Kevin Chou, 34
Kevin Chou has built this “free-to-play” mobile gaming company from a tiny start-up operating over a dim sum restaurant to $360 million in revenues and a $1 billion valuation. Kabam’s success comes down to a willingness by take risks and embrace unexpected partnerships. The company switched out of social apps for sports fans and into gaming in 2009 after advertising revenue dried up. Along with more than two dozen of their own games, the 800-employee firm has teamed up with Hollywood studios to produce three hugely popular games including “The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth”, “Fast & Furious 6: The Game” and are now planning their first fighting game, “Contest of Champions,” in partnership with Marvel. The company expects many more movie tie-ups moving forward as well as a big push into Asia, signaled by its collaboration with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The newly public firm has invested $120 million into the company and Kabam will publish several of its mobile games on Alibaba Group’s mobile applications.