EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Northern California Awards

Emerging

nca_eoy_MarcinKleczynskiAWARD RECIPIENT
Marcin Kleczynski
CEO
Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.org
Marcin Kleczynski’s passion to rid cyberspace of malicious malware goes back to a Trojan virus that infected his computer when he was 14. He posted the problem to an online forum and discovered a solution within three days.
That experience led him to wonder if harmful software removal could be automated. He bought a basic programming book, which is where the innovation behind Malwarebytes began. Kleczynski started by writing free software to help solve computer problems.
The domain name and other assets of Malwarebytes were virtually all crowdsourced. Bruce Harrison, another malware expert, joined Kleczynski in 2008 on his mission to rid the Internet of malware. Six years later, Malwarebytes has fixed more than 250 million computers, averaging six computers per second, for businesses ranging from small companies to large corporations.
The company differentiates itself from competitors by providing specialized service instead of trying to address as many anti-virus fields as possible. Malwarebytes addresses zero-day threats or potentially unwanted programs instead of trying to do everything on a less detailed level.
Kleczynski hires only the most passionate and focused individuals to join the Malwarebytes team, looking for specialized skills that add value to the company and its culture. Despite a lack of initial compensation for team members, individuals remained on-board due to their passion for the project. There are people working for Malwarebytes in the Americas, Estonia, Finland and France.
Malwarebytes operates under Kleczynski’s motto to share information with the team to the point that “they are blinded by nothing and excited by everything.”
He believes that providing free malware protection is one of his greatest charitable contributions and has made it a life-long commitment. In addition, Malwarebytes has undertaken community initiatives such as donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to fight censorship.


 

FINALIST
nca_eoy_KamakshiSivaramakrishnanKamakshi Sivaramakrishnan
founder and CEO
Drawbridge, Inc.
www.drawbrid.ge

Drawbridge, Inc. CEO and founder Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan leads and inspires by example. A self-made entrepreneur, she earned a doctorate degree in information theory at Stanford University and saw an opportunity in the mobile advertising industry.
Sivaramakrishnan started at AdMob, taking ownership of ad-scoring algorithms and designing traffic estimation techniques to determine run rates and performance metrics. After AdMob was acquired by Google in 2009, she remained at Google for six months before setting out to found Drawbridge.
Her vision was to create an algorithm that would bridge multiple devices to identify common users. Drawbridge developed the first machine learning ad technology that leverages insights from device IDs to enable advertisers and marketers to reach targeted audiences across screens.
The statistical algorithm matches a desktop cookie to a mobile device, and has been used to pair more than 1 billion devices globally. Drawbridge’s success depends on its ability to effectively target customers to maximize clicks on the impressions it buys.
Sivaramakrishnan is president emeritus of the Stanford University Women in Electrical Engineering group, a nonprofit professional community for female graduate students. The group seeks to improve retention of women in the electrical engineering community through mentorships, seminars and outreach events.
She also is active with ASHA for Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving literacy rates in India through fundraising for schools in rural areas.
Sivaramakrishnan believes that the strength of a company lies in its people. She has built an internal culture at Drawbridge based on transparency and technology. Each department presents an update at a weekly Brown Bag Lunch. The engineering team has “Tech Talks,” during which team leads give presentations on their work and gather input from other team members.
She is inspired by PayPal, where ex-employees became entrepreneurs, and wants to build that at Drawbridge.


 

FINALIST

nca_eoy_TomSiebelThomas Siebel
founder and CEO
C3 Energy
www.c3energy.com

Thomas Siebel has a long track record of success in the software industry, building Siebel Systems as its chairman and CEO before becoming the founder and CEO of C3 Energy.
Research for his latest venture included thought leadership conferences from 2007 to 2010 at the University of California-Berkeley, Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the topics of energy efficiency and climate change. The purpose was to explore how information technology could be harnessed to generate and deliver energy in more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways.
Siebel saw that another transformational technology wave was starting and wanted to leverage technologies to affect the value chain of power generation.
C3 Energy is a rapidly growing software as a service company that applies big data, analytics, machine learning and cloud computing to power generation and delivery, improving the safety and reliability of energy production while reducing cost and environmental impact.
Siebel focused company resources on developing and commercializing an analytics engine that handles exceptionally large data volumes at high rates and employs algorithms to unlock key insights that provide economic, social and environmental benefits to grid operators.
With the advent of smart meters and grid monitoring tools, utilities have access to data that can be used to better manage customers’ efficient use of electricity.
As a nationally recognized philanthropist, Siebel established the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation in 1996 to improve quality of life, environment, research and education. The foundation has given more than $236 million to various charitable causes.
Major foundation programs include Siebel Scholars, which provides scholarships at 17 leading schools of business, computer science and bioengineering; the Meth Project, a program aimed at reducing methamphetamine use; and the Siebel Stem Cell Institute, which funds research in the application of advancements in cellular biology and synthetic biology to achieve efficacious stem cell therapies.