Max Crane, 19; Tyler Dikman, 23; David McIntosh, 20; Darian Shirazi, 20
Darian Shirazi remembers meeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg a week before high school graduation. He says they hit it off and Zuckerberg offered him a job. Shirazi, who had already been accepted at Berkeley, decided to do both. He majored in philosophy and worked at Facebook for a year and a half, watching it swell from 15 employees to some 250 employees, before leaving to start his own business.
Shirazi & Tyler Dikman dropped out of Berkeley and started nine-person software application and social networking company Redux with co-founders Max Crane and David McIntosh in December, 2006, and raised $1.65 million in venture capital in March, 2007. Shirazi says Redux's software application FlickIM allows its 40,000-plus users to aggregate chat accounts and watch TV and listen to music within the same window. The application, which competes with Meebo, uses a collaborative filter and proprietary technology, and Shirazi says it will make money through subscriptions and advertising.
He says Redux is planning to launch a social networking platform, also called Redux, in November for young people who want to meet others who share their interests but are creeped out by dating sites and "the predators on MySpace.” Shirazi describes the platform as "a version of LinkedIn for young people who want to develop social relationships, not business relationships.” He says the company will be profitable by February.