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Richard Ludlow, 22
New York City
Richard Ludlow turned down a job offer from McKinsey and deferred admission to Harvard Business School to start Academic Earth, an online hub for videos of university lectures and other educational content. Backed by angel funding, the goal of Academic Earth, which Ludlow plans to launch in September, is to make university lectures and course material widely available online so as to lower the cost of education around the world. University lectures will be offered for free, but Ludlow plans to monetize other content—for instance, lectures from think tanks—with advertising deals, subscriptions, and sales of such related services as tutoring.
While Academic Earth is Ludlow's first for-profit venture, it isn't his first entrepreneurial endeavor. The Yale grad founded the Students for Organ Donation network, which now has 120 chapters, and he also started the Yale Economic Review, a journal of popular economics.