President of Y Combinator, Sam Altman, began his higher level education career studying computer science at Stanford University, where he later taught a class in 2014. Before it was acquired by Green Dot Corporation in 2012, Altman was co-founder and CEO of a social networking location-based mobile application called Loopt that Y Combinator funded in 2005. At Green Dot he was CTO before his current position on the Board of Directors. Harj Taggar graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor's degree in Jurisprudence. In 2007 he co-founded Auctomatic, and spent a year in 2008 as a product management director for Live Current Media, Inc. In 2010 Taggar became Y Combinator partner. Since 2005 Y Combinator has been responsible for the funding of over 300 startups like Dropbox and Airbnb.
Tracy Britt Cool grew up in Manhattan, Kansas where she graduated high school at the top of her class. She later attended Harvard, where she co-founded Smart Women Securities, which aims to increase investment literacy among female undergraduates. She met Warren Buffet when he agreed to host a Q&A session for the program in 2006. Cool was one of eight directly admitted into Harvard's Business School from its undergraduate program. After graduation, she worked for Fidelity investments before being hired as a financial analyst at Berkshire Hathaway, working directly for Warren Buffet. At 30 years old, she is currently the chairman of Johns Manville, Oriental Trading Co., Benjamin Moore, Larson-Juhl, and was recently appointed CEO of Pampered Chef.
Sam Barnett is founder and CEO of Barnett Capital, whose purpose is to oversee company investments using a data metric approach. The algorithms Barnett Capital has developed is now responsible for the management of over $100 million dollars. At California Institute of Technology, Sam graduated with honors and two degrees. A Bachelor's of Science in applied and computational mathematics, and a Bachelor's of Science in business economics and management. Currently he is pursuing his Ph.D. at Northwestern University and teaching two classes at Kellogg School of Management. In addition to his academic and business success, he is also a world ranked professional tennis player that travels frequently. Although he doesn't compete, Sam has a passion for martial arts and holds a black belt in karate.
Leigh Drogen is the 2011 Chief Executive Officer and founder of Estimize. The former quantitative hedge fund analyst sought a philosophy of transparency and openness that lead to the creation of this financial estimates platform. Before starting Surfview Capital, his asset management firm, Leigh Drogen was successful at quantitative strategy in his career at Gellar Capital, and an early team partner for StockTwits. Leigh studied political science and economics at the University of San Diego until January 2006, where he completed his Bachelor's degree at CUNY Hunter College in 2008.
Managing partner Joshua Kushman founded Thrive Capital in 2009. Kushman, 29, is a 2008 graduate of Harvard University who completed his studies at Harvard Business School in 2011. His career began at Goldman Sachs, when he worked in the private equity group within the financial institution's merchant banking division. Since Kushner launched Thrive Capital five years ago, the firm has concentrated on Internet and media investments that have resulted in impressive returns. Established relationships with big web names like the crowd funding site Kickstarter and the anonymous social media site Whisper have put Thrive Capital on the industry map. Operating without the benefit of Twitter, blogging or other means of keeping the company in the public eye prompted Fortune Magazine to characterize Thrive Capital as "New York's quietest success story" in October of 2014.
Jesse Colombo might not run a billion dollar hedge fund, but as a contributor to Forbes, his columns and projections certainly affect global markets in a significant way. Colombo accurately predicted the 2008 economic collapse and his analysis of bubbles within our boom and bust economy are invaluable to the finance world. His global voice in the industry has driven his candidacy for our Finance 30 Below 30 list.
Fred Ehrsam is the 25 year old co-founder of Coinbase, a company dedicated to taking bitcoin currency to a usage level easy enough for the daily consumer and merchant to prefer bitcoins as a top payment method. Coinbase is currently the top funded Bitcoin start up to date at an astonishing $30 million dollars raised by Ehrsam. He completed a Bachelor's degree with honors in computer science and economics in 2010 from Duke University, where he was also published in the Duke Journal of Economics. In 2008 he spent a brief time as a computer science undergraduate research fellow, and found himself as a portfolio analyst at BlackRock for three months before settling at Goldman Sachs for two years. It was in November of 2012 that Coinbase was founded.
Rachel Fox is a movie and television actress who has appeared on Emmy winning shows and in star studded movies, but her prowess in the stock market has brought different attention to this starlet in recent years. Outperforming 99% of hedge funds, this young lady is truly a 'Jill of All Trades.'
Sam Shikiar currently holds the position of vice president at Goldman Sachs; a position he achieved in July 2007. The trading team he leads is US electronic commodities that are focused on energy options and metals. Previously, Shikiar spent time at Global Alpha and Equity Opportunities Funds in the asset management division. His Bachelor of Science in Accounting was obtained from Lehigh University in 2007.
Kevin Kaiser has spent the last four years as an analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management, LLC. At Princeton University, he successfully obtained his Bachelor's degree in economics, while participating in varsity ice hockey, volunteering at the fire department, and other student agencies. At 26 years old, Kevin has captured the interest of Wall Street after he advised clients to short the stock they had with Kinder Morgan. It took only two days for the share price of Kinder Morgan to sharply decline, largely due to the full report arguing the company was ultimately overvalued. Kevin's bold argument that Kinder Morgan is overvalued has captured the interest of Wall Street. The question is waiting to see if Kevin is at the beginning or the end of a brilliant career.