21. Kickstarter co-founders
40u40 main perry chan charles adler yancey strickler
Left to right: Chen, Strickler, Adler

Perry Chen
Age: 36
Co-founder and CEO

Charles Adler
Age: 38

Yancey Strickler
Age: 33

Three is a magic number -- Kickstarter's founders know this to be true. In 2012, its third year, the world's largest fundraising platform hosted the first of three $3 million--plus projects. Indeed, its nearly 3 million backers (and 4 million users) have generated $300 million for projects, ranging from a scheme to send handwritten letters to small towns en masse to a beautiful Bluetooth watch. If a project reaches its goal, Kickstarter takes 5%. And in three years the staff has grown 14-fold, to nearly 42 employees from its original group of, yes, three.

On the side: Chen co-founded an art gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Strickler was a music critic for Pitchfork, the irreverent indie music website. Adler co-founded an online art magazine.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated October 17 2012 05:11 PM ET
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