Art: Nat Damm
Founder, Front Seat
After working at Microsoft and founding an internet publishing firm, Mike Mathieu, 41, decided to put his software smarts to work for the greater social good. Seattle-based Front Seat, which he founded and chairs, has launched “civic software” projects like Walk Score, which shows you how walkable any given U.S. address is (Grist HQ scores a whopping 98 out of 100—a “Walkers’ Paradise”), and City-Go-Round, which spotlights innovative public transit apps, like Exit Strategy NYC, an app that shows you exactly where you should stand on the subway platform to arrive directly in front of the exit at your destination (brilliant). Walk Score has already started to change the way the real estate industry thinks about walkability; its scores have been incorporated into real-estate sites like Zillow.com as well as many agents’ individual listings, giving prospective homebuyers more info about the kinds of neighborhoods and lifestyles they might be buying into.