Young Bosses: 6 Successful Brand Builders Who Got An Early Start

Learn from these business leaders how to take charge at an early age and change the game

  • MAKING SCIENTIFIC SMARTS COUNT
  • “While I would never claim to change the world, I hope to inspire generations of leaders with the quantitative creativity critical for true innovation and progress.” ~ Sheldon Gilbert
  • Sheldon Gilbert, 35, Founder/CEO, Proclivity Systems
  • Being considered a “nerd” might not be such a bad a thing anymore. Science and technology are standout growth industries for the U.S., with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 22% increase in the number of such jobs from 2004 to 2014, or more than 2.5 million job openings. And the global marketplace is constantly on the prowl for new innovations to change the way we do any—and everything. This is what lured Sheldon Gilbert into entrepreneurship. The creator of Proclivity, a behavior predicting software, he knows the ins and outs of data mining. “Every time you click a link, it’s a request for information you’re making to a server,” explains Gilbert, who tutored students in chemistry on the side while he spent a year writing the software. “We can then mine the data stored on the servers to create a profile of a person’s likes and dislikes—or proclivities.”
  • With this software, the 25-person firm Proclivity Systems has increased online sales by as much as 30% for clients such as Barney’s New York, by predicting which offers to present to which customers, says Gilbert. Launched in April 2006 with $750,000 from angel investors, the startup recently raised an additional $5.5 million in venture capital in order to expand Proclivity’s platform and services into new vertical arenas and channels, as well as bring on senior management, says Gilbert.
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