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Junior tech moguls rock rich list

Australia breeds geeky gurus

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Atlassian’s founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar have made the top five of BRW magazine’s annual Young Rich List, with combined riches of $AU360 million, up from $AU314 million last year.

Tech entrepreneurs delivered a strong presence in the 2011 list with around 25 percent of the 100 junior tycoons making their fortunes via IT or telco ventures.

Simon Clausen, who first made it onto the list in 2008 (with $AU180m) when Symantec bought his company, PC Tools, came in at number eight with $AU207 million from his new venture tech incubator Startive.

Serial telco entrepreneur and CEO of new data centre outfit NextDC Bevan Slattery kept a slot in the top 20 at number 14 with $AU103 million.

Newbies to the elite group include Hezi and Gabby Leibovich, the co-founders of daily deals site Catch of the Day, who came in at 22 with an $AU80 million fortune. The duo sold their company to a Packer-backed investor group, Tiger Global Management, valuing the company at $AU200 million.

Rival coupon barons Bevan Clark and Guy King followed at the 23rd spot with $AU77 million following the sale of their discount coupon site RetailMeNot to WhaleSharkMedia.

Aconex principles Jeigh Jasper and Robert Phillpot were 35th with $AU50 million and former M2 Telecommunicates CEO Vaughan Bowen clocked $AU48 million and a 44th slot.

Crowdsourcing guru Mark Harbottle, the founder of 99Designs, recently secured $AU35 million from Accel Partners taking his net worth up to $AU40 million with a spot at 52.

ispONE founders Chris Monching and Zac Swindells are listed at 71st with $AU28 million, Macquarie Telco's Aidan Tudehope secured 73rd place with a personal fortune of $AU28 million and Vocus founder James Spenceley scored 91st with $AU24 million.

First timers and gaming gurus Rob Murry and Andrew Lacy graced the end of the list with their recent gains. Murry snuck in with $AU24 million after selling his mobile gaming firm Firemint to EA Games and Lacy took the 100th spot after selling his killer app, Tapulous, to the Disney Company in 2010. ®

El Reg: It's interesting to note that the best way to get rich in Australian tech is to get out. If you must have your millions by the hundred, find a buyer, because generally actually owning and operating a business long-term will only sling you tens of millions. ®

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