|Chief Executive Officer|
|Last year: 46||
Online investor forum StockTwits doubled its membership in the past year, to 200,000. But only 5 percent of the population posts comments or engages in conversations, says Howard Lindzon, the San Diegobased technology entrepreneur and hedge fund manager who co-founded the interactive idea exchange in 2008. The other 95 percent engage in that favorite social network pastime, eavesdropping. "Lately, we've been focused on creating tools for those 95 percent," says the 46-year-old CEO. "We have a highly engaged audience, but we want them to get more out of the experience and to contribute more." Part of that push was a June relaunch of the website with a sleeker design that boasts features like a color-coded "social heat map" of stock, sector and market signals. StockTwits' brand has gained traction through integration with the Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter platforms, while members' tweets stream on such financial portals as CNNMoney, TheStreet and Yahoo Finance. Part of the strategy centers on institutions' and hedge funds' need for data and insights. "Maybe someone wants to get a notice when one out of four people are discussing one or two stocks," says Lindzon. "We can help you cut through the data to pinpoint what you're looking for."