When researching the emerging crowdfunding industry, we discovered a number of individuals providing remarkable insights into the new market structures, rules, players and opportunities.  Using innovative ideas and approaches, these thought leaders have created a road map for investors and entrepreneurs who want to better understand and participate in this revolutionary form of innovation finance.

At OurCrowd, we are deeply committed to identifying and delivering exceptional opportunities for accredited investors to invest in leading early stage companies alongside experienced investors. By listening to and following these thought leaders, our knowledge of the rapidly changing landscape continues to grow and inform our unique crowdfunding model.

Working with influencer relations agency Evolve Inc., we selected and carefully vetted 800 of the most knowledgeable, most influential and most social thought leaders in crowdfunding today, including industry insiders, regulators and politicians, journalists, platform vendors, angel investors, entrepreneurs, artists and industry analysts.

Evolve used a broad range of influencer discovery and engagement tools to identify thought leaders, including Traackr, Little Bird, Group High and Google.  The list was scored using a proprietary formula designed to quantify their actions, leadership and influence.  It takes into account a variety of factors such as social footprint, popularity among industry insiders, engagement frequency, citations by influential writers in venture finance, and related factors.  Weights were assigned to each factor to identify a ranked list of the top 30 and unranked list of 100 top crowdfunding thought leaders.

Here we take a look at the 30 who best represent the crowdfunding industry:

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We’ve saved you the trouble of following everyone on the list below:

20140124-Top 30 Crowdfunding Thought Leaders

Highest on the list are the leaders of three top crowdfunding platforms:  Perry Chen, co-founder, chairman and former CEO of Kickstarter; Naval Ravikant, founder and co-maintainer of AngelList; and Slava Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Indiegogo (Tweet this).

Fred Wilson, founder and managing partner of early stage venture capital firm Union Square Ventures also ranks high on the list.  In 2012, he predicted that crowdfunding will grow to $300 billion annually and make the current VC model obsolete (Tweet this).  Wilson foresees VCs leading rounds with small increments of capital and using their brands to attract crowdfunds to the startups they deem the most promising.

Congratulations to all those who made the list!

Of course, our ranking is not the final word on the subject but rather the beginning of a discussion.  Who do you believe belongs on the list (Tweet this)? What role will community play in venture investing in 2014Please share your thoughts.

Click to Tweet thisThe 30 leaders in the next $300B industry #top30cf #crowdfunding via @OurCrowd