NextGen10: Innovation & Technology NextGen [2014]

The 2014 Coveted List of the Under 40's at the Top, Creating and Innovating in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties

The prescient words of British science fiction writer and inventor Arthur C. Clarke are as fresh as the day he uttered them: “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” In one fashion or another, this year’s NextGen 10 selections are notable for their execution of a diverse palette of formerly unfathomable ideas. Several honorees we spotlighted in last year’s list – among them Walter Driver (Scopely), Ophir Tanz (GumGum), and Jason Nazar (DocStoc) – continue to earn accolades for their game-changing approach to their respective industries. We expect no less from this year’s class. Please meet CSQ’s NextGen 10.2.


Age 23 (Arye) and 22 (Laura) Residence Venice Beach, CA
Industry Wearable Tech, Productivity, and Intelligent Computing
Title Arye: Co-Founder and CEO, Laura Michelle: Co-Founder and Head of Product
Key Partners IDEO
Mentors Bill Warner, Colin Raney, Sam Teller, and Jamie Kantrowitz
2013 Capital Raised $1 million
Key Advice Build from the heart.
Goals for 2014 Help people live better through a greater understanding of themselves.
What Makes Your Company Unique? Melon uses sensors and intelligent software to turn the invisible activity of the mind visible and meaningful in everyday life.

Two Bit Circus

Age 35
Residence Los Angeles, CA
Amusement & Education
Key Partner
Co-founder Eric Gradman
Sandy Grushow, Tim Stanley, Nolan Bushnell, and David Carter
2012 Capital Raised
$2 million
Key Advice
Fall down seven times, get up eight.  (Chinese proverb)
Goals for 2014
Bring our Carnival to two cities and put 1,000 kids on the road to engineering.
What Makes Your Company Unique? By combining amusement with project-based learning, we use fun to inspire kids of all ages about engineering.

AIO Robotics, Inc

Age Both are 28
Los Angeles, CA
3D Printing
Jens: CEO,  Kai: CTO
Key Investor
United Talent Agency
Ashish Soni, Mike Abbott, Brent Weinstein, and several mentors from the Viterbi Startup Garage
2013 Fundraising
More than $100,000 through Kickstarter
Key Advice
Be prepared for a long roller coaster ride with your startup! Have patience, strong team members, and optimism combined with steadfast belief in your product.
Goals for 2014
Presale launch at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas followed by strong U.S. and international sales.
What Makes Your Company Unique? AIO Robotics built ZEUS, the world’s first 3D copy/3D fax machine – a fully automated 3D printer with integrated 3D scanner, computer, and touch screen. It makes 3D printing accessible without any technical knowledge!

jasonJASON CRILLY (35)

Age 35
Residence Santa Monica, CA
Industry Advertising
Title Founder, CEO
Key Investors Gil Elbaz and David Waxman, Dennis Phelps, Karlin Ventures, Terry Semel, Howard Marks, Jeff Lapin, Eytan Elbaz, and Csaba Konkoly
Mentors Eytan Elbaz, Csaba Konkoly, and  David Waxman
2013 Capital Raised $2.1 million
Key Advice If your dream doesn’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.
Goals for 2014 Make every local business in America understand the value of using local mobile advertising to grow their enterprise.
What Makes Your Company Unique? Our mobile ads reach over 27,500 neighborhoods, making us the largest local mobile ad platform in the country.

johnJOHN DABIRI (33)

Age 33
Residence Pasadena, CA
Industry Wind Energy
Title Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering
Mentors My father and Mory Gharib
Key Advice Never fall in love with an idea.
Goals for 2014 Translating our wind energy concepts from lab to the real world.
What Makes Your Institution Unique? Caltech provides the most important ingredient: the freedom
to fail.

shazSHAZ KHAN (39)

Age 39
Residence Encino, CA
Industry E-Commerce
Title COO
Key Investors NetSol Technologies, Inc.
Mentors My father, Asif Khan; my three children; Wedge Martin
2012 Revenue Seven figures
Key Advice “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Goals for 2014 Grow user base and revenue by at least 20%
What Makes Your Company Unique? Vroozi provides a mobile-first business shopping platform for companies to buy goods and services for their business.

haoHAO LI (32)
USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering

Age 32
Residence Santa Monica, CA
Industry Software, 3D Imaging
Title Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Key Collaborators Industrial Light & Magic, Disney Research, Adobe, Artec
Mentors Paul Debevec, Chris Bregler, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Eitan Grinspun, and Kim Libreri
Key Advice Think ahead and don’t be afraid to attempt the impossible.
What Makes Your Institution Unique? We develop cutting-edge software algorithms for future 3D sensing technologies. Applications range from next-generation performance capture technologies in the movie/game industry to consumer-level applications and non-invasive diagnosis for cancer research.

nanxiNANXI LIU (23)
Enplug, Inc.

Age 23
Residence Los Angeles, CA
Industry Technology + Software
Title CEO
Key Investors Samsung, Howard Marks, Larry Keele, Troy Carter
Mentors My father, Howard Marks, Dr. Jennifer Walske
Key Advice If opportunity doesn’t come knocking, build your own door.
Goals for 2014 Build our AURA Network of intelligent digital billboards inside venues to be the largest in the U.S.; expand Enplug into New York, Chicago, and San Francisco; stay healthy.
What Makes Your Company Unique? We’re building the first network of intelligent digital billboards inside venues where people can instantly post photos and messages using social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We’re also the first to allow third-party developers to build and stream apps for billboards.

x-patrickPATRICK MALONEY (30)

Age 30
Residence Venice, CA
Industry Energy
Title Founder, CEO
Key Investors CrossCut Ventures, Mull Capital, and a diverse group of great angel investors.
Mentors Jeff Harrow, Richard Vague, Kevin Kleinschmidt, and Norma Maloney (mother)
2013 Capital Raised $3 million
Key Advice Stay humble, stay focused, and build an exceptional team.
Goals for 2014 Market launch in the Q1 of 2014
What Makes Your Company Unique? Key management previously served on the founding leadership teams of three of the fastest growing and most successful startups in the industry (acquired for more than $235 million, collectively).

x-rich-and-amdyANDY PUDDICOMBE (40) & RICH PIERSON (33)

Age 33 (Rich) and 40 (Andy)
Residence Los Angeles, CA & London, UK
Industry Mobile Mindfulness/Meditation
Title Co-founders
Key Investors Bridge Builders
Mentors Too many to mention, but the present moment provides the most learning.
Key Advice Concentrate on the things you are good at rather than improving the things you’re not.
Goals for 2014 Help make the world a healthier and happier place and launch version 2 of our product.
What Makes Your Company Unique? The Headspace app makes mindfulness easy to learn and simple to do, showing you how you can unwind the body and mind on a daily basis.