagnosis and drug delivery. In October 2000, he cofounded engeneOS in Waltham, MA, to develop the technology. Jacobson, a veteran when it comes to commercializing radical innovations, is under no illusions concerning what it takes to get products to market. “It’s hard work. Instant success doesn’t happen.”
Erik Winfree, a Caltech professor who specializes in DNA computing, Hideo Mabuchi, a physicist at Caltech and pioneer in quantum computing, and Daniel Schrag, a geochemist at Harvard University, all won MacArthur Fellowships in 2000. The coveted “genius grants” give the researchers $500,000 each with “no strings attached” over five years.
Winfree, for one, reports that “progress is slow” in his efforts to learn how to use DNA molecules as the basic elements in computing. But then, no one said changing the world would be easy.
2002 TR100 Symposium and Awards Ceremony
The Innovation Economy: How Technology Is Transforming Existing Industries and Creating New Ones
Thursday, May 23rd
Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Author, The Innovator’s Dilemma
Strategy Session with Consuelo Mack, CNBC and Keynote Speaker Clayton Christensen
This session will provide you with a preview of what’s new since The Innovator’s Dilemma. Most people are convinced that the process of innovation is inherently afflicted by random events.While this is undoubtably true, Professor Christensen has come to believe that innovation is much less random than many have supposed. In his talk, he will describe the variables that affect the probability of success, which management can capably understand and control.
Security, Privacy and Technology Panel
Senior Editor, Chief Technology Writer, Newsweek
Lewis M. Branscomb
Professor Emeritus, Public Policy and Corporate Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Partner, Kirkland and Ellis
Adjunct Professor, New York University School of Law
Chairman of the Board, RSA Security
New technologies allow individuals, corporations and government entities to monitor, track and identify employees, customers and the general public. Technology Review will provide a forum to discuss security and privacy in today’s global economy.
Personalized Medicine Panel
Eastman Kodak LFM Professor, MIT Sloan School
Director of the Life Science Technologies Laboratory, Agilent Technologies
Jose B. Cibelli, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Vice-President of Research, A.C.T. Group
Sripps Research Institute
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
We’ve deciphered the human genome and moved into proteomics-the study of the individual proteins that the genes code for. Such advances anticipate the day when drugs are not only targeted at molecular workings or specific diseases but tailor-made for each individual’s genetic makeup.
Beyond Pervasive Computing Panel
Editor, Technology Review
Author, Engines of Tomorrow and The Invention That Changed the World
Rodney A. Brooks
Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Co-Director of Project Oxygen, MIT
Senior Vice-President, Microsoft Research
Vice-President and Corporate Technology Group Director, Research, Intel Corporation
Argonne National Laboratory
Pervasive computing-the idea that wired and wireless computing services and applications will be available anytime/anywhere-is becoming realized.Now, computer scientists are taking the next step: promoting proactive, or attentive, computing, in which computers and sensors don’t just respond to users, but anticipate their needs-through agents, data mining, sense-making and other software advances.
Breaking the Energy Deadlock-New Technologies for a Secure and Sustainable Energy Economy
Charles C. Mann
Contributing Writer, Technology Review
Correspondent, Science and The Atlantic Monthly
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ballard Power Systems
Director, Strategic Technology and Alliances, Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.
President, Schlumberger Semiconductor Solutions
Assistant Director, Sustainable Mobility Project, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Decades of controversy over access, environmental impact, and economic costs have created an energy landscape characterized by glacial change punctuated by periodic domestic and international crises.Can new technologies-from fuel cells to wind turbines, improved oil and gas discovery and production methods, and intelligent power grids, buildings and transportation systems-break the impasse and lead to a reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible energy future?
Introducing the TR100
Inventor of Ethernet
Founder of 3Com Corporation
Partner, Polaris Ventures
This panel discussion will vividly illustrate the power and
future of transformative technologies.