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

Paul Meyer, 33

Brings database and Web-like services to remote areas through touch-tone phones


There are about 2.5 billion phones worldwide but only 600 million computers. Knowing this, Paul Meyer, a Yale Law School grad and former speechwriter for President Clinton, founded Washington, DC-based Voxiva in 2001 to help isolated communities access computing power through touch-tone telephones. Because phone use requires neither literacy not much electricity, the system benefits regions that are short on both. Launched with funding from the Markle Foundation and the World Bank, Voxiva enables users to input and retrieve information by tapping phone buttons, listening to messages, and speaking responses. In Peru, health-care workers can call a Voxiva server to submit reports about patient symptoms or disease outbreaks. Peru’s Ministry of Health has already collected 50,000 reports on threatening diseases. Meyer’s ingenuity has benefited other countries as well. Working with the international Rescue Committee in 1999, he built a wireless network that became Kosovo’s first Internet service provider. He also set up a Lotus Notes system to help reunite refugees in Guinea. Impressed with Voxiva’s performance, the U.S. government hired the company to track the effect of smallpox vaccinations on U.S. soldiers.

2003 TR35 Winners

John Apostolopoulos

Develops ways to improve the security of streaming video on the Net

Brian Behlendorf

Sparked the widespread development of Web servers, mainstreaming the nascent Web

Jud Bowman

Wrote software that is accelerating the expansion of wireless networking

Lorrie Cranor

Leads the global effort to improve privacy practices and tools on the Web

Jason Hill

Wrote software that allows hundreds of minute wireless sensors to communicate better

Meg Hourihan

Sparked the rise of the popular Web-based journals known as blogs

Paul Q. Judge

Wrote software that stops spam and viruses before they enter a network

Rasmus Lerdorf

Invented a server language that brought live data to the Web

Lih Y. Lin

Built micromirror switches for faster, all-optical telecommunications networks

Paul Meyer

Brings database and Web-like services to remote areas through touch-tone phones

Rueben Singh

Provides support services and startup money for entrepreneurs

Martin Wattenberg

Simplifies peoples electronic lives with graphical data management

Andrew Wheeler

Builds wireless sensor networks that improve industrial efficiency

Evan Williams

Fueled the expansion of blogs across the Web

Jennifer Yates

Wrote software widely adopted by the telecom industry that speeds up optical networks


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