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Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007 Finalists -- Emerging

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Bruce Hansen

Chairman & CEO

ID Analytics Inc.

Bringing almost two decades of leadership in the financial services and software industries, Bruce Hansen co-founded ID Analytics in 2002. ID Analytics uses unique, pattern-recognition technology to manage identity risk and prevent identity fraud across the customer lifecycle.

In collaboration with 13 U.S. consumer companies, ID Analytics spent its first year in business reviewing more than 200 million records, including valid and fraudulent consumer applications for credit, debit and new accounts, together with the largest collection of cross-industry known frauds to date. Working with this unique set of data selected specifically for its predictive value, ID Analytics was able to gain insight into thousands of fraudulent behavioral patterns not identified with current fraud detection methods. These identity patterns, combined with advanced machine learning techniques, Graph Theoretic Anomaly Detection (GTAD) and a variety of other data sources, enabled ID Analytics to build groundbreaking identity risk management solutions.

ID Analytics' ID Network is fueled in real-time with identity attributes from multiple industries, learning constantly as new data enters the network. Each day, more than 8 million additional attributes are added. When an event occurs where the associated identity poses a risk, that risk is quantified with an ID Score, an empirically derived scoring algorithm that separates events into risk segments for optimized handling.

ID Analytics' breakthrough solutions spot suspicious behavior patterns from multiple perspectives, rather than from an identity's interactions with just one company or industry. Members of the ID Network are able to open legitimate accounts more quickly, because they are separating potential fraudsters from genuine customers with greater accuracy. From online dating to employment to homeland security, ID Analytics provides a new and critical plane of identity verification.

Under Hansen's leadership, for the three years ended 2006, ID Analytics has experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 185 percent per year. The company delivers solutions to six of the top 10 credit card issuers, four of the top five wireless carriers, major retailers, leading government agencies and a major health care provider, and has formed strategic partnerships with Visa, TransUnion, Equifax, First American, VeriSign, Intersections and Ingenix.

Janet McCulley

Founder & Chief Marketing Officer


The foundation for Janet McCulley's entrepreneurship was set by her parents, who instilled in her the value and pride of earning rewards in life. While employed as a senior marketing executive at Jack in the Box, she dreamed of taking the ultimate step and running her own business. In 2002, along with three partners, she took her dream and gave it a real-world address. They called the company Muttropolis, and simply put, it is a utopia for pets and their doting "parents."

McCulley did exhaustive research before committing to Muttropolis. She studied the pet industry, noting the explosion in retail sales, and forecasted growth twice that of many other retail areas. She and her partners educated themselves on pet health and nutrition, building and training store teams and creating a compelling brand personality. They searched for a first store location and secured funding. When the groundwork was laid and the plans ready, McCulley left her solid career and leapt into the unknown of an entrepreneurial startup.

Muttropolis' branding and scale was achieved quickly through a multi-channel distribution model and a business structure built to reflect a personalized boutique to shoppers, while delivering guest experience with the efficiency and cost effectiveness of a multifaceted entity with large economies of scale. McCulley and her partners offer pet parents a unique shopping experience and highly differentiated assortment of design-driven pet products while creating a strong sense of community by hosting fun events and supporting animal welfare groups, shelters and rescue organizations in the area.

With the first store opening in Solana Beach, Muttropolis now has five retail locations and a robust online store. In 2006, the International Council of Shopping Centers named Muttropolis one of the top five "Hot Retailers of the Year." The business plan projects expansion to 150 stores in a five-year period, with a significant percentage of store sales occurring through the Internet and catalog direct channels. Muttropolis has quickly grown to become one of the pre-eminent pet boutiques in the country.

Raj Lahoti


Online Guru Inc.

Raj Lahoti started his first business at the age of 14. By 21, he had formed an Internet-based affiliate portal that still exists as a profitable entity today. Currently, at the age of 25, he is CEO of Online Guru Inc., a rapidly growing Internet marketing and Web publishing company.

Initially, Online Guru focused on the relatively new area of monetizing traffic opportunities on the Internet. Lahoti and his brother Ravi leveraged significant cash flow opportunities from more than 8,000 domain names they had secured over the previous 12 years. Within months they were profitable and growing. But Lahoti wanted to do more than just generate Web site traffic; he focused the company on providing serious content value to the consumer.

One result was the content-enhanced redesign and relaunch of Online Guru's flagship property, DMV.org. DMV.org has become the pre-eminent online resource guide for DMV-related issues for all 50 states. Each state's laws and regulations are presented, with answers and services that provide the consumer with immediate and significant value.

Lahoti keeps Online Guru focused on three major areas: 1) improving content based on customers' needs; 2) driving online traffic to its sites through search engine optimization, search engine marketing and Web analytics; and 3) understanding what customer services most effectively monetize from its online guide, whether it be finding an online driving school, ordering a vehicle history report, getting a car insurance quote, or buying or selling a car.

To succeed, Online Guru must test content and advertising daily, managing visitor traffic and keywords and responding in seconds. The company lives by two major philosophies: provide a quality service, and be smart in understanding how technology can provide that service.

In less than three years, Lahoti has grown Online Guru from a two-man show to an organization of 15. DMV.org is one of the top five online destinations in the automotive industry, with more than 60 million visitors per year, which ranks it among the top 300 Web sites in the United States. With 7,999 more domain names to develop, the fun for Online Guru is just beginning.

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