The Have-Mores!: The Next Tycoons
Matt Gillin, 40
CEO, president and co-founder, Ecount
Mogul status: In 1997, Gillin started Conshohocken-based Ecount, a paperless system that helps businesses pay employees electronically through specialized debit cards. As of fall 2006, 1,000-plus companies, including a third of all Fortune 100s, took advantage of Ecount’s services.
Tycoon potential: Gillin has a penchant for starting and growing businesses. He’s enjoying annual revenues of over $25 million, is constantly adding new features to Ecount—think wellness incentives and payments through wireless devices—and had a remarkable 315 percent growth from 2001 to 2005.
Trivia: Along with a few other family members, founded AIDS Alive, a Main Line-based nonprofit dedicated to AIDS awareness, after losing a brother to the disease in 1992.
Matthew Canno, 28
Founder, Philadelphia Settlement Brokers
Mogul status: The youngest on our list. We know Canno’s worth watching, but we can’t say for exactly what yet. Could be his WC Financial mortgage business, or his 18-month-old Philadelphia Settlement Brokers, a brokerage firm that helps seniors sell their life insurance policies for cash. Or maybe it’s his real estate projects; he gave back to Penn by opening Strikes Bowling near campus, and recently acquired the old YMCA near 15th and Arch and put in a SWEAT gym. It’s too soon to tell which of these businesses—or others?—might become the next big-ticket item.
Tycoon potential: He’s got plenty of entrepreneurial chops, but is he spread too thin?
Trivia: His favorite movie is Cinema Paradiso—the real-deal three-hour version, not the Americanized Oscar winner.
Josh Kopelman, 36
Co-founder, First Round Capital; inventor; investor
Mogul status: Kopelman could just sit around and watch his interest grow—you first heard of him when his Conshohocken-based half.com—a website peddling used books, videos and more—was bought by eBay for $240 million, and then again when he sold his TurnTide Inc., a spam-stopper, for $28 million six months after its conception. He continues to use his own and others’ funds to develop the latest in technology.
Tycoon potential: High. He seems to have a deep need to invest, and gives plenty to charity.
Trivia: He currently sits on seven, yes seven, boards of directors.
Carl Buchholz, 41
Managing partner and CEO, Blank Rome
Mogul status: Four years ago, Buchholz left the White House Office of Homeland Security to rejoin Philadelphia’s Blank Rome law firm. He was named managing partner last year, making him one of the youngest MPs at one of the best firms in our lawyer-laden city. Blank hopes Buchholz’s business, legal and political savvy will expand its international market. His political résumé is certainly impressive: special assistant to George W., general counsel to the Ridge campaigns, Pennsylvania counsel to both Bush-Cheney campaigns, special assistant to the late Senator John Heinz.
Tycoon potential: Buchholz’s wings will continue to spread in the legal and political fields, but he prefers more behind-the-scenes political work. He does dedicate plenty of time to charity, including heading the United Way in ’07.
Trivia: His wife Karen is VP of administration at Comcast and has a major role in the erection of the Comcast Tower.
Kevin Kleinschmidt, 34
Managing director of business development, Barclays Bank Delaware
Mogul status: He’s carving new paths for one of the biggest credit-card issuers in the nation: US Airways, Orbitz, Best Western and TiVo are all Barclays clients.
Tycoon potential: Kleinschmidt has an impressive financial (he was an investment banker) and business sense. He sits on boards and fund-raises for theater groups in Philadelphia and environs, and is enthusiastic about working at Barclays with financial gurus/mentors like Richard Vague.
Trivia: You’ll find this Old City resident keeping in shape by running over the Ben Franklin Bridge.