An Olympic games, a U.S. presidential election and the end of the world are already planned for 2012, but we’re more excited about the startups.

Here are six of them (in no particular order) that we expect to help define the coming year. We chose companies based on the momentum they gained in 2011, promising new takes on old problems and, in one case, the possibility of an IPO.

Did we look at every startup in the world before compiling this list? Nope. Did we overlook some of the startups speeding toward 2012 definition-dom? Yep. Which is where you come in. Let us know in the comments which startups are on your list to watch in 2012.

1. Skillshare
2. Zaarly, Taskrabbit or Something Similar
3. LevelUp/SCVNGR
4. Dwolla
5. Eventbrite
6. Codecademy

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