The Definitive List of Top Crowdfunding Leaders

Crowdfunding is a huge market and growing extremely quickly. Even in its earliest days, some leadership has emerged that's propelling the industry forward.

Here's a list of the top leaders in the crowdfunding industry.

1
Slava Rubin: Indiegogo Cofounder and CEO

Slava Rubin, CEO of Indiegogo

Slava Rubin is the co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo, one of the largest reward-based crowdfunding platforms in the world. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a consultant at Goldman Sachs before going on to cofound Indiegogo.

  • Linkedin: Connect with Slava on Linkedin here
  • Twitter: Follow Slava on Twitter here

Memorable quote (Source):

"I call it my 9-to-9 ritual," Rubin told Business Insider. "All I do is interact with people from 9 in the morning until 9 at night. Sometimes that's on the phone, but I prefer it not to be. All the things that require a 'real computer' — like modeling, Excel, presentations, and all kinds of bigger stuff — I do early in the morning or late at night because at that time I can't hang out with my coworkers, talk to customers, or do recruiting interviews."

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2
Yancey Strickler: Kickstarter's cofounder and CEO

Yancey Stricker, Kickstarter CEO

Yancey Strickler is Kickstarter's CEO and cofounder. He was born in Virginia and grew up on a farm in the Appalachian Mountains.

He cofounded Kickstarter along with Perry Chen and Charles Adler. Since January 1, 2014, I have served as Kickstarter's CEO. Previously, he was eMusic's editor in chief.

  • Linkedin: Follow Yancey on Linkedin here
  • Twitter: Follow Yancey on Twitter here

Memorable quote (source):

“There are three main umbrellas under which money changes hands: investment, philanthropy, commerce. We have something in common with all three: investment, because you are putting money up front; philanthropy, because you feel you are doing a good thing; and commerce, because you get something back for your money. But we are also distinct from each of those. It is kind of a fourth category. It is very small in relation to the big picture but it is different.” The site is emphatically not for charitable fundraising, he adds. “It is an exchange between adult, like-minded people who know what they are doing.”

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3
Naval Ravikant: AngelList's cofounder and CEO

Naval Ravikant, CEO of AngelList

Naval Ravikant is the cofounder and CEO of equity crowdfunding platform, AngelList. A self-proclaimed Venture Hacker, Naval was previously the Founder and CEO of Internet darling, Epinions. Naval is himself an angel investor in some of this generation's hottest startups.

  • Twitter: Follow Naval on Twitter here

Memorable quote (source):

"I think you'll see institutions, LPs, the classic limited partners up here backing some of these angels."

But syndicate activity is "captured online forever," he cautions. "It's not like one of these little hidden deals that then you can brush under the rug and never talk about again

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4
Renaud Laplance: LendingClub's Founder and CEO

LendingClub's Renaud Laplanche, founder and CEO

LendingClub was founded and is currently lead by Renaud Laplance, a serial entrepreneur. Previously, he founded MatchPoint and sold it to Oracle.

Laplanche is regularly cited in growing the marketplace lending (ore peer to peer lending) sector, the largest part of overall crowdfunding activity.

  • Linkedin: Follow Renaud on Linkedin here

Memorable quote (source):

Definitely. Serving our retail investors helps us to stay true to our roots. But it is also a great business strategy. We believe small-dollar investors will continue to be predictable and loyal to us, especially during a decline in the national economy. Many invest through a retirement account, which is an even longer-term commitment, and a great option because the interest grows each year in a tax-deferred structure.

5
Jon Medved: Founder and CEO of OurCrowd

Jon Medved, OurCrowd CEO and crowdfunding expert

OurCrowd is an equity crowdfunding platform that invests in Israeli and global startups. Medved's an experienced venture capitalist who has invested almost $300 million in primarily Israeli tech startups.

Previously to OurCrowd, Jon founded and IPO'd Vringo.

Medved was named the CrowdfundBeat Man of the Year in 2014.

  • Linkedin: Follow Jon on Linkedin here
  • Twitter: Follow Jon on Twitter here

Memorable quote (source):

I’ve been involved in the Israeli tech business for 30-odd years, both as an entrepreneur and as an investor. I’ve managed a venture capital fund. I’ve been an angel. I’ve been a founder of companies. I’ve been a public CEO. I’ve sort of done most of this stuff.

What’s exciting for me today is the ability to invest in people with proven track records. I mean there are a lot of risks involved in investing in innovation. But you start with people and the fact is that you can invest in people who’ve been successful. There’s no guarantee they’re going to be successful again. If you have a choice between two entrepreneurs, the one who has actually failed will make a better investment than the one who hasn’t tried. But there’s no question that the person who has tried and succeeded makes the best investment.

6
Ryan Caldbeck: Founder and CEO of CircleUp

Ryan Caldbeck, CircleUp CEO

Ryan is the founder and CEO of CircleUp, an equity crowdfunding platform that focuses on investing in up-and-coming consumer goods companies.

Ryan previously worked as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group.

  • Linkedin: Follow Ryan on Linkedin here

Memorable quote (source): 

We provide equity capital that enables the business to finance growth. The average food company we see on Kickstarter raises less than $10,000. The average company on CircleUp raises close to $1 million.

CircleUp focuses on scalable, high-growth consumer businesses, and investors seeking an allocation in consumer products with a potential for financial return.

7
Richard Swart: Global Crowdfunding & Alternative Finance Researcher

Richard Swart, Crowdfunding expert

Dr. Richard Swart is Crowdfunding and Alternative Finance Researcher and Scholar-in-Residence in the Institute for Business and Social Impact at the University of California, Berkeley, researching crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and alternative finance.

  • Twitter: Follow Richard on Twitter here
  • Linkedin: Follow Richard on Linkedin here

Memorable quote (source):

So the argument we're making to economic development authorities is train your entrepreneurs to know how to use this mechanism, because they're going to redeploy the capital very quickly to hire more people, and we know that small businesses and microenterprises create most of the new jobs, so we're trying to get more and more data to show that this is a mechanism for job creation.

8
Carl Esposti: Crowdsourcing.com

Carl Esposti, crowdfunding thought leader

Carl Esposti is the Founder and CEO of Massolution and the Publisher of Crowdsourcing.org, two of the leading properties in the crowdsourcing and crowdfunding arena. He is also the creator of the CAPS program (Crowdfunding Accreditation for Platform Standards) for crowdfunding portal best practices and a thought leader in crowd-strategy and crowd-adoption models. More

9
Douglas Ellenoff: Ellenoff, Grossman, and Schole LLP

Douglas Ellenoff, top crowdfunding lawyer
Douglas Ellenoff on Twitter

Doug has made himself an indispensable expert in the US legal frameworks for crowdfunding. He and his firm have been instrumental working with the regulatory bodies like FINRA and SEC to help implement legalized crowdfunding regulations that work for all parties involved. More

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