In the past few years, New York City has become a tech hotspot. And while it hasn’t had any LinkedIn or Facebook-size exits, it has produced a few IPOs and near-billion-dollar acquisitions.
It’s become the home to some of tech’s most promising new companies, from Etsy to Makerbot to Kickstarter. Early stage investors like David Tisch, Joshua Kushner, First Round Capital, and Lerer Ventures are playing a large part in helping fuel the fire.
All in, it’s been a great year for New York Tech. So we created the Silicon Alley 100 to celebrate people who did the coolest things in 2012. And this year, the list is ranked.
So what constitutes someone who’s done something cool?
We prioritised entrepreneurs over investors, because it’s much harder to start a company than to fund one. In particular, we prioritised startups with amazing exits and people who had big, game-changing roles at the tech companies.
Next, we valued companies that really exploded over the last year (the Kickstarters, Etsys and 10gens), followed by entrepreneurs who launched interesting new companies. Then we dove deeper into the ecosystem and recognised the money behind the startups — the angel and early-stage investors, as well as the creators of incubators and accelerators.
Thanks to everyone for all the hard work they’ve done to make New York the coolest place in the world to launch a tech company.
Many companies on the list share investors with Business Insider. One VC firm is even in the same building as Business Insider, although no one who worked on this list has ever visited that floor.
Disagree with our picks? Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or on Twitter: #sa100
We would like to thank the many readers who took the time to send us nominations. We would also like to thank intern Megan Rose Dickey for her extensive work on this list. Also involved in the selection or creation of the Silicon Alley 100: Nicholas Carlson and Henry Blodget.
McDonald, who has two decades worth of media experience at companies like Time and CNET, has been instrumental in driving the next stage of PubMatic's growth.
In particular, he's made the company look like a great acquisition prospect for big tech companies like Yahoo. And as Marissa Mayer eyes new talent to bring into her company, Pubmatic's exit may not be far away.
Morgan is the founder of a data-driven ad network for TV, Simulmedia. He made it big when he sold his advertising company, Tacoda, to AOL for $275 million in 2007.
Morgan is also an independent investor who has backed companies like Ex.fm, Fab, and Shelby.tv.
General Partner, Polaris Venture Partners
Flint is the driving force behind DogPatch Labs in NYC, which houses many early stage entrepreneurs. He's also Polaris Ventures' New York presence.
He's helped Polaris make more than 20 investments this year all over the world, from TopFloor in Santa Monica and BalconyTV in Ireland, to Fancy Hands in New York.
Founder and CEO, Luma Partners
Kawaja is a big deal-maker in NYC who advised AdMeld on its sale to Google, Demdex on its sale to Adobe, and Donovan Data Systems on its merger with Mediabank. This year he advised Brand.net through its sale to Valassis.
In addition to his deal-making, Kawaja has an impact on the New York ad tech scene with his popular LUMAscapes charts. The charts display entire, complex industries and ecosystems on a single page.
Partners, Metamorphic Ventures
Metamorphic Ventures went on a tear this year, investing in more than 10 companies including Stamped, Indiegogo, Appboy and Mass Relevance.
General Counsel, Spotify
Before joining Spotify as General Counsel, Grusd spent four years at Google helping build out its advertising business. He is also the former Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer of AOL.
In addition to his role at Spotify, Grusd serves as an adjunct associate professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School and is a mentor at TechStars.
Founder, Brew Media Relations
Hammerling runs one of the most sought-after PR firms for startups. She's worked with Larry Ellison, Matt Mullenweg and other tech hot shots. It's one of the only firms that has clients pitch it to represent them, not the other way around.
Chairman, NY Angels
Cohen was the first angel investor in Pinterest. The former PR mogul also started a company with his son, Trace, called LaunchIt.
LaunchIt turns communications managers into journalists who can report their own companies' news.
Heitzmann and his team at FirstMark Capital have invested in a few big-name startups this year, from brain training startup Lumos Labs to virtual pinboard service Pinterest.
Founding Partner, Code Advisors
Code Advisors received a $25 million investment from JP Morgan Chase this year to put toward accelerating its growth.
Code Advisor represents Spotify and LivingSocial, and has made investments in Path and Flipboard.
But most importantly, Davis is on this year's list because he and Code Advisors helped Spotify raise its most recent, massive round of funding.
RRE has made some big investments this year, from payment company BrainTree and fashion startup Moda Operandi to BuzzFeed.
Full disclosure: RRE is an investor in Business Insider.
VP and Partner, Venrock
Pakman and Campise like to invest in data and ad tech startups, and both of those sectors are blowing up.
One of their portfolio companies, Klout, recently received a new investment at a hefty valuation from Microsoft. Another investment, AppNexus, is being eyed by big media companies like Yahoo! as an acquisition target.
Partners, FF Venture Partners
Frankel, a former Goldman Sachs executive turned investor, is quickly building a firm that's loved and respected by entrepreneurs.
Frankel's team invested in Klout and TechStars' biggest exit to date, ThinkNear.
Partners, First Round Capital
First Round Capital is one of the most active early stage investors. This year it has put money into more than 30 startups including CasaHop and Rewind.Me. Its portfolio also includes companies such as Fab, Flurry and Uber.
Morgan and his team are becoming known as the firm every early stage company needs to meet, particularly on the east coast.
VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
Facebook went from a $100 billion company to a $50 billion company in a matter of weeks for one reason: Revenue growth had been decelerating for almost a year.
Digging in to face this challenge, Everson has rallied Facebook's ad revenue back into acceleration. She's also sold her way into making Facebook the second biggest mobile ad business, only months after entering the space.
Glick is a plugged-in insider who leads Sulia, and his site exploded from 0 to 10 million monthly unique visitors this year.
Sulia creates a list of interesting authorities on thousands of topics, and then filters that content into real-time streams.
Chief Scientist, Bitly; co-founder of HackNY
Mason has her hands in a lot of awesome New York tech initiatives, many of which she founded.
Mason is Chief Scientist at Bitly, co-founder of HackNY, a TechStars mentor, the creator of Dataists, and a member of NYCResistor.
Through HackNY, Mason helps talented engineering majors find jobs at startups.
Founder and Partner, AOL Ventures
Mike Brown Jr. leads startup investments for Tim Armstrong and AOL. He's worked AOL into a number of hot deals this year including NewsCred, SailThru, MoviePass, and Solve Media.
Brown is also personally invested in Codecademy, which raised a fresh $10 million in July.
Partners, Union Square Ventures
USV had some big wins this year. It led rounds in hot startups such as Dwolla and Brewster. One of its portfolio companies, Indeed, had a massive exit. Twitter figured out mobile revenue in a big way. And Kickstarter, the crowdfunding startup USV backed, exploded.
But it should have been an even better year for USV. One of its portfolio companies, Zynga, went public only to get creamed in the public markets. And the Facebook fallout has taken a toll on some of USV's other social media investments too, forcing Tumblr and Foursquare to figure out their monetization strategies sooner rather than later.
Angel Investor, Highline Capital
Fisher likes to keep her name out of headlines, but she's well known and respected in the tech scene outside of the blogosphere.
She has her money in a number of great companies, like Pinterest and Makerbot.
Founder, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures
Earlier this year, Charlie O'Donnell had an opportunity to reinvent himself. He departed from First Round Capital where he had been a principal. He set out to found a new fund in his hometown, Brooklyn, to invest in more startups there.
It wasn't easy, but O'Donnell raised $3.5 million for Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and he's in the process of securing six startup deals.
'Raising this fund was a real learning process for me,' O'Donnell told Business Insider. 'I've never been exposed to a fund's fundraising. It was my first time going through it and seeing how all the stocks are structured. And it's a new world to network in.'
Angel investor, Author of Gotham Gal blog
As an active angel investor in the New York City community, Wilson is rapidly growing her portfolio. Her investments include Lover.ly, LibbleBits, Food 52, Have to Have, and Daily Worth.
She is also the founder of the Women Entrepreneur Festival.
Founder, Sustainable South Bronx, Startup Box: South Bronx
Carter is helping bring tech startups to another NYC borough with a project she recently announced, Startup Box: South Bronx.
Startup Box: South Bronx is a not-for-profit incubator for techies, designers, and entrepreneurs that's aimed towards the youth in that area.
'There is a dramatic shortage of engineering talent in the U.S. labour force, and we want to fill that gap with people who could otherwise end up in the criminal justice and welfare systems,' she recently told Fast Company. She says most of the talent in the South Bronx either leaves or doesn't get 'nurtured into something positive.'
Chairman, IAC; Brightline
Last month, Barry Diller and Scott Rudin announced a new venture: Brightline. The pair are trying to disrupt the book publishing industry further and rival Amazon, which rakes in 65 per cent of all e-book sales.
IAC, where Diller is still Chairman, had a great year, too. IACI is now trading at $55 per share, a $15 increase from this time last year. In addition, IAC has made some smart moves. It acquired Felix, instilled Jason Finger as CEO of CityGrid, and acquired About.com from The New York Times.
Partners, Lerer Ventures
Over the past year, Lerer Ventures has grown from a father-son team and a few ex-Huffington Post executives to a serious early stage investment vehicle. It works with SV Angel to help it find great deals on both coasts, and it recently raised its third and largest fund to date worth $36 million.
Lerer Ventures has invested in startups such as Rap Genius, Birchbox, Simple, and IFTTT.
Ben Lerer is also the CEO and co-founder of Thrillist, which recently raised $15 million to be the new-age Maxim for men.
Finger, who co-founded the popular and profitable food ordering site, Seamless, took a position as CEO of IAC's City Grid earlier this year.
One of the startups he advised, SinglePlatform, also had a $100 million exit.
Founder/CEO and Head of Global Ad Sales, Tumblr
Tumblr, like Foursquare, is under pressure to start generating revenue, and Brown is David Karp's solution.
Karp brought in Brown from Groupon. He's working with brand advertisers and coming up with creative ways to start making money that are seamless with the platform.
Director, Global Digital and Social Media, GAP
Tipograph is a young hot shot who was hired to complete a tall task: make Gap cool again.
And she's done just that. She's helped the clothing company run strong campaigns on Threadless, Tumblr and Pinterest.
This year, Business Insider proclaimed that Gap was finally cool again ... for the first time since Bill Clinton was president.
President, Gilt City
Conde Nast veteran Sarah Chubb was hired as President of Gilt City earlier this year.
She was formerly President of Conde Net and was with the magazine company for more than a decade.
Co-founders, WeWork Labs
In the past few months WeWork Labs has gone bi-coastal. It opened up a second, 75,000-square-foot office in New York last December, and it opened a San Francisco co-working space in May.
WeWork Labs provides a home for early stage startups and it currently has more than 300 hand-selected members.
It has incubated companies like Turf and Fitocracy, and some of its companies have gone on to 500 Startups, TechStars, and DreamIt Ventures.
Co-Founders, General Assembly
General Assembly is a global network of campuses for technology, design and entrepreneurship. It recently opened a new campus across from its original New York location on Broadway. It also opened up shop in Germany and London after poaching former tech reporter Courtney Boyd Myers from The Next Web to run the location abroad.
The two-year-old company has 70 employees and 14,000 students. General Assembly has housed startups including SeatGeek, NewsCred, Yipit, and Art.sy.
Co-Founder and CEO, Outbrain
Outbrain aims to drive high quality traffic to publishers' content by offering related content links below articles. Galai has been able to get A-list publishers like Newsweek, USA Today, and TMZ on board.
The content discovery platform is embedded on about 90,000 sites and generates more than 6.5 billion page views per month. Outbrain has raised $64 million to date.
CEO and founder, Knewton
Ferreira, a former Kaplan executive, is the leader behind the disruptive adaptive learning platform, Knewton.
Thousands of students across nearly 200 countries use the platform to receive customised lessons. Knewton has secured $54 million from a slew of investors including Accel Partners, Ron Conway, and Reid Hoffman.
A lot of people in the New York tech community still believe O'Kelley's company is one of the best and brightest startups in the city.
Yahoo! was rumoured to be eyeing it closely for a potential acquisition. When the large companies start snapping up ad tech companies, AppNexus will likely be one of the first to go.
Co-Founders; CEO, COO, CTO, ZocDoc
ZocDoc, the $750 million company that makes it easy to book last-minute doctor appointments online, is continuing to make strides in the health industry.
The trio recently launched ZocDoc Check-In to reduce the amount of time patients spend filling out paperwork. More than 1 million people per month use ZocDoc and investors have put $95 million into the company. It's live in more than 20 U.S. cities.
CEO and President, Everyday Health
Wolin and Keriakos started Everyday Health in a kitchen in Brooklyn 10 years ago.
Now, it's a bigger, better WebMD with about 500 employees, more than 15 mobile apps, and it is valued at around $700 million.
This TechStars-backed trio is working hard to provide a professional network for writers.
Contently has already partnered with more than 40 publishers and brands and has a database of writers that it helps link up with paying jobs. It also hosts portfolios for writers, who can assemble clips of articles they've published online under a single url for employers.
Contently has raised $2 million from investors including Lightbank, Consigliere Brand Capital, and ff Venture Capital.
CEO, Starboard Value
Smith leads Starboard Value, which took a proxy fight to AOL management this past year. Starboard ultimately lost the fight, but Smith and the firm deserve huge credit for holding AOL's feet to the fire and forcing change that has benefitted everyone involved.
Founder, The Magazine
This year, Arment launched The Magazine to showcase articles from the top pundits in the technology industry.
Earlier, he created Instapaper, the super popular and useful read-it-later service and mobile app.
We're in the midst of a make-it-yourself revolution, and Petis is on the cutting edge of it. The founder and CEO of MakerBot, he's a strong believer in 3D printing and he thinks it can help make the world a better place. Commercial versions of 3D printers can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but MakerBot offers affordable, open source 3D printers.
Before co-founding MakerBot, Petis worked in video production at Etsy, as a correspondent at Rocketbloom and owned imakethings.com.
Co-founders, Editor-in-Chief, CEO, COO, The Daily Muse
Many entrepreneurs try and fail to get into Paul Graham's competitive Y Combinator program, but McCreery, Minshew and Cavoulacos made the cut.
They were one of a few startups who represented the east coast in the program's spring batch. They emerged at demo day with The Daily Muse, a career site that targets female professionals and helps surface unique job opportunities at up-and-coming companies.
Before co-founding The Daily Muse, Cavoulacos and Minshew were founders of Pretty Young Professional. Minshew has also been featured on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list of women to watch in media.
Co-founders, H. Bloom
H.Bloom is one of the few subscription e-commerce companies that actually makes a lot of sense. It delivers monthly flower arrangement to individuals and businesses like hotel chains and restaurants. It's had initial success expanding outside of Manhattan too.
Through its SEED program, H.Bloom finds young entrepreneurs, spends a few months training them on every aspect of its business, then lets them launch a branch in another city.
The young executive it plucked to run its Chicago branch had his team generating $1 million in its first year.
Sixteen months after raising $1 million, the smart email provider picked up another $8 million in a round led by RRE Ventures. It's currently raising another $20 million or so.
Sailthru focuses on helping 80 publishers and e-commerce sites use behaviorally-targeted tools to deliver effective emails. The company plans to double its staffers from 30 to 60 in the next year.
CEO and Founder, Loverly
Khalil has created a visual search engine and scrapbook for all things weddings. Lover.ly has 32 blog partners on the platform and has received more than $1 million in funding to date. You can think of it as the SB Nation of wedding blogs, which Khalil is selling advertising across.
As of March this year, Lover.ly had a good-sized network with 1.8 million uniques and 10 million monthly page views.
Mehta is running LocalResponse, a mobile ad startup that is quickly becoming a profitable business.
Mehta is also a partner at India Internet Group and ENIAC. He makes about 30 startup investments per year, and his portfolio companies include Uber and Neverware.
Managing Partner, The BoxGroup; Director of TechStars NYC and Principal of The BoxGroup
Tisch is the founder and former Managing Director of Tech Stars New York. He left his day-to-day role at TechStars earlier this year but he's still an active seed stage investor through his firm, The BoxGroup.
Tisch has made numerous investments in up-and-coming companies like Fab, Romotive, and SkillShare. Three of his startups were acquired this year, including ThinkNear, the TechStar program's biggest exit to date.
Rothenberg worked closely with Tisch at TechStars before Tisch resigned. Now he's the top guy at Techstars NYC and he's helping Tisch bring in early stage deals at BoxGroup during the off season.
Co-Founders, Bauble Bar
Harvard graduates Yacobovsky and Jain are responsible for launching the incredibly beautiful and affordable jewelry e-commerce platform, BaubleBar.
Earlier this month, the two brought their online shop to the real world with its first brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan.
Co-Founders, Flatiron Health
Turner and Weinberg are two-time entrepreneurs who have already created a successful exit. When they were in their early 20s, they sold their startup Invite Media to Google for a hefty $81 million.
The two have both had the misfortune of watching family members battle cancer, so they decided to launch Flatiron Health to help fight the deadly disease.
Founder and CEO, Fancy Hands
Roden is somewhat of the atypical startup founder. He doesn't have a co-founder and he launched his company in his thirties, as a father.
Fancy Hands now has thousands of customers who pay at least $25 a month to have menial tasks completed for them by an army of personal assistants Roden has gathered. He also recently secured $1 million from investors like Polaris Ventures and SV Angel, and he hired a key executive away from Tyra Banks.
Stamped is a mobile app that lets users keep track of all their favourite things, from restaurants to books, movies, and music. Others can follow their lists of favourites to get high quality, social recommendations for things to do and try.
Founder and CEO, Turf
Michael Tseng was one of Kickstarter's early success stories and it finally launched this past spring.
Within its first four days, Turf generated 100,000 check-ins with the average user checking in three to five times.
Spikes and Watt took a stab at Fandango when they launched MoviePass a few weeks ago. Movie junkies simply pay $30 a month and can go see as many movies as they want in theatres.
The duo has attracted an impressive group of investors including True Ventures, AOL Ventures, and William Morris endeavour.
Vinh and Ostler are two entrepreneurs with incredible drive who know when to pivot. The duo had to scratch their first iteration of Mixel, which was an iPad app that let users create and remix collages, this year when it didn't scale.
But that didn't stop the two from creating their new app that lets you make a collage of your photos and add Instagram-like filters to it. The new app has received much praise from investors like Michael Arrington and press like AllThingsD.
Founder and CEO, LearnVest
This year, Von Tobel took her company from a decent idea to a potential Wall Street threat. LearnVest is creating one of the first affordable financial planning companies for the 99 per cent via its subscription, not percentage-based, service.
LearnVest has 50 Certified Financial Planners advising its clients, some with millions of dollars that need to be managed.
CEO, Betaworks and Digg
Borthwick's company, Betaworks, acquired former tech flame, Digg, this summer. Borthwick became its new CEO, and everyone's watching to see if he can turn the business around.
Before launching Betaworks, Borthwick was the CEO of Fotolog and worked at Time Warner as the SVP of technology and alliances.
Founder and CEO, Brewster
Brewster had one of the most successful startup launches ever as news of the app quickly spread throughout the blogosphere and all over social media.
After seven years of dreaming up a better way to keep in touch with personal contacts, Greenwood finally launched Brewster as a better alternative to the iPhone's mobile contacts app. Brewster updates contact information in realtime and pulls information from people's social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and more.
Before starting Brewster, Greenwood worked with Sam Lessin at Drop.io and left when Facebook acquired it.
BarkBox is a dog-owner's dream created by a trio of self-proclaimed dog lovers. Their subscription e-commerce and content company sends a monthly box full of dog goodies to owners' doors.
Meeker, Strife, and Werdelin have created strategic partnerships with Groupon and LivingSocial, and Barkbox has secured funding from investors including RRE and 500 Startups.
Co-founders, CEO, Upworthy
News aggregation site Upworthy has shown explosive growth since it launched earlier this year. The site, which the founders have been working on since last December but launched in March 2012, now boasts 6 million monthly uniques, up from 4 million in August and 2.5 in July.
Its impressive numbers convinced NEA and angel investors to give Upworthy $4 million. Investors include BuzzFeed co-founder John Johnson, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian.
Pariser is the former Executive Director of the activist organisation MoveOn and Koechley is the former Managing Editor of The Onion.
Noah Brier and James Gross hit a gold mine when they launched Percolate, a service aimed toward helping CMOs manage their social media content.
They have been able to get more than 30 corporations, including Reuters and American Express, to pay about $10,000 a month to use Percolate.
Co-founders, Moda Operandi
This duo was already well-known in the fashion world before launching Moda Operandi, the startup that lets members pre-order items directly from the runway.
Santo Domingo and Magnusdottir have been able to secure $46 million from investors including New Enterprise Associates, Conde Nast, and RRE Ventures.
Rafat Ali got back into the startup game this year with the launch of Skift, a travel intelligence startup.
He previously founded PaidContent and sold it for about $12.5 million to the Guardian in 2008.
Co-Founder and CEO, Bedrocket Media
Bedol is a seasoned entrepreneur who has already had two big, nine-figure exits. In 1997, he sold Classic Sports Network to ESPN for $175 million and in 2002, he launched the College Sports Television network and later sold it to CBS for $325 million.
Now his media startup, Bedrocket, aims to become the next generation TV company and has secured $15 million from New Enterprise Associates.
Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski are disrupting the way people learn to code by making a web service that is easy to use and also free.
Since launching at a Y Combinator demo day in 2011, Codecademy has attracted more than one million users, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In July it raised an additional $10 million from Kleiner Perkins and Index Ventures.
Co-Founder and CEO, FiftyThree (Paper)
Petschnigg is the brains behind the popular drawing app that turns an iPad into a piece of virtual paper for sketching, painting and water colouring .
Within the first two weeks of launching, Paper hit 1.5 million downloads and users created 7 million pages using the app.
Co-founders, Designer, CEO and CTO, Branch
Josh Miller left Princeton before his senior year to start Roundtable, now known as Branch, with co-founders Cemre Güngör and Hursh Agrawal.
The trio spent the summer with Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone at Obvious Corporation in San Francisco. They also attracted attention from Jonah Peretti, one of their advisors, and Nick Denton, who came out with a similarly named competitor at Gawker called 'Branches.'
Miller's team secured a hefty $2 million venture round from tech notables such as John Borthwick, Max Levchin, David Tisch, Lerer Ventures, and SV Angel. One investor even offered Miller $500,000 over coffee.
Founder and CEO, UBeam
Meredith Perry has made waves in the New York startup scene with her brilliant idea of creating a product that wirelessly charges multiple devices at once.
She's only 22 years old and has an impressive group of investors including Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and Andreessen Horowitz.
CrunchFund's Michael Arrington referred to Perry's product anonymously as the closest thing he's seen to magic in a long time.
Co-founders, Rap Genius
Moghadam, Lehman, and Zechory came up with a genius idea while attending school at Yale University that recently attracted a $15 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz.
Rap Genius helps music lovers figure out what song lyrics really mean by providing a crowdsourced platform where members of the community can leave in-line comments that analyse lyrics.
Founder and CEO, The Fancy
Einhorn's The Fancy has attracted a lot of attention lately with news of Apple possibly wanting to buy the company to help secure a role in the growing e-commerce market.
The Fancy powers more than $10,000 a day in sales and the site has gotten attention from from Kanye West and Mark Zuckerberg. It has raised $18 million from investors including Jack Dorsey and General Catalyst Partners.
Capasso, Reich and Ferenci sold their social ROI startup, Spinback, to Buddy Media in a mostly-stock deal in 2011.
The three made out like bandits when Salesforce acquired Buddy Media for $689 million this year.
Dean, Cornell NYC Tech
Dan Huttenlocher played a huge role in forming and promoting Cornell-Techion's winning proposal for the $2 billion tech campus on Roosevelt Island in NYC, beating other schools like NYU and Stanford.
Huttenlocher, who joined the Cornell staff in 1988 and has been both a CTO and worked for Xerox, was named the founding dean of the NYC campus.
Executive Editor, LinkedIn
Roth was selected to run LinkedIn's massive content initiative as the professional network's Executive Editor, and he's been called the 'Matt Drudge of business news.'
The award-winning journalist, who was formerly Senior Editor of Wired and Managing Director of Fortune Digital, oversees LinkedIn Today. He's also getting the site up and running with its own original content from a variety of well-known contributors.
Full Disclosure: Business Insider's Editor in Chief Henry Blodget is a LinkedIn Today contributor.
Co-founders; Chief Architect, Chief Product Officer, CEO, NewsCred
Asif Rahman, Iraj Islam and Shafqat Islam are the co-founders of NewsCred, a content syndication platform. NewsCred recently acquired Daylife, a service that provides tools for publishers, for an undisclosed amount. Before founding NewsCred, Islam worked at Merrill Lynch as vice president of technology. It took three pivots before NewsCred really took off.
Islam graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BSE in Computer Engineering and a BA in Economics.
Founder and Managing Director, Activate
Michael Wolf launched media consulting firm Activate in 2010 after leaving his position as president of MTV.
Last year, Dan Loeb leaned on Wolf's media expertise in his quest to conquer Yahoo. Now, Wolf plays a key role on Yahoo's reconfigured board of directors.
Founder of Interclick, VP of Yahoo!
Michael Katz successfully kept Interclick up-and-running despite the ad network bubble in 2009, and came out a winner.
After Yahoo! bought Interclick in 2011 for $270 million, Katz became its new VP of Optimization and Analytics.
Y Combinator, Anti-SOPA activism, Reddit
Alexis Ohanian is best known for co-founding social news website Reddit, but he is also an activist and an investor.
He played a major role in the fight against SOPA and, once the act ended, he spearheaded a bus tour with the hopes of getting politicians to commit to preserving internet openness.
Co-founder of Hunch; Partner and Co-Founder, Founder Collective
Chris Dixon is one of New York's most active angel investors and he has backed companies including Stripe, OMGPOP, Kickstarter, and PandoDaily.
He's also an entrepreneur in his own right and his company, Hunch, recently sold to eBay for $80 million.
CEO and Co-founder, SoHo Tech Labs (RebelMouse and CasaHop)
Paul Berry left his CTO position at the The Huffington Post earlier this year to work on RebelMouse, a site that aggregates social media data and displays recent status updates for users beautifully on a single page.
Berry also runs SoHo Tech Labs which conceives and incubates companies such as CasaHop, Rebel Mouse and NowThis News.
Etsy has done wonders for people looking to sell handmade crafts and vintage items, and it recently raised a fresh $40 million.
Last year, sellers on Etsy generated more than $525 million in sales and in August its community surpassed that number.
Before taking the role of CEO in 2011, Chad Dickerson led the tech department as CTO.
Co-Founders, CEO and CTO, 10gen
10gen is quickly becoming one of New York's biggest, boldest startups.
It has raised more than $73 million and its open-source NoSQL database, MongoDB, is used by a lot of Fortune 500s.
Full Disclosure: Dwight Merriman is co-founder of Business Insider.
Founder and CEO, Venmo
Venmo had a good-size exit this year when Braintree bought it for $26.2 million.
Venmo is a mobile money swapping service that processes about $10 million per month. It's on track to process $250 million annually.
CEO, Chairman, Quirky
Kaufman is the mastermind behind Quirky, a product development company that takes peoples' ideas and turns them into actual products that sell at retail. Kaufman has founded a few companies before and he wrote a phenomenal blog post about his experience raising money for his ventures.
Quirky has paid over $2 million in royalties to inventors and has about 290,000 people using the site. Since launching in 2009, Kaufman has raised $91.3 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Co-founders; CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Fab
Few companies have gained as much buzz in the past year as Fab. Fab launched as an e-commerce site for design and home decor in June 2011. It has since gained more than eight million users and raised more than $156 million to date.
Co-founders and Co-CEOs (Gilboa and Blumenthal), Warby Parker
Warby Parker is attacking the glasses retail industry head on and last year it gave away more than 100,000 pairs through its 'buy a pair, give a pair' program.
It recently raised a fresh $40 million round of financing.
Founder and Managing Partner, Partner, Thrive Capital
Two years ago, Joshua Kushner began investing in startups and he's made a lot of right moves. His exits include GroupMe, Hot Potato and Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook only a few days after his investment. His firm is also invested in rapidly growing startups such as Dwolla, Warby Parker and Kickstarter.
Kushner's business savvy was rewarded with a new $150 million fund, which he raised last month. Chris Paik has been a big help making Kushner's firm, well, Thrive. The pair met at Harvard and Paik has been working with Kushner almost since the beginning.
Publisher and Editor In Chief, The Verge
In the past 6 months, The Verge has risen to become one of the most read and respected tech sites on the web, and its staff has grown to about 45 writers.
The success is thanks largely to Topolsky, formerly of Engaget, and Moe, who was poached from AOL.
Marissa Mayer just coughed up $62 million to buy away De Castro from Google.
De Castro is now Yahoo's COO. He's been tasked with fixing Yahoo's relationship with big ad agencies and other buyers of display advertising.
President, CEO and Founder, BuzzFeed
This year, social content site BuzzFeed saw its traffic soar to 30 million monthly unique visitors thanks to viral stories like 21 Images that will Restore your Faith in Humanity, which was viewed by more than 9 million people.
Its revenue will push $20 million this year, triple the amount it generated in 2011 and last winter it raised $15.5 million. Now Steinberg is positioning the company as a viral ad network, promising to help major brands get their content passed around the web like its stories are. But the additional exposure has come at a cost.
BuzzFeed just got slapped with a $1.5 million lawsuit for misusing copyrighted Katy Perry photos, and it's received criticism for stealing the ideas for stories from Reddit without credit.
Still, the pair changed the perception of the site in the past year. It's no longer just a place to peruse cute animal photos; BuzzFeed is a media force to be reckoned with.
Co-founder/CEO, Co-founder/President, Executive Vice President of Sales & Services, Yext
Yext took a gamble this year and it paid off big time. After creating a business with $20-30 million in annual revenue, Lerman decided to launch an entirely new side business called Power Listings.
Power-Listings has gone phenomenally well -- so well that Lerman sold off the profitable business to IAC for $30 million to help fund Power Listings. It recently raised a round that valued Power Listings at $270 million.
CEO, Co-founders, Kickstarter
Kickstarter exploded this year. It went from hosting projects that received more than $1 million in financing to hosting Pebble, a watch product that raised more than $10 million.
It's also starting to bring Apple's long-time money maker, pre-orders, to masses of creators.
COO and CEO/Chairman, AOL
Two years into the Tim Armstrong era, AOL was in a dark place. The stock reached all-time lows and shareholders launched a proxy war to kick management out. Minson came to the rescue.
First, he optimised AOL's ISP business to the max. Then Minson orchestrated the sale of AOL patents to Microsoft for $1 billion and a subsequent payout to shareholders. Now the stock is sky high, and Armstrong has another few years to figure out the path to true growth.
CEO/Founder and EVP of Business Development, SinglePlatform
Earlier this year, Constant Contact acquired SinglePlatform for $100 million -- $65 million in cash, the rest in stock and employee incentives.
When asked how Constant Contact and SinglePlatform got in touch, Cerilli replied, 'Kenny Herman.'
Herman is SinglePlatform's well-connected business development leader who made many introductions for the startup, including the one that led to the 9-figure exit.
Prior to founding SinglePlatform, Cerilli was an early employee at Seamless and he worked alongside Meetup's Scott Heiferman.
Dan Porter's team created mobile game sensation Draw Something in early 2012, which quickly exploded to 50 million users in a matter of weeks.
At the peak of its hockey stick traffic, Porter sold his company to Zynga for $210 million. Just days later, traffic started to drop. Now Zynga has admitted it overpaid for Draw Something, but Porter and his team still had one of the year's biggest startup exits.
Garrett Peek, former Associate Creative Director of OMGPOP and current Zynga UI Designer, was the lead designer behind the hit Draw Something game.
Of course, a lot of people worked on the game, including CEO Dan Porter who directed Peek's team. But Peek played a particularly large role in its success.
Oringer took the photo company public this month; it was New York City's first true tech IPO in years.
Over the summer, English and Hafner took their Connecticut-based travel booking company public at a $1 billion valuation.
Hedge Fund Manager, Third Point
This past year, Third Point hedge fund manager Dan Loeb conquered Yahoo!, and he did it with style.
First he bought 5 per cent of the company. Then he began writing his characteristically biting shareholder letters calling for change. Then he knocked Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson out of his job by digging up falsehoods in his bio. Then, he got his way and stocked the board with his allies.
Finally, he named star Google exec Marissa Mayer CEO.
Although the acquisition amount wasn't disclosed, it's safe to assume Indeed was one of -- if not the -- largest New York startup acquisitions of the year. Indeed, which was worth about $750 million at the time it was acquired, is now owned by Japanese company Recruit Co.
This is Forster and Kahan's second successful startup exit together. They only raised $5 million in outside capital and they grew Indeed to an estimated $150 million in annual revenue.
Co-Founders; CEO, COO and CSO, Buddy Media
The Lazerows have had quite the year with one of the biggest New York startup exits in recent years.
Buddy Media is Mike Lazerow's fourth startup, and it is his most successful. Salesforce acquired the company the husband-wife team created with Ragovin for $689 million in June.