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No. 23

Erin Lubin/Bloomberg News

No. 23

Joe Kraus, 38
Partner, Google Ventures

No. of Angel Investments: 5
Companies funded (a sampling): Linkedin, Napster, Aardvark, OpenCandy

A prolific entrepreneur and angel investor, Kraus earned early Internet riches when he sold his startup Excite to @Home Network for a reported $7.2 billion in 1999. When Google bought another of his ventures, enterprise wiki service Jotspot, in 2006, Kraus began working at various roles at the Googleplex. Along the way, Kraus has backed such Internet success stories as LinkedIn, Odeo, and Kongregate. Recently he was made partner at Google Ventures, the company’s $100 million fund for promising startups. "I essentially moved from a dabbler to a day-timer." He said the one investing mistake entrepreneurs like himself need to avoid is searching for companies that require his operational expertise. "I only invest in people who don’t need me," Kraus said in a telephone interview.