HQ: New York
CEO: Ben Kaufman
New Funding: $68 million
Backers: Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners, RRE Ventures
Quirky bills itself as "the company that helps creative people bring their ideas to market," and obviously someone likes the idea of that, because Quirky just pulled down $68 million from marquee investors like Andreessen Horowitz. The company's platform speeds product development through a process that draws on in-house designers, engineers and market specialists in areas like manufacturing and retail. Stated CEO Kaufman, "It took one year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building. It takes most consumer product companies 18 to 24 months to launch a new vegetable peeler. Something is wrong here."