10. Paul Barford
Co-founder and chief scientist
Launched: June 2013
What We Like: MdotLabs is to the Internet what sheriffs are to the Wild West. Paul Barford roots out non-human scofflaws, known as bots, which cultivate clicks and impressions on ads that result in charges for fake traffic. It’s a gigantic problem that’s costing billions annually. He’s also founder and CEO of a network security company acquired by a bigger fish.
Bragging Rights: A venture-backed class. Professor Barford’s UW computer sciences courses are breeding grounds for next-gen startups. So much so that Great Oaks, a New York venture capital firm, just pledged $500,000 over three years to fund an accelerator program with funding, office space and mentoring. Four startups in a spring class were the lucky recipients.