By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence, around 10 startups will have gotten their start. Every year, entrepreneurs found about 100 million businesses, which works out to about three new companies every second. Today’s top startup influencers include people who’ve launched their own fledgling companies, people who’ve made careers out of being serial entrepreneurs, and people who have supported those entrepreneurs, either with money or words of wisdom.
23 Top Startup Influencers
Sean Ellis is the man responsible for the phrase “growth hacking,” and is the brains behind Growth Hackers. The top startup influencer has 123,000 Twitter followers, and often tweets about — you guessed it — fast business growth.
Fred Wilson is the venture capitalist, blogger and top startup influencer responsible for AVC.com, where he shares general musings on life and finance. He describes his blog as the “bar where he gets to be the bartender.” Wilson has 643,000 Twitter followers.
Tim Ferriss is the top startup influencer behind the “Four-Hour Work Week,” which 10 years after its publication is still one of the most highlighted books on Amazon Kindle. These days, he’s on Twitter tweeting about his latest book and funding tips. He has 1.52 million followers.
Martin Varsavksy is an entrepreneur who founded companies such as Fon, a global WiFi network. He’s also an angel investor and a professor at Columbia University and one of our top startup influencers. On Twitter, he has 103,000 followers and a feed containing tweets about business and politics.
For many, Richard Branson might not need an introduction. He has 12 million followers on Twitters, and is the founder of Virgin, which started out as a record company but might be better known as a mobile phone company and airline today. Although his startup days might be behind him, he has plenty of tips and wisdom to offer other entrepreneurs as one of our top startup influencers.
Lewis Howes is a former pro football player and former handball player turned author and entrepreneur. The top startup influencer hosts his own podcasts and has appeared on shows such as the “Ellen Show.” He has 138,000 Twitter followers.
Marie Forleo is a digital entrepreneur whose goal is to help people be the best they can be. She’s written a book, hosted an online training program, and has her own online show, “MarieTV.” She’s one of the top startup influencers and sports 197,000 followers on Twitter. She’s even more popular on Instagram, where she has 297,000 followers.
Michael Arrington founded TechCrunch, a blog known for covering all things having to do with startup culture and Silicon Valley. The top startup influencer has 222,000 Twitter followers.
Top startup influencer Marc Cuban co-owns a basketball team and is one of the most well-known “sharks” on the show “Shark Tank,” where startup hopefuls pitch investors. He has the largest following of 7.67 million.
Sallie Krawcheck founded Ellevest, an investment platform designed to demystify the process of investing for women, and to get more women investing. As one of the top startup influencers, she has 53,100 Twitter followers.
Hiten Shah is the entrepreneur behind companies such as Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics. He’s also morphed into an investor and top startup influencer who often tweets words of wisdom and advice to his 225,000 followers.
The founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington is now the founder of Thrive Global, a company dedicated to ending burn-out. As one of the top startup influencers, she has nearly three million Twitter followers.
Brene Brown calls herself a researcher and storyteller. We call her one of the top startup influencers. Although she’s not an entrepreneur herself, her words are often very helpful and inspiring for would-be and current business owners. She has 455,000 Twitter followers.
Peter Voogd is the world’s leading authority on millennials (according to his Twitter bio) and the founder of Game Changers Academy. Its aim is to help people launch their own companies and “escape the rat race.” The top startup influencer has 103,000 followers on Twitter.
Jack Dorsey started Twitter, then went on to found Square, a payment processing startup. The startup influencer with the most followers, he counts more than four million in his audience.
Ryan Holmes founded HootSuite, an app that lets people manage and schedule posts on Twitter and other social media platforms. He a top startup influencer with 69,100 followers and regularly posts about trends in tech and social media.
Kevin Rose founded Digg, then a website for luxury watches called Hodinkee. He’s also one of the top startup influencers, an investor in startups, and has his own newsletter, which recently reached the 90,000-subscriber mark. He has 1.79 million Twitter followers.
Alexi Ohanian is the founder of Reddit, and now works as a VC with Initialized Capital. The top startup influencer has 166,000 Twitter followers, but is actually more popular on Instagram, where he has 243,000 followers.
Gabby Bernstein is a life coach who’s all about making life less stressful for entrepreneurs and others. She a top startup influencer with 521,000 Twitter followers.
Paul Graham is an entrepreneur and investor who might be best known at this point for starting Y Combinator, an accelerator and seed capital firm. As one of the top startup influencers, he has 1.07 million followers.
Sam Altman is the current president of Y Combinator, and was one of the co-founders of Loopt (a social platform that lets users share their location with others) in 2005. The top startup influencer has 633,000 Twitter followers.
Aaron Levie is the CEO and co-founder of Box, an enterprise cloud company. He’s one of the top startup influencers and has 2.38 million followers on Twitter, where he often tweets about pop culture, news, and what’s going on at Box.