New York City had a break out year in 2011, riding a wave of tech enthusiasm to heights it’s never seen before.
Right now, New York, or as it’s often called, Silicon Alley, is home to one company with a billion dollar valuation — Gilt Groupe — and 28 others with valuations of $100 million or over.
Despite a weakening stock market, and deep fundamental problems with the economy, this time next year we expect more billion dollar companies in New York.
But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take some time to look back at the fantastic year that was.
We’ve created the Silicon Alley 100 to celebrate people doing the coolest things in New York in 2011. We don’t have it ranked, because it’s a list of great stuff across the board. The slides are in random order. But, if you’re on here, and you want to tell friends you’re ranked number one, we won’t dispute it.
A number of Business Insider’s investors appear on this list: Kevin Ryan (also our Chairman), RRE, Ken Lerer, Scott Kurnit and Roger Ehrenberg.
Many companies on the list share investors with Business Insider.
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 Zachary Lichaa for his extensive work on this list. Also involved in the selection or creation of the Silicon Alley 100: Jay Yarow, Nicholas Carlson, Alyson Shontell, Noah Davis, and Henry Blodget.
Founder, Change the Ratio
Sklar is one of the most-connected people in the New York tech scene. She is everywhere, from advising startups including Hashable, SBNation, and Siftee to serving as Mediaite's editor-at-large and frequent television presence. Sklar founded Change the Ratio, an effort to increase the number of women in the tech world.
Michael Arrington's dramatic ouster from the company he founded left Schonfeld officially in charge.
The question for 2012: Can Schonfeld and the current crew keep the TechCrunch voice as sharp and potent as always?
Founder, IA Ventures
Ehrenberg spent two decades toiling in the M&A, derivatives, and trading space before he decided to turn his investment acumen toward startups. Companies in his portfolio include BankSimple, Yipit, My City Way, and Business Insider.
IA Ventures closed a $50 million round in December 2010 to help out more early stage date-driven startups.
Handley is working with a pretty cool idea here. Booktracks provides the appropriate soundtrack when reading a book. Want to read Moby Dick with the same great sounds you hear in the movies? Booktracks has the technology to make that happen. The company has partnered with Sony/ATV to produce the sounds.
Editor-In-Chief and President, The Newsweek Daily Beast Company
The duo is working to combine the old media publication with the webby Daily Beast. Tina Brown has not lost her ability to create buzzy covers and continues to staff up with big-name hires.
On the business side, advertising is down on the year, but recovering nicely since the former New Yorker editrix took the helm. 2012 will be an important year for the pair as they learn if the model can work.
Trifon co-founded MediaMind, which was bought by DG in June of 2011. MediaMind specialises in producing advertising campaigns for websites. Trifon moved over to DG, becoming Chief Digital Officer, and brought his entire team with him. Props to Gal for that!
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development, Advance Publications
The former Yahoo executive joined Advance Publications, the parent company of Conde Nast, late in 2010. Since that time, Siegel has been focusing on the company's digital investment fund, as Conde Nast looks for companies well suited to help their top brands thrive in the digital age. Big or small, if Siegel likes what he sees, his $500 million fund might come knocking.
Chairman, Publisher and Executive Director of Paid Products
The New York Times paywall was a huge risk, but it worked. The newspaper's digital subscriptions are strong, and more importantly, its physical copy sales are doing well. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger and his nephew David Perpich deserve credit for deciding to implement the paywall, and making it work.
Co-Founders, The Awl
The trio founded The Awl in early 2009 with the mission of bringing back intelligence to Internet publishing. They are succeeding both editorially and business-wise, but their lasting influence might be on the legion of independent sites they have inspired (as well as the many book deals signed by their contributors).
The Awl crew also expanded outward, launching The Hairpin and Splitsider before Cho departed to head biz dev at Bill Simmons' Grantland.
Bloom and Sheng have created ordr.in to allow the consumer to order food while never leaving the website they're already on. Much like publishers create job boards as an extra revenue stream, ordr.in is giving publishers the ability to do this with food orders. So, if you're reading Business Insider and you're suddenly hungry, you'd be able to order food right from the site.
Shanoff, a veteran of ESPN's 'Daily Quickie' column, launched Quickish in January. The goal is to curate smart sports takes in almost real-time. The real potential, however, lies how easily the model can be extended to other verticals.
Chief Digital Media Officer, The Media Kitchen (kbs+p) and President, kbs+p Ventures
This year Herman founded KBS+P Ventures, an early stage institutional venture arm focused on marketing technology. It invested in Yieldbot, PlaceIQ, Adaptly, Crowdtwist, and Crosspixel. The fund is planning on making more investments to help grow New York's burgeoning ad tech scene.
CEO, Chairman and Senior Executive, IAC Management
Barry Diller handed over the CEO reins to Greg Blatt late last year. The reason? 'It's been clear to me for some time that this Company needs a full time aggressive and aspirational executive in the CEO role,' said Diller in a release announcing the move. Makes sense to us. Since taking over, Blatt oversaw the acquisition of OKCupid, and bought French dating site Meetic.
Cleveland, a Princeton graduate, has a very interesting and ambitious project on his hands. Art.sy is looking to be a major online resource for established and emerging artists, by partnering with galleries and artists from around the world. The company has changed its approach numerous times and has yet to launch its service, but signs point to Art.sy charging a commission on works sold through Art.sy's database. The art won't be directly sold through Art.sy, rather by the artists themselves or a gallery, thus Cleveland will be heavily reliant on the honour system.
Alexis, a graduate of Penn, and Scott, a Carnegie Mellon alum, have set out to help people learn what type of art they love most. Artsicle allows the consumer (only in New York as of now) to rent a piece art, starting at $25 per month. If you like the piece enough to own it, you can buy it from Artsicle. The art world is a tough place to usher in change, but with online art sales continuing to rise, Artsicle could serve as a great alternative for young art lovers not yet ready for Sotheby's.
Marketing Director, iAds
A New York ad source tells us Tornabene is basically running Apple's iAds operation on a day-to-day basis. Apple lost its official iAds leader when Andy Miller left in August.
Glick's startup creates a list of interesting authorities on thousands of topics, and then filters content from those sources into topical streams of realtime content. For example, with Apple's iPhone 4S reveal, Sulia can instantly generate a group of experts focused on what Apple's new phone is all about.
Science and Technical Directors, Quartzy
Regelmann and Kulkarni have set out to improve the efficiency of academic life science labs. Keep track of inventories in other labs, review products before purchasing, and reserve equipment, all through Quartzy. Institutions already working with the company include Harvard, Duke, Yale, and Stanford. It was the winner of our Startup 2011 conference.
It was a big summer for the startup. In July, the TechStars startup landed $1.5 million in venture money. In August, Shelby.TV announced partnerships with Hulu, College humour, and Tumblr. The platform also integrates with Tumblr, which will bring even more views.
The 17 year old boy-whiz taught himself to code in seven days and got himself a spot in TechStars NYC. Dispatch, which he co-founded with Jesse Lamb and Nick Stamos, is a cloud sharing and management service. Godin once told us 'I've always been the nerdy kid who loves the Internet,' and while he believes finishing college isn't so important, starting it is.
Co-Founder, Solve Media
The former Google consultant and co-founder of VoiceStar continues to help his company grow by coming up with innovative ideas like Type-In. Type-In turns CAPTCHAs into ads. According to Solve Media, this technique increases brand recall by 111%. The company was serving 625,000 CAPTCHA interviews per day back in July.
Co-Founders, Moveable Ink
The General Assembly-based startup adds dynamic features to email. The average person reads 75 emails per day, and Movable Ink helps companies make theirs stand out in the morass.
Sharma previously worked at Cisco systems, while Nutt helped project development at Gilt Groupe and Limewire.
John leads the prominent NYC startup incubator, Betaworks. In the past, Betaworks was half investment and half operating startups. Going forward it will be more focused on running and developing startups.
Editor-In-Chief and Publisher, The Daily
Clayman and Angelo are running a pretty bold experiment from News Corp. They are in charge of making the tablet computer-only newspaper a financial success. So far, they have 80,000 subscribers, which is well short of the millions CEO Rupert Murdoch expects. But, it's still early.
Coleman helped ad sales grow at Huffington Post until AOL bought the site. He didn't stick around, but he did get paid form AOL. Coleman's last job before joining HuffPo was at -- you guessed it -- AOL. He was pushed out, with a big severance, when Tim Armstrong took over. It's pretty cool that he's managed to wrangle two huge payouts from the declining dial-up provider, right? He's now at Criteo, an advertising company specializing in re-targeting consumers.
VP and Partner (respectively), Venrock
Pakman snagged Campise from Greycroft with an 'aggressive offer' in May 2011. The venture capital all-star spent a year under the tutelage of Alan Patricof, learning the ins and outs of Series A funding before decamping to Venrock, which focuses on early-stage investments. Before joining the VC world, Pakman served as CEO of eMusic and founded Myplay Inc. in 1999.
President and Editor-In-Chief of Patch
It's not easy to lose as much money as Warren Webster and Brian Farnham have running AOL's network of local blogs; Patch -- about $160 million this year. You have to admire their ambition!
Publisher and Editor In Chief, The Verge
SB Nation snagged the AOLers to start The Verge, a tech site in the model of Topolsky's Engadget. A host of other coworkers are joining the pair, including Nilay Patel and Paul Miller. Moe and Topolsky are working with Jim Bankoff to build SB Nation into a massive web property.
Founder and CEO, ThinkNear
Portnoy started ThinkNear to provide local businesses with targeted advertising designed to drive sales during slow hours. ThinkNear sends out discounts to people in the area of a particular business during identified slow periods. The company is operating strictly in New York City at the moment, but has plans to expand into other cities.
CEO and EVP of Business Development, SinglePlatform
Serial entrepreneur Herman, and Cerilli, the former EVP of SeamlessWeb, created a startup that distributes a merchant's storefront across over 50,000 sites, including major publishers, IYPs, media companies, mobile applications, travel sites, and more.
Google was reportedly interested in the company earlier this year, both to acquire the technology and the talent behind SinglePlatform.
Alterman founded the social media application company in 2004, and in January of 2011 sold the company to KIT Digital. The serial entrepreneur is now working on his newest project, Flow, which is attempting to provide data as a service to businesses.
In 2011, the private market for startups was very hot. Silbert's company was in the middle of it all as the leading market for buying shares of Facebook, Twitter, and others. With the IPO markets thawing (slightly), 2012 will be an interesting year for Second Market. How will it survive a Facebook IPO?
Co-Founders, RRE Ventures
The pair have a successful track record as investors. RRE's portfolio includes stakes in a number of tech companies including Spanfeller Media Group, Sailthru, and one closer to home (us!). They started RRE along with Jim's father, former American Express Co. chairman James D. Robinson III.
Co-Founder and CEO, DoubleVerify
DoubleVerify is another one of those companies everyone in New York ad tech talks about. Netzer founded DoubleVerify in 2008 with the goal of raising the standards and practices of online advertising. He and the team set out to expose invisible ads among their other initiatives.
Co-Head of Global Technology, Goldman Sachs
Lee hops between the West and East Coasts running Goldman's technology business. He's on here because he spearheaded the big Goldman-Facebook deal. While it was slightly bungled, it was a sharp move, giving Goldman's clients access to valuable private stock and giving Goldman an inside track on the Facebook IPO.
The Meetup.com co-founder joined the startup hangout/incubator in early 2011. He is tasked with helping the founders coordinate their plans and nurturing their ideas.
Sethi studied at Northwestern and interned at HBO before dreaming up the social media ad server and analytics platform. Sethi and co-founder Garrett Ullom raised $700,00 in August 2010 after a stint at Dreamlt Ventures' Philadelphia branch and moved to New York soon after to be closer to the advertising dollars.
The trio raised $6 million in a Series A round with backing from Softbank Capital, Fairhaven Capital, and other investors. The TechStars company tracks information on a brand's social media offerings and helps reward the most loyal fans. CrowdTwist has partnerships with LiveNation and JCPenney and helped relaunch Kelly Clarkson's official fan site.
Co-Founder and CEO, OnSwipe
Baptiste has created a platform for publishers and advertisers to lay out their content on tablets in a visually appealing way. Whether you're the Hearst Corporation (OnSwipe does in fact work with them) or a small town blog, OnSwipe provides the opportunity to make your tablet content look professional. The company also took part in TechStars and raised $5 million in June 2011.
Co-Founder and CEO, Stack Exchange
While everyone focuses on Quora, Stack Exchange has secretly built itself into one of the best Q&A sites on the web. Originally it was called Stack Overflow, but this year it changed its name to Stack Exchange to reflect its broader offering of Q&A verticals.
Founder and CEO, Adstruc
John started Adstruc to give advertisers an online marketplace for outdoor advertising. Adstruc received $1.1 million of funding in September 2010.
CEO and Co-Founder, Pontiflex
His company is a leader in the cost-per-lead field, a way for advertisers to pay only when their targets opt-in. It boasts well over 115 million mobile installs and helps companies reach $100 CPMs.
Before Pontiflex, Lasker founded interactive agency The North Road Group.
Founder and Publisher, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Editorial Operations; Gawker Media
Nick Denton and his team shook up Gawker Media with a major redesign this year. Readers were furious, critics scoffed, and unique visitors to the site crashed, thanks to a technical error in the redesign. The site's uniques are recovering, thanks to Gawker's usual stream of scoops and snark.
Chairman, Group Commerce
The former DoubleClick CEO was appointed to Twitter's board and founded GroupCommerce, a daily deals site tailored to the needs of publishers and merchants. Reading a review of the new George Clooney movie on The New York Times and suddenly get the urge to go see it? Group Commerce can set up a deal on tickets without leaving The Times website.
Dickerson took over as Etsy's CEO in July, after former CEO and founder Rob Kasin stepped down. The 'hand made marketplace' is headquartered in Brooklyn, with offices in San Francisco and Berlin. With over 25 million unique monthly visitors and 1 billion monthly page views, Etsy has carved a niche for itself in the e-commerce world.
LiveIntent raised $8 million in September of 2011, as it continues to help companies place real time targeted advertisements within e-mails. At the time Hendricks said, 'Our challenge is reminding people that email is still the killer app. Everyone uses it and depends on it. It's not going anywhere. In an era where social media gets all the attention our challenge is reminding people that fads come and go, but email is here to stay.'
Founder, Drop.io; Facebook employee
Mark Zuckerberg's company acquired Drop.io a year ago in order to hire its talented founder. Lessin, who knows Zuck from their Harvard days, works on product at Facebook. He is also developing quite a portfolio of startup investments.
After executive roles at NBC Universal and Hearst Entertainment, Kliavkoff is now running Manilla, a Hearst property. The company allows you to pay all your bills and keep track of other financials in one place. Add your cable, credit card, and wireless bill into Manilla, and pay from one place, with monthly reminders built in.
McKean and Leahy pivoted their company, formerly known as Village Vines, from daily deals to 'discovery.' They raised more money and added Mike Lazerow of Buddy Media to their board. savoured still offers discounts to users, but it's trying to be more of a media company that helps diners find great meals at a lower price.
Cofounder of Betaworks, partner at Union Square Ventures
Andy Weissman made a big move this year jumping from Betaworks, the incubator/investment/operation firm he cofounded, to Union Square Ventures, one of the premier venture capital firms in the world. It's a great pick-up for the already strong Union Square Ventures.
With 140 employees, MediaMath has emerged as one of the leaders in real-time bid ad market. According to the company, they've done triple digit year over year revenue growth since it's founding in 2007. Zawadzki also has a personal investments in AppNexus and AdSpace
Vacanti and Moran's startup aggregates 30,000 deals a month from more than 650 daily deals services and emails out a blast based on a user's preferences. It is currently available in 75 cities as well as a national version for deals available countrywide.
What we love about Vacanti is that while he's built this business, he has also become the go-to analyst/expert on the daily deal industry.
Working out of General Assembly, Hefter makes old computers run like new by getting the latest software on them. We've heard from investors that it's the 'real deal.' In these bad economic times, getting the last mile out of a computer can be very helpful.
Founder, Brew Media Relations
Another big year for Hammerling and Brew. Her clients GroupMe and Zong were sold to Skype and eBay, respectively. She also helped generate buzz for Netsuite and its board member Billy Beane. (Yes, Moneyball was the main reason people were interested in Beane, but Hammerling was helping to get the tech world interested in the sports movie.)
Director of Sales/Eastern Region, Twitter
Coughlin is responsible for selling Twitter to the east coast. He's succeeding, as the company now boasts more than 1,600 advertisers. Before jumping to Twitter, Coughlin called Facebook home and directed its media sales.
Sixteen months after raising a $1 million, the smart email provider picked up another $8 million in a round led by RRE Ventures. 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.
Joe Essenfeld may just be the unemployed's best friend. He's using social media to connect you to people at companies you're interested in. The company also services employers, with clients such as Merck, Lockheed Martin, and Amazon. Jibe raised $6 million in May of 2011.
Beauchamp and Barna met while at Harvard Business, and since then they've made plenty of ladies happy all across the country. Their company, Birchbox, provides monthly samples of luxury beauty products for $10 a month. Birchbox raised $10.5 million in August of 2011, led by Accel Partners and First Round Capital.
Co-Founders, Next New Networks
The three co-founders cashed out in early 2011 when they sold Next New Networks to YouTube. Next New Networks had built a large network of web content producers. YouTube wasn't interested in producing their own content, so they went and found someone already doing it.
Founder and CEO, Luma Partners
Big year for Terence Kawaja: He advised on AdMeld on its sale to Google, Demdex on its sale to Adobe, and Donovan Data Systems on its merger with Mediabank. In addition to his deal-making, Kawaja has an impact on the New York ad tech scene with his popular LUMAscapes charts which list all the ad tech companies and all the people/firms doing investment in digital investing.
Media Ocean is a merger between MediaBank and Donovan Data Systems. The goal is to create a 'universal operating system' for digital advertising. Wise will serve as the CEO, as he did over at Media Bank, and Batson will focus on digital dealings. The company should be worth north of $1 billion after it passes regulatory approval.
Earlier this year Joe told us he's trying to build 'DoubleClick 2.0' with Collective Media. It seems to be working; a few people in the ad industry suggested him for this list. His company's revenues are expected to be up 50% year-over-year in 2011.
Co-Founder and CEO, Kickstarter
Kickstarter is the king of crowd-funding, and Chen is at the centre of the revolution. His company facilitates the transfer of millions of dollars from supporters to inventors, artists, and anyone else with a good idea.
The company allows anyone to teach a class and charge for it. The instructor receives 85% of the ticket revenue, while Skillshare takes the remaining 15%. Karnjanaprakorn came up with the idea after he finished in the top 15% at the World Series of Poker and his friends kept asking him to teach them his secrets.
Discount wine? Yep, that's a sure seller. The former ad-tech executive and wine expert stumbled onto a brilliant business model -- pairing quality vino with cheap prices -- and raised $10 million after just six months and exploding sales.
CEO and Founding Partner, Webloyalty
The Princeton undergrad and Harvard MBA recipient is a marketing specialist with a digital bent. Webloyalty assists e-commerce brands in increasing their revenue through membership rewards or coupon programs. The company was sold in 2011 for more than $200 million.
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Tremor Video
Tremor Video is emerging as a leader in the digital advertising space. In 2011 it acquired Transpera, a mobile ad network, following its 2010 acquisition of ScanScout, an in-stream ad business. Glickman was honored by Ernst & Young in 2010 as Entrepreneur of the Year in the digital solutions category.
Co-founders, WeWork Labs
A group of 50 founders and freelancers call WeWork Labs their office. Its sponsored by WilmerHale, JWT, Bing, PepsiCo, and Boxee, but residents pay $250 per month to use the facilities. The company sees more spaces opening up in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Zabusky is the President of online food ordering site, Seamless. It just became its own stand alone property in 2011, and in late September the company acquired Menu Pages from New York Media. This will most likely lead to expansion into new cities and will certainly give them a new audience -- one that's just as interested in restaurant information as they are in the food.
Founder, Thrive Capital
It's been an exciting year for Kushner and Thrive. GroupMe, a company Thrive invested in, was acquired by Skype for $85 million, and Thrive itself raised $40 million. Kushner also started and currently runs Vostu, Brazil's largest online gaming company.
These three entrepreneurs cashed out in 2011, when IAC bought OKCupid. IAC already owned Match.com and they figured $50 million was worth it to acquire a competitor. This isn't the first time these guys have sold a business they created. In 2001, they sold SparkNotes.com to Barnes & Noble for over $3 million.
About.com founder Kurnit took his startup over the $100 million valuation mark in January when he raised $35 million.
The site allows users to 'keep' ads for later. Think Instapaper for adverts. An interesting concept, but it remains to be seen whether consumers will buy the premise.
Partner, Lerer Ventures
Hippeau was the CEO of Huffington Post, growing sales and uniques before overseeing its sale to AOL. After the sale was complete, he became a partner at Lerer Ventures.
Manager, 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. Now the pair are working as part of the Google + team, along with Fridge's two other employees. 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.
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.