Co-founder and CEO, Shopkick
Credit the German entrepreneur and angel investor for launching Shopkick, one of the most innovative retail programs to come along in recent years. Shopkick's proprietary technology senses when users enter participating stores and rewards them with "Kick Bucks." The more Kick Bucks accrued, the more goodies users can claim, like cash back and gift cards usable at over 7,000 stores, including Target, Macy's, and Crate & Barrel. As Roeding tells it, increased foot traffic inevitably boosts store sales -- a veritable holy grail of retail, if ever there was one.
Who are 2012's young business stars? We've got the CEO of a blue-chip beer brand, an airline CEO who just placed the largest order in commercial aviation history, and Warren Buffett's new prodigy, among the Silicon Valley hotshots and others.