Movers & Shakers: Boulder Startup CEOs

Boulder is for startups” is the outcry of the Denver city’s tech boom. And they aren’t lying! Boulder has been named “America’s Best Town for Startups” by BusinessWeek. The city’s nearby talent pool from University of Colorado and “lifestyle bait” of a “backyard of mountains” have elevated it to second in percentage of workers employed in tech, only behind Silicon Valley. (In case you missed our previous entries, check out some of our favorite startup CEOs in Boston & Seattle.) For now, many eyes are on the flourishing tech scene in Boulder, so we want to recognize some big names that have emerged from the city.

Below are some of the most newsworthy startup CEOs in Boulder:

David Cohen - The name “David Cohen” is almost synonymous with Boulder’s tech scene. David is the CEO and Co-Founder of the well-known startup accelerator TechStars, with mentors including Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley, Tumblr’s David Karp, and other heavy hitters. TechStars alumni include Lore,, SendGrid, and several other rising stars. To learn from one of the best, check out this video of David’s advice for startup community leaders.

Jim Franklin - Jim is the CEO of SendGrid, a cloud email infrastructure alumnus of TechStars. SendGrid is growing fast, hitting 60,000 users a few months ago; so fast that they have grown too big for the Boulder office, prompting the opening of a satellite in Denver. On a personal note, we use SendGrid to send email alerts to our users, letting them know when their friends make the news; SendGrid is highly recommended.

Jud Valeski - Jud’s company, Gnip, is “the largest provider of social media data to the enterprise.” They slice and dice data like one the best, recently adding the ability to sort Twitter streams based on country codes, locations of users, time zone, language, number of followers, and other data points. (And congrats to Jud for being named a finalist in Ernst & Young’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.)

Laura Marriott - Laura, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, is placing her bets on QR codes and mobile barcodes. And if the company’s Q2 stats are any indication of the growing market, NeoMedia is well-poised to remain an industry leader as mobile barcodes continue to increase in popularity worldwide. Laura is ready for the challenge, always expanding on her business model; Just last month, NeoMedia licensed their portfolio of over 74 patents to Microsoft.

Niel Robertson - Niel is the CEO of Trada, self-described as “the world’s first and only crowdsourced online advertising services marketplace.” As the company grows, it has been adding key hires to its marketing & sales teams in an effort to focus on the mid-market segment of paid search. Niel is also a Co-Founder of tenXer, a personal productivity solution, which announced $3 million in series B funding last month.

Who are your favorite CEOs in Boulder?

Movers & Shakers: Boston Startup CEOs

The Boston metro area is well known as a major hub for tech companies. (And we aren’t just saying this because Newsle was founded in Boston.) This might be due to its close proximity to colleges like Harvard and MIT that produce many famous entrepreneurs and CEOs; the city’s tech notoriety might also be helped by the multitude of VC firms in the area. These factors have produced some promising tech companies, under the leadership some very well respected up-and-coming business & technology titans. After featuring some of the most newsworthy startup CEOs in Seattle; we thought that Boston deserved to be in the spotlight as well.

Below are some of the most written about tech startup CEOs in Boston:

Seth Priebatsch - Seth, CEO of SCVNGR, has been working hard to position his LevelUp app at the top of the crowded mobile payment space. His most recent change allows users to contribute to a charitable cause via the app. Seth must be doing something right, as LevelUp is close to its one millionth transaction and recently increased its funding to $21 million.

Bettina Hein - In addition to being one of L’Oreal’s 2012 USA Women in Digital “NEXT Generation Award” winners, Bettina is the CEO of Pixability, a video marketing company. She recently gave her insight to BostInno about how to make a video go viral. Her take on the issue is that having the goal of going viral often sets you up for failure.

Dave Kerpen – Dave is the CEO of Likeable Media, a social media & word of mouth marketing agency based in Bostin & NYC. He was recently quoted in an article about the presidential candidates’ social media presence, (which is a hot topic these days, with Obama’s AMA on Reddit and Ryan’s post on Quora.) Dave also gave some advice that would come in handy for any recent graduate still looking for work in his Forbes article, “5 Essential Tips To Make Your Social Profiles Resume-Ready.”

Brian Halligan – Brian, who coined the term “inbound marketing,” is the CEO of HubSpot, a marketing software company. Just two weeks ago, Brian and Co-Founder Dharmesh Shah unveiled Hubspot 3. The pair claimed that the update would feature “ personalization achievable for the rank-and-file businesses that power our economy.”

Vanessa Green – Vanessa, CEO of OnChip, appeared earlier this week at an MIT entrepreneurship event which featured a student accelerator competition, a direct rebuttal to Peter Thiel’s announcement that he’d pay students to drop out of college. Vanessa’s advice to the student competitors was to “show up and keep showing up. Take advantage of the ecosystem.” And congrats to Vanessa, as investors are showing up in support of OnChip: the company recent raised $2.4 million in funding.

Stephanie Kaplan – Stephanie, CEO of Her Campus spoke about the benefits of deferred admission for MBA students in a recent US News article. She was accepted into Harvard’s 2+2 program as a senior in college, but not before winning a case competition for her company, Her Campus, which is “a collegiette’s guide to life.” Stephanie’s wisdom extends beyond college, though, shown in her advice on how to encourage innovation without leading to burnout; she claims it’s about setting lofty goals and pulling people away from their usual to-do lists.

Who are your favorite Boston-based CEOs? What city would you like to see featured in the next Movers & Shakers?

Movers & Shakers: Seattle Startup CEOs

Seattle (via Flickr Creative Commons)

Seattle is often hailed as a haven of tech startups. After the success of Amazon, many other founders have started their own ventures in The Emerald City. After covering mom bloggers, dad bloggers, and higher education professionals in our Movers & Shakers series, we decided to go a little more high-tech and introduce some of our favorite startup CEOs. And we couldn’t think of a better city to start with than Seattle.

Below are some of the movers & shakers of the Seattle tech startup scene:

Paul Thelen - It’s no secret that Zynga is treading difficult waters at the moment. After an assortment of troubles, including losing their COO, some analysts have declared this a prime opportunity for another online & mobile games company to take the spotlight. And if Paul has his way, his company Big Fish Games will be the one for the job. He gave up the role of CEO four years ago to Jeremy Lewis, but recently reclaimed the position. Now moving quickly, Paul is betting big on Big Fish Casino, an app that allows UK players to win real money, and Big Fish Unliminted, a cloud based gaming service.

Adam Schoenfeld – Adam made headlines a couple weeks ago when his measurement & analytics company, Simply Measured, added Big Fuel to its impressive list of agency clients which already includes Edelman, Ogilvy, and others. He was also recently quoted in Mashable and Yahoo, among other publications, citing data his company pulled showing that Instagram is an up-and-coming platform for brands, with 40 of the Top 100 brands using the photo sharing app.

Darrell Cavens – Darrell, a former SVP at Blue Nile, now has his own powerful ecommerce company. Zulily, a daily deal site featuring products for babies and kids. Congrats are in order for Darrell and the rest of the Zulily team, as they recently passed 5 million members. He’s also slated to speak at Startup Day next month in Bellevue.

T.A. McCann - T.A. is well known for his former position as CEO of Gist, but is now taking on the challenge of VP of BBM at Research in Motion. In fact, as he moves forward with his work at RIM, the company announced last week that Gist would be permanently shut down next month. His original idea won’t completely disappear, though, as BlackBerry 10 announced that next year they will have the functionality to aggregate info from a contact’s blog posts, tweets, and other profiles into a single page on their device.

Andy Liu – Andy, CEO of BuddyTV, made headlines this summer when he helped users navigate the broadcast of the Olympics. Users had the ability to use BuddyTV’s “Olympics Quicklist,” which sorted events by channel & time, and even alerted you when your favorite event was about to start. It’s of no use now that the games are over, but it’s still an interesting feature to read about, and perhaps it will carry into the next Olympics.

Adrian Aoun – Adrian, CEO of Wavii, a news feed startup built around topics, saw an opportunity out of the Olympics as well. More specifically, he knew he could solve the problem many dubbed as #NBCFail. “NBC started having their fail moment,” Adrian says, “Well, we have that data.” It shouldn’t be shocking that Wavii reported spikes of Olympics related traffic around lunch time and in the afternoon, hours before NBC reported event results.

Lara Feltin - Lara is CEO and Co-Founder of Biznik, self-described as a site for “business networking that doesn’t suck.” – It’s a community of support for independent business people. Earlier this year, Biznik took a stance against spam and phony accounts by switching from a freemium model to a pay-only model. With a lot of writers asking questions like “would you ever pay for Twitter or Facebook?,” it seems Lara saw this coming and acted ahead of the curve.

Keith Krach - Keith is CEO of DocuSign, which I have to admit is one of my favorite iPad apps; it allows you to fill out and sign documents all on your touch screen. (And the signatures are recognized legally by the government, making the paper-free process much easier than scanning, faxing, or mailing.) Keith has reason to celebrate these days, as Google Ventures joined DocuSign’s impressive list of investors, bringing the company’s total funding up to about $114 million. That’s not all he’s been up to: the company also recently added Mary Meeker, General Parter at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to its Board of Directors.

Who are your other favorite Seattle-based startup CEOs? Also, what city do you want to see us feature next?

#London2012 Olympics News Roundup

Gabby Douglas Creative Commons via Flickr

Another Olympics has come and gone. While it may have felt like it went by in a flash, there have been many headlines that will remain prominent for years. Whether that’s broken records, broken dreams, or performances that nearly brought down the stadium, the London 2012 Summer Olympic games were certainly newsworthy. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories:

Gabby Douglas Wins Gold – Perhaps one of the greatest stories to come out of this year’s Olympic Games is Gabrielle Douglas, the 16-year-old American who became the first African American to win the all around title at the Olympics. Not only that, she’s become NBC’s “most clicked” athlete, even beating Michael Phelps. (But one of the most viral internet stories to come out of London 2012 is Douglas’s teammate McKayla Maroney, who is “not impressed.”)

Usain Bolt Breaks Records – Gabby Douglas isn’t the only one rewriting history. Bolt lead his relay team to a gold medal and a new world record in the 4x100m event. (So maybe we should cut him some slack for partying until 6am, right?)

Ryan Locthe Takes the Spotlight - Much attention was given to Ryan Locthe, the American swimmer, after his impressive showing this year. A lot of speculation has been placed on Locthe’s future: Will we see him next on Dancing With the Stars? How about his own reality TV show?

Opening & Closing Ceremonies Showcase London – While Danny Boyle‘s opening ceremonies were highly regarded for displaying historic literary, cultural, and political triumphs, some argued they were outdone by the closing ceremonies. And that’s a tough act to beat, as the closing ceremonies was a rocking concert featuring the Spice Girls, The Who, One Direction, Jessie J, Eric Idle, and others.

Sarah Attar is Not the Last - Even though she finished last in her event, Sarah Attar made history by becoming the first female track and field athlete to represent Saudi Arabia. She was congratulated by a crowd of 80,000 people on their feet cheering for her

What were your favorite stories of London 2012?

Movers & Shakers: Dad Bloggers

A few weeks ago we profiled some of our favorite mom bloggers in the news. It was only a natural companion piece for us to feature some dads who blog, as well. (And in case you missed it, here are some newsworthy higher education professionals.) Below are a handful of dad bloggers who make headlines:

Bruce Sallan - Fitting with our decision to profile mom bloggers before dad bloggers, Bruce wrote a piece about how moms often take the spotlight in the parental blogging sphere. Read his comparison of mom bloggers & dad bloggers and decide for yourself who reigns supreme.

Michael Sheehan - Michael, AKA “High Tech Dad,” writes a blog where “technology and fatherhood collide.” He recently wrote a piece about a lot of phishy sites that are taking advantage of London 2012 hype and attempting to scam people doing Olympics related searches.

Mike Adamick  – Mike, the writer of “Cry It Out,” has a very serious question posted on SFGate for all the adults out there – which way do you tie your rabbits?

Matt Logelin - Matt, author of “Matt, Liz, and Madeline” has been making news lately because his New York Times bestselling book, Two Kisses for Maddy, has been optioned by Lifetime TV. If the deal goes forward, his book will be adapted into a TV movie by the Co-Creator of “Friends” and the producers of “The Lucky One.”

Dan Pearce - I specifically saved Dan for last. He is better known as “Single Dad Laughing,” but to many, he is a controversial figure in the dad blogging world. Lisa Belkin of the Huffington Post wrote a great piece titled “The Latest Battle in the Dad Blog War” that shows what other parent blogs have to say about Dan; they claim he’s too staged, his stories are too easy (which I’ll admit, I’ve thought from time to time; like when he was trapped on a mountain but has several great pictures of the experience. Who’s first instinct when they feel stranded & physically tormented is “hey friend, take a bunch of pictures of this so I can turn it into a five post series!?” But to Dan’s credit, I read all five parts. I’m not here to judge, just to share who makes the news; and Dan certainly stirs up quite a story.

Who are your favorite newsworthy dads?

Movers & Shakers: Higher Education

It may be summer vacation, but higher education professionals are still making headlines. From power struggles to bullying of teachers, there is no shortage of news about our country’s schools. (In case you missed it, last week we profiled mom bloggers in the news.) This week, we look at the professors, writers, and administrators who shape the higher education system.


Erik Qualman - Qualman, a social media consultant known for his Socialnomics book, is also a professor at Hult International Business School. Qualman was mentioned in this story about viral videos. The story touts Qualman’s Social Media Revolution web series as a strongly educational video, on the same plane as TED talks.

Mark Schaefer – Schaefer’s accomplishments include writing two books, being named to Forbes “Power 50″ social media influencers, as well as being an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. Schaefer recently wrote a piece for Influencer Marketing Review about social influence. He claims that at a conference he was introduced with his Klout score and number of Twitter followers, but with no mention that he had two graduate degrees or taught at a university. Have we reached a turning point in what identifies us, whether that be education or follower count? Read Mark’s opinion to see what he thinks.

Sree Sreenivasan - Sree is a professor & Dean of Student Affairs at Columbia Journalism School. He’s also a social media blogger on CNET News where he wrote recently about how to keep kids safe online. He’s frequently on top lists of people to follow including AdAge’s 25 media people on Twitter. He also uses his influence to help non-profits, which we love.


Renu Khator – The President of the University of Houston is noted as being one of the only university presidents on Twitter. She recently made headlines when she publicly announced that she wouldn’t be taking on the role of President of Purdue University, though she was believed to be the front runner for the position.

Feniosky Peña-Mora – Up until recently, Peña-Mora was serving as the Dean of Columbia University’s school of engineering. Faculty resistance and public criticism ultimately caused Peña-Mora to step down. In a similar story, Alejandro Zaera was recently named the Dean of Architecture at Princeton, despite public outcry from a majority of graduate students in the school’s programs. Each story demonstrates how different universities respond to criticism from within their respective communities.


Jenna Johnson - Working for the Washington Post, Johnson is a respected education writer. A recent piece (also written by Anita KumarDaniel de Vise, and Paul Schwartzman) provides extensive coverage over the President of University of Virginia being ousted and reinstated over the course of 18 days. Playing out like a hollywood movie about corporate loyalties and power struggles, this piece alone is reason enough to follow the headlines that Johnson writes.

Christine Armario - A reporter for the Associated Press, Armario covers the U.S. Department of Education. She also writes about trends in education; after the infamous video about the bullied bus monitor, Armario wrote a piece about the rising issue of students bullying teachers and administrators.

What other higher education professionals shape the news?

Movers & Shakers: Mom Bloggers

All hail the mom blogger! There’s no denying the power that these journalistic women have. As seen in this infographic (originally published in Mashable), mom bloggers are more likely to volunteer, have a higher household income, and are more likely to have a college degree than non-blogging moms. In total, about 3.9 million moms in the United States would refer to themselves as bloggers. We picked some of our favorite mom bloggers to give you a sense of when and why these mighty moms make the news:

Jenny Lawson – Also known as The Bloggess, Jenny recently published her “mostly true memoir,” Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. A couple months after its release, the book is still a hot seller, and appears on Top 10 best-seller lists frequently.

Leah Segedie – The creator of Mamavation (and owner of Bookieboo) was put in a “face off” against fellow mom blogger Audrey McClelland about the topic of putting your child on a diet. Which mom do you agree with?

Jessica Gottlieb – Never afraid to speak up, Jessica’s opinion appeared alongside the “Cool Whip Controversy” that set the blogosphere ablaze. Mom bloggers can find themselves in the firing line of criticism, and Jessica’s point is a good wake up call for all aspiring big time bloggers.

Kristen Howerton – Kristen not only writes her own blog, Rage Against the Minivan, but she also contributes to Huffington Post. (Remember how Newsle can help you follow journalists too?) Kristen recently wrote a piece about celebrities adopting african american babies and the reasoning behind it. (For lighter reading, check out her review of Disney Pixar’s “Brave” from a parental point of view.)

Catherine Connors - Catherine is a dual force to be reckoned with in the blogging world. She not only runs the blog Her Bad Mother, but she works for Babble, a popular blogging network. Take a look at her opinion on the question every mom has: “Can a mom have it all?

Who are your favorite newsworthy moms?

Using Newsle to Track Your Brand

News travels quickly these days, and public opinion about a company can change in a matter of seconds. That being said, it can be difficult to keep track of what people are saying about your company, your competitors, and your industry in general. Newsle simplifies this process by allowing you to track the journalists that are relevant to your brand.

For example, let’s say you’re the PR Manager of a startup building a mobile payments system. Here’s what you can do with Newsle:

See What People Are Saying About Your Brand

Having a grasp on how the market feels about your company is critical to managing a successful PR campaign. And sometimes, Google Alerts doesn’t offer enough insight. If you happen to work for LevelUp, a service originally created by SCVNGR that recently pivoted to be a loyalty/payment app, then the last sentence in this story in GigaOM might clue you in to where you stand. After announcing LevelUp’s newest funding and explaining what the company does, the author concludes by saying that LevelUp’s service might be “confusing for now, seeing so many options in the market.” From a strategic standpoint, the PR Manager can find a way to carve a more identifiable niche. As a follow up, he or she could subscribe to all stories written by the author, Ryan Kim, to see if he ever changes his mind. (On a side note, Kim writes many stories about mobile applications, so he’s a good person to follow for anyone interested in that field.)

Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

In the mobile payments sector, Jack Dorsey currently reigns supreme. Any PR Manager would be wise to know what Dorsey is cooking up at his company, Square. Over the past few weeks, Square has been investing more in the Android operating system, adding as many as one Android engineer every week. Chances are if you’re competing against Jack, knowing what they are investing in will help you communicate with your stakeholders.

Stay Up to Date on Industry Trends

If you work for a mobile payments company, you probably already had a good idea about Square’s overall strategy. But you might occasionally miss a story about other external factors in your industry. For example, Congress has been debating over which federal agency should have authority over mobile payments and their policies regarding security of data.

In another trend, companies who previously weren’t too involved in technology are getting their hands dirty with mobile payments. I personally love the Starbucks app, and apparently so do many of their customers. As of April of this year, over 45 million payments had been made using Starbucks’ platform. The coffee giant was recently joined by Burger King, who just this month began testing a mobile payment application in 50 of their stores. So perhaps mobile payment developers should fear a hamburger joint and a coffee shop more than the tech company started by the former CEO of Twitter.

These tactics apply to more than just mobile payment companies, though. Any industry professional can benefit from Newsle alerts, whether you work for a video game developer (so you could follow Larry Frum, who writes about gaming for CNN Tech) or an online retailer (you might want to follow Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.)

How to Use Newsle During Your Job Hunt

Calling all recent grads, career changers, and job hunters! Newsle isn’t only a great tool for tracking your friends or favorite celebrities in the news, it’s also a resource you can use while searching for a job. In this competitive economy, job seekers can really benefit from new ways to stand out from the crowd. Below are three ways you can use Newsle to advance your job hunt.

Show off your Expertise

It can be really helpful to prove that you’re knowledgeable about a particular industry before applying for a job. And it’s always better to show, not tell. If you take a look at my Newsle profile, you’ll see that I was quoted in a story on Mashable about the restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill and their social media presence, as well as in two stories for CNN Tech. Being quoted in a popular website can add credibility to your application, but it can be difficult to keep track of all those links. Newsle takes the work out of it and displays any time you’re mentioned in the news, so all your wonderful, knowledgeable quotes will be in one place!

Display Writing Clips

Now that Newsle allows you to follow your favorite journalists, it’s easier than ever to provide writing clips to prospective employer. If you’re applying to be a Reporter, Community Manager, or any other position that requires good writing skills (which is a lot, these days) you’ll probably be asked for clips of your best work. Instead of providing individual links to each story, you can simply give the hiring manager your Newsle profile. Newsle combs the web for anything that you’ve written for any online publication, but in case we’ve missed anything, you can add a story to your page by clicking “submit article” on your profile. For an example of what the finished product looks like for a writer, take a look at my personal favorite journalist, Brian Stelter of the New York Times.

Research, Research, Research

During the interview process, it helps to have an arsenal of knowledge. Before your first interview, you should do research on the company as well as people in your prospective department. Newsle makes this incredibly easy. Let’s say, for example, that you’re applying for a job at Facebook. Your first step should be following Mark Zuckerberg. That way, you’ll get specific news about him, but you’ll also get a decent amount of news about the company in general.

Next, follow the top people in the department that you’re applying for. If you’re applying for an operational job, it’d be a good idea to follow Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO. Finally, see if the people who will be directly interviewing you have made any headlines by looking them up as well.

This research will pay off during your interviews. You might be asked a question that relates to one of the company’s executives, and you’ll be well prepared. Or, you can find a way to slip in a mention about a story that recently made the news. Either way, your interviewer will be impressed that you are up to date on the latest headlines.

So next time you apply for a job, make sure the company knows that you are newsworthy!

How to Follow Your Favorite Celebrities on Newsle

Following celebrities is addicting, whether that be on Twitter, Facebook, or just on MTV. Yet, sometimes those same celebrities share things that are largely irrelevant to their fans.

As a popular example, Kanye West once sent a successive flurry of tweets as he drove through New York City bashing the fashion choices he saw. He insulted people on the street wearing “off-brand workout sneakers,” “khaki cargo shorts,” and “hoodies with sport coats.” Now for some, this is entertainment. For others, this is noise. What’s the average fan supposed to do who just wants to read Kanye West news without all the chatter? Where can you get information about album releases from your favorite singers, announcements from your politicians of choice, and movie reviews about your hollywood crush without scrolling through endless amounts of tweets, blog posts, or other content? And where can you get this all in one place?

Enter Newsle.

Newsle alerts you when the people you care about make the news, whether that’s your best friend, your co-worker, your favorite journalist, or even Kanye West.

To find celebrities to follow, click on “Top People” underneath the top black bar in your Newsle account. This will display people in the news right now, including athletes, politicians, musicians, and more. Then, choose from the category of people you want to select from, and find people that interest you. For example, today’s selection of actors in the news includes Robert Pattinson, Angelina Jolie, John Travolta, and others. (Or, if you want to follow one person in specific, simply search for their name in the “search people” bar up top. So if you are a huge Ellen Degeneres fan, you can find her profile directly.)

Newsle Public Figures

Once you’ve followed the celebrities of your choice, they will start appearing in the “public figures” section of the display feed marked “my people” (as seen in the image above.) Personally, I enjoy flipping back and forth between my Facebook Friends feed and my Public Figures feed so that I can see what my classmates are up to, and then I can see what headlines Hillary Clinton, Tina Fey, and Dennis Crowley have made.

Setup alerts for your favorite celebrities today, and you’ll never miss another headline again!

What celebrities will you follow?