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2009 Hot 20 Under 40

The Hot 20 Under 40: Readers’ Choice

Readers have nominated, and our editors have selected, these 18 finalists for one precious spot in our annual Hot 20 Under 40 issue, highlighting the city’s most up-and-coming movers and shakers. Rollover each thumbnail to read about each finalist, click to see their websites, then vote for your choice below. VOTING ENDS FRIDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 11:59 P.M. The finalist receiving the most votes will be featured in our Hot 20 Under 40 issue this October.

Hot 20 2009: Sean George, COO of Navigenics

Photography by Jen Siska.

Given that Sean George is a self-confessed “great admirer of women,” it comes as no surprise that a girl named Claire is to blame for the biotech executive’s lack of sleep. “I work a lot, so I don’t get much sleep to begin with, but with my 2-year-old daughter (shown here), I get even less,” says George, COO of Silicon Valley darling, Navigenics. The company provides genetics screening and prevention guidance for 28 common chronic conditions, including diabetes, breast cancer and heart disease—all you need is a dab of saliva and $999. “Our customers are interested in long-term health, and I’d say that having Claire definitely makes me think more about sticking around for another 50 years.”

The 2009 Hot 20 Under 40

What's "hot"? A pitcher with a killer arm, tech wizards bringing Wi-Fi to the world or a gender-bending performance artist?  One thing's for sure: Everyone below is under 40 and has a sense of self that belies their years. We're just lucky enough to benefit from it.

2009 Hot 20 under 40

What's "hot"? A pitcher with a killer arm, tech wizards bringing Wi-Fi to the world or a gender-bending performance artist?  One thing's for sure: Everyone below is under 40 and has a sense of self that belies their years. We're just lucky enough to benefit from it.

 


Katie Brown, Top-Ranked Climber

Amanda Adams, Archaeologist and Founder of Loki

Anastasia Griffith, Actress in NBC'S 'Trauma'

Hot 20 2009: Zoë Keating, Avant-Cellist

Photography by Anön.

It may come as a surprise that classically trained cellist Zoë Keating has 1,029,679 (and counting) subscribers on Twitter and is listed among the top 120 suggested Twitterers to follow—right up there with Martha Stewart, 50 Cent and Britney Spears. With a genre-bending sound she creates by playing a French cello that’s layered and looped using a foot-pedal-controlled MacBook, it’s no wonder this former software engineer turned one-woman orchestra attracts a diverse audience as intrigued by the arts as they are by technology.

Hot 20 2009: Hans Robertson, Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket, Founders of Meraki

Photography by Bryan Davis.

Next time you’re on a desert island and can send out an SOS via email, you might want to thank Meraki. The SF-based company, launched in 2006 by three former MIT grad students, has since brought affordable wireless Internet service to more 140 countries, from places such as Cape Horn on the tip of South America to SF’s City Hall. They’ve even been responsible for making sure movie stars have Wi-Fi connections while on sets as remote as Tropic Thunder’s, which was filmed in the rain forest of Kauai.

Hot 20 2009: Attorney Rafael Mandelman

Photography by John Lee.

Mention to Rafael Mandelman that some of his supporters have favorably compared him to Harvey Milk—who initially won the hearts and minds of the Castro community with a pooper-scooper law—and the charismatic lawyer-cum-politician dismisses the comment with a wave of his hand. “That is so sweet,” he says. “That’s too much. He was a lot funnier and a lot smarter.” Smarter? This coming from a Yale grad who went on to get both a law degree from Boalt and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s JFK School of Government.

Hot 20 2009: Mackenzie Burdick and Rachael Mann, Founders of Litter

Photography by Anön.

Call Rachael Mann and Mackenzie Burdick’s designs “trashy” and they’ll likely take it as a compliment. After all, the sisters behind the new San Francisco jewelry line Litter go to great lengths to unearth the heaps of vintage, recycled and discarded metal bits and chains that they use to handcraft their funky accessories. “We started out making weird things just for ourselves like headpieces made from nuts and bolts and other junkyard finds,” recalls Burdick, who lives in Cow Hollow, right by the Litter office. When friends took notice, they decided to do a local jewelry show where their headpieces sold out, inspiring them to sell their work on Etsy and eventually launch their own e-tail site.

Hot 20 2009: Tim Lincecum

Photography by Mike Powell.

Phenom Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum hardly needs any introduction—even people who don’t really follow baseball know about that kid and his arm. Since joining the team in 2006—an acquisition the Giants made with the lure of a $2 million signing bonus—the slight, baby-faced Lincecum has won the Cy Young Award (only the second Giants pitcher to do so; the win inspired the name of his French bulldog, Cy) and aided in the team’s first real shot at the championship since Barry Bonds’ heyday.

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