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Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine announce their top entrepreneurs of 2012

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

There’s plenty of end-of-year inspiration around for would-be entrepreneurs, with Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine and Deloitte Technology announcing the most impressive business leaders of 2012.


Following on from Future Makers – a list of up-and-coming entrepreneurs aged 25 and under – we thought we’d take a look at some of the other lists being released.


Forbes’ 30 under 30


According to Forbes, which recognises the world’s most successful entrepreneurs every year, the people featured on this year’s “30 under 30” list are impatient to change the world.


The entrepreneurs, chosen by Forbes editors and reporters in conjunction with a panel of expert judges, are spread across 15 categories.


In the tech category is Josh Miller, co-founder and chief executive of Branch, whose software “resembles a more sophisticated version of a closed chat room”.


“We thought about ‘how do we share opinions in the real world?’ and it was around a dinner table or at a coffee shop, having a conversation with a couple of people that we trust. So we have tried to replicate that online,” Miller told Forbes.


In the games and apps category is Kim Swift, creative director of Airtight Games.


While in college, Swift and a few classmates created a puzzle game called Narbacular Drop and, after showing it to Seattle’s Valve Corporation, were offered jobs on the spot.


Swift led the team that turned the project into Portal, which is one of 14 games selected by the Museum of Modern Art for inclusion in its permanent collection.


Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year


Limor “Ladyada” Fried, founder of Adafruit Industries, beat four other finalists to be named Entrepreneur of 2012 by Entrepreneur Magazine.


Fried founded Adafruit in 2005. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best-designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels.


Based in New York, Adafruit now has more than 25 employees. The business has expanded its offerings to include tools and equipment that Limor personally selects, tests and approves.


Deloitte Technology Fast 50


With record revenue growth of 1,355.1% over the last three years, fashion website brandsExclusive was named the winner of the 2012 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 last month.


Launched in 2009 by Daniel Jarosch and Rolf Weber, brandsExclusive is Australia’s first invitation-only shopping club, with a member base of more than two million people.


It partners directly with leading brands to offer its members sales events. Last year, brandsExclusive won Deloitte Technology’s Rising Star award.


“It’s an understatement to say they have gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months,” Deloitte Technology’s Joshua Tanchel said in a statement.


The winner of this year’s Rising Star award was online shoe store StyleTread, which claims it has the largest range of footwear in Australia.


StyleTread developed its web store platform on the base of a customised Magento open source platform.