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updated 12/21/2012 1:19:10 PM ET 2012-12-21T18:19:10

Meet the Entrepreneurs of 2012, along with Barbara Corcoran, Grant Cardone and more experts, at Entrepreneur's 2013 Growth Conference Jan. 10, in Dallas. Register here.

There's one significant description that can be applied to all three winners of Entrepreneur® magazine's Entrepreneur of 2012 Awards: cool.

Our Entrepreneur of 2012, Limor Fried of DIY invention powerhouse Adafruit Industries, is the grand doyenne of the hipster-chic maker movement. Emerging Entrepreneur winner Jason Lucash of OrigAudio is meshing music, design and sustainability--essentially, everything trendy young consumers care about--in his groovy portable products. And while College Entrepreneur winner Bryan Silverman may have set his sights on a not-so-cool item--toilet paper--he's approaching it in a decidedly modern way: connecting it to digital media (yes, really) and capitalizing on his refreshingly candid acknowledgement of what people really do in the bathroom.

So how did these cool characters come to win our 2012 accolades? From thousands of entries, Entrepreneur editor in chief Amy C. Cosper and vice president of marketing Lisa Murray, along with The UPS Store's vice president of marketing and small-business solutions Michelle Van Slyke and field marketing supervisor Jennifer Nelson, narrowed the field to 15 finalists. Then readers voted on their favorites at Entrepreneur.com.

Here are the results. We couldn't be more proud.

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

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