Heartstring-tugger Upworthy, which describes itself as “social media with a mission,” has roots in MoveOn.org, a non-profit, political action committee and public policy advocacy group, through one of it’s founders, Eli Pariser. That’s not too surprising.
However, you might be surprised to find out that the other founder is Peter Koechley, the former managing editor of a little news satire organization called The Onion.
From confusing settings to NSA scandals, Facebook doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to user privacy. Maybe that’s the reason one early member of the Facebook team, David Morin, left in 2010 to found Path, the social networking site that emphasizes small, intimate networks.
Another pair of former Facebookers, Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, left the company in 2010 to create yet another startup, Q&A service Quora.
Skype was once owned by eBay and then by Microsoft. It was built by the same team as the now defunct file sharing site Kazaa, which got into legal hot water over copyright-related issues for the last several years.
The video-sharing site Vimeo was launched in 2004 by founders Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein. Another entry on Klein’s resume? Assisting in the development of CollegeHumor, the comedy website that launched in 1999.
Jeremy Stoppelman was V.P. of Engineering at PayPal (and was even one of the early PayPal employees known as the PayPal Mafia), but left the company when it was acquired by eBay in 2003. A year later, he and another former PayPal colleague pitched an idea to businessman Max Levchin for a Yellow Pages-style Internet product called Yelp.
Beyond Meat has one goal: to create the most chicken-like non-animal food product on the market. The company is backed by the University of Missouri, which has spent 10 years working on the technology that turns plant protein into a high quality meat substitute. Its other backers? Evan Williams and Biz Stone, founders of Twitter.
The on-demand car service Uber is the brainchild of Garret Camp, an entrepreneur based in San Francisco. Camp has his fingers in several startup pies, including the on-demand private jet ridesharing service BlackJet and his latest venture, Expa, a system for building new companies. His best known project, however, is the discovery engine StumbleUpon.