It’s been an interesting year for entrepreneurs. One that saw the costliest venture-backed acquisition ever when Facebook paid $19 billion for WhatsApp. Google took a page — or at least a player — from the Apple playbook when it paid $3.2 billion for iPhone executive Tony Fadell’s Nest Labs venture. There was plenty of scandal. Tinder CEO Sean Rad was brought down by cracks in the corporate culture. and video game developer Brianna Wu stood up to cracks in gamer culture. Startups were the focus of an HBO hit, Silicon Valley, and an excellent South Park episode.
While many entrepreneurs stood out in 2014 for their product, their personality, or their potential, there were some that seemed particularly interesting, for better or worse. Here are the 11 entrepreneurs who entered our consciousness in 2014.