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The Wave of Next-Generation Innovators

Forward-thinking entrepreneurs are making strides in promising areas--from nanotech to biotech to semiconductors. Will any of them build the next Microsoft?

This story appears in the September 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Scott Rickert wants to make countless homes energy-efficient--and even self-cleaning--with his nanotechnology films. Linda Pinney hopes to sell her automated prescription-pickup kiosks to the nation's 40,000 big-chain pharmacies. Heng Liu's prospects are even more ambitious--Liu wants to, as one of his investors puts it, "replace all the bulbs in all the offices in the world" with his light-emitting semiconductors.

Whether one of these entrepreneurs' companies becomes the next Microsoft, Dell or Google, there's little doubt they operate in some of the most promising fields. Pinney, 44, founded Asteres Inc., a San Diego company in the red-hot medical devices space.

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