Conor Madigan, 32
Bringing down the price of OLED displays
Television displays based on organic light-emitting diodes are brighter, crisper, and more energy efficient than liquid-crystal displays. But they're very expensive, especially for large-screen models. Conor Madigan is working to drive down the cost of these displays as the CEO and cofounder of a Silicon Valley startup called Kateeva, which is developing efficient machinery for printing pixels over large areas. The technology makes it possible to manufacture OLED screens at 60 percent of the cost of LCD screens.
Kateeva is sending out a beta version of its OLED-display printers to customers for evaluation in the first half of 2011 and hopes to have its first production tools on the market in 2012. If OLEDs replace LCDs, Kateeva could tap into a $10-billion-a-year market for display-manufacturing equipment. --Katherine Bourzac