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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Jonathan Heiliger, 23

Frontier Global Center

Even among the TR100, venture capitalist Jonathan Heiliger is a youngster. He got a head start in high technology, working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator when he was 15. From there, he made warp-speed transitions from basic science to network engineering to deal making. Highlights include designing the network architecture used by megaprovider UUNet and brokering the acquisition of Internet Systems by Frontier Global Center. As Frontier’s CTO, he laid out the firm’s Internet strategy, formulating a system of data centers connected by high-speed links; Frontier’s network hosts 40 percent of the top 100 Web sites.

Being CTO wasn’t enough; Heiliger wanted to try being a venture capitalist. For most people that would entail getting an MBA. But Heiliger, who doesn’t have a college degree, choose a different track. He drafted a proposal, asking Frontier to start a $30 million venture capital fund and to appoint him to manage it.

The company agreed, "rounding" the fund up to $100 million. As Interactive Week said, "Heiliger’s contribution to the Web’s emergence as a medium for reaching the masses is staggering." Heiliger now says he’d like to be a CEO-- if he can find the right small company.


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