#10. Kenneth Lin
CEO & Founder, Credit Karma
Ken Lin is the CEO and founder of Credit Karma, a personal finance website company based in the San Francisco Bay area, which is dedicated to helping consumers fully comprehend the power of their credit scores and their overall financial health. He says he started Credit Karma after growing tired of paying to see his own credit scores. He believed there had to be a better way that gave consumers a more transparent option. The inspiration for his pro-consumer business model came from two of his previous employers: E-Loan and Upromise. E-Loan, where he was director of analytics and research, was the first company to give out free credit scores before the restrictive subscription model took over. He was the senior marketing analyst at Upromise, which helps people save for college by offering a cash-back rewards program. Thanks to his experience at these companies, Lin created Credit Karma so it could provide consumers free access to their credit scores, as well as an education about their credit potential for borrowing. Before starting Credit Karma in 2007, Lin founded Multilytics Marketing, a data-driven marketing agency which managed more than $40 million a year in online marketing dollars for clients such as Wells Fargo, Liberty Mutual and eBay. Lin got his B.A. in mathematics and economics from Boston University. Lin’s skills as an entrepreneur has drawn praise from investors, who appreciate Credit Karma’s completely free, pro-consumer credit service that has empowered several hundred thousand users with education, tools and incentives. Thanks to Lin’s insight, Credit Karma is ranked as one of the top free finance apps in iTunes, counting more than 50 million members.