We’ve been slowly rolling out a list of people who have made a big impact on the New York tech scene.Today, we’re announcing the top 25 people who have done the most for the New York tech scene this year.
They’ve accomplished a lot, whether they sold their company for millions of dollars, made strategic investments, or opened up places for entrepreneurs to hang out and succeed.
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Partners, Lerer Ventures
The father/son team is one of the more influential duos in the New York investment scene. Ben is co-founder and CEO of Thrillist, a company that is seeing its value skyrocket. Ken is the chairman of Betaworks, Bedrocket, and Buzzfeed.
Ferenci and his co-founder, Corey Capasso, launched the social commerce and analytics platform in late October of 2010. Buddy Media, the social enterprise software company, acquired Spinback in May of 2011. As Ferenci put it, it was a 'perfect fit.' The University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate is now Director of Product Development at Buddy Media.
Chang and Chung had their social group startup, Fridge, acquired by Google + in 2011, for an undisclosed amount. Austin is now with the Google + team, along with Fridge's two other employees, while Alex is working at Artspace.com. Fridge generated buzz and interest because it allowed groups and events to share information, photos, and messages, all in one place.
Managing Partner, Consigliere Brand Capital
Duda's partner, basketball player Steve Nash, is more famous, but Duda controls the money that CBC dishes out. The investment company makes small bets in early-stage companies. Some of their investments include BirchBox, StellaService, and Chloe & Isabel.
CEO, Clear Channel Communications
The former MTV CEO joined Clear Channel in late 2010, mainly to guide their digital strategy by leveraging existing media properties, and by early October of 2011, he moved into the CEO role. He continues to run his private equity firm, Pilot Group, which has made investments in Daily Candy and Zynga, among others. Pittman made a personal investment in Clear Channel, upon joining the company.
Bre is working on a really, really, really cool project. He's attempting to make the 3-D printer cost effective for the average person, and in turn, make every citizen a manufacturer. Why should you go to Target for a night stand, when you can print one in your living room? Bre got a nice taste of national celebrity when he was a guest on Stephen Colbert's show in June.
The duo sold their restaurant guide services to Google for $125 million, a move that made the husband and wife team rich (and gave the Internet giant a competitor in its battle with Yelp).
They ran the company for 32 years, developing partnerships and building a strong team. The brand will live on at Google.
A big year for ZocDoc, one of the quieter success stories in Silicon Alley. It raised $75 million in funding, and its valuation is nearing $1 billion. The company boasts some heavy hitting investors, including DST Global, Goldman Sachs, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures.
CEO and President, AppNexus
2011 has been a big year for AppNexus. The real-time bid ad market is surging, the company made its first monthly profit in August, and O'Kelley announced the company is planning on a 2012 IPO. The company also says 2011 revenues have grown at 400% over 2010 as the overall display ad market is expected to grow by 25% from 2010.
Julpan analyses social data shared on a number of networks. Twitter purchased the company in September, and Allon joined as director of engineering. It was his second big sale, after Google bought his Orion algorithm in 2006 and incorporated it into its search function.
The Blaze Team
Who would have thought that Glenn Beck would become an innovative new media visionary? After parting ways with Fox News, Beck set up his own online subscription TV operation and put more effort into making his news site, The Blaze, a big deal. Beck hired former Huffington Post CEO Betsy Morgan to run the operation. Business Insider Editor Glynnis MacNicol gives you an exclusive tour of the offices.
CEO and Chairman of AOL
Tim Armstrong had another busy year as he tried to get AOL pointed in the right direction. His biggest move was buying The Huffington Post and putting Arianna Huffington in charge of AOL's content. He also delivered double digit display ad growth. And if that wasn't enough, he also decided to start talking with PE firms and i-bankers about what to do with AOL.
Founder and CEO, Managing Director, TechStars
Cohen founded TechStars in 2007 and since then, the tech startup incubator has become one of the most desirable places for advice and seed funding in Boston, Boulder, New York, and Seattle. The company raised $24 million in September 2011, and according to Cohen, that money will be used to give every new Tech Stars company a $100,000 convertible note upon acceptance. Bloomberg TV even used Tech Stars to launch a reality show about NYC startups.
Tisch is one of Silicon Alley's best personalities (watch Bloomberg TV's TechStars if you don't believe us). His investments include GroupMe, which was bought by Skype, Art.sy, Boxee, and a number of others.TechStars
President, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Mayor Bloomberg appointed the former Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton lawyer president of the NYCEDC in February 2008.
He manages $2.5 billion in capital projects and is tasked with overhauling Gotham's economy for the 21st century. One of his focuses has been creating incubator spaces and business development opportunities for startups. The NYC tech scene would be much smaller without Pinsky's efforts.
Partners, Union Square Ventures
USV is one of the premier ventures funds in the world, with investments in Twitter, Zynga, Tumblr, Foursquare, and many more. It's not just sitting back and waiting for those companies to deliver huge returns. It's investing in the next wave of companies: Turntable.fm, Codecademy, Kickstarter, and Stack Exchange, to name a few. While its most prominent partner, Fred Wilson, hates lists like these, the SA 100 would be smaller and less interesting without USV investing in the people listed on it.
Co-Founders, Head of Product, Media partnerships; Foursquare
A few highlights from a huge 2011 for Foursquare: It raised $50 million at a reported valuation of $600 million, it now has over 85 employees in New York and San Francisco, over 10 million users, and it inked partnership deals with American Express and ESPN, to name just two.
But for us, the bigger picture with Foursquare is this: It moved beyond the checkin. The application is now useful for finding places to go, and seeing tips on what's good or bad when you get to where you're going. It also has smooth integration with deals from Groupon, LivingSocial, and others. And the redesigned app looks mighty pretty.
Founder and CEO, Buddy Media
Buddy Media, Lazerow's fourth startup, looks to be his most successful. The company built a platform that virtually all of the biggest Facebook advertisers use. Lazerow also recently made an angel investment in VillageVines, which was renamed savoured.
Wilkis Wilson and Maybank -- veterans of Bulgari and eBay, respectively -- built the $1 billion-plus e-commerce company with the guidance from Ryan and former MSLO president and CEO Lyne. Gilt is one of the most successful flash sales sites and has expanded into travel, food and wine, menswear, and more.
It's fair to say that Goldstein and Chasen are the only people on the SAI 100 with investments from both Lady Gaga and Kanye West. Turntable.fm raised $7 million at a $37.5 million valuation in July as the online social music listening service gained buzz and users.
The best part: Since they have licensing agreements with music publishers, the service is all on the up and up.
Chief Digital Officer, New York City
Sterne parlayed the Groundwire citizen journalism startup she founded into a job in public service. In January, Mayor Bloomberg put the 20-something in charge of overseeing the digital development of the United States' most important city. Sterne also works as an adjunct professor at Columbia's Business School, where she teaches social media and entrepreneurship.
Founder and CEO, Tumblr
Tumblr has had a very nice 2011. It passed 10 billion total blog posts, passed Wikipedia in total page views on a per month basis, and raised $85 million with a post-money valuation of $800 million. Now all Karp and Maloney have to do is figure out how to monetise those 10 million blog posts.
Co-Founders, General Assembly
The four Ivy League grads have created a campus in Manhattan to help leverage the tech boom in New York by helping entrepreneurs with the startup process. Sign up for a tax class on Thursday or take a Java class on Monday. The company received initial funding from the likes of Skype and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and most recently, they raised $4.25 million in September of 2011 from Maveron (Howard Schultz's firm).
Perhaps the tech success story of 2011. Martocci and Hecht sold GroupMe to Skype for $85 million just 370 days after launching.
The group messaging service, which sends more than 100 million text messages a month, will stay independent and is still based in New York. It is, however, significantly better funded now.
Cofounder of The Huffington Post, Editor-in-chief AOL
AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million and installed Arianna as the editor-in-chief. Smart move since AOL was struggling to come up with a coherent, credible strategy for its content. The move already appears to be working: The Huffington Post Media Group, as it's now called, just had a one-billion pageview month.
Huffington is more powerful than ever at AOL after she had Michael Arrington of TechCrunch booted for conflicts of interest when he decided to become a VC.
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