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24. Daniel Newman

Cofounder Executive Director, MapLight

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Daniel Newman's award-winning not-for-profit database cross-references public records, giving anyone instant access to political contributions—what once took investigative reporters weeks or months to uncover—and shining a light on "the forces that are corrupting our democracy," says Newman, 41. A redesign this year enables data to be updated within 45 minutes of a Congressional vote, and traffic, previously 25,000 visitors a month, has quadrupled. "Our vision is to have MapLight facts in every story about every political issue," the software entrepreneur says.