Alexis Ohanian

Every other country in the world looked at us as a role model for privacy and freedom. And we dropped the ball.

Alexis Ohanian is a serial Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of reddit, the social news website used by over 100 million people each month. Named to the Forbes “30 Under 30 in Technology” list two years in a row, he has been lauded as the “Mayor of the Internet” for rallying public opposition to the U.S. Congress’s Stop Online Piracy Act. Ohanian is the author of the national bestseller Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made Not Managed.

While at the University of Virginia, Alexis met his future co-founder Steve Huffman during freshman year move-in day. Though he had originally planned to become an immigration lawyer, he experienced an epiphany in his junior year (while sitting in a Waffle House) that led him to the realization that he didn't want to practice law. Instead he convinced his best friend Steve to start a company with him.

During their senior year Alexis and Steve were invited to join the first class of Y Combinator, a new seed stage venue firm. The idea they pitched would become reddit.com.

Sixteen months after he graduated, reddit was acquired by Condé Nast. Alexis continued to manage product and business at reddit until leaving in 2010 to volunteer in Armenia for Kiva.org. Today he sits on the board of reddit, inc., which last month alone had over 80 million unique visitors and is one of the 50 biggest US websites.

In August 2010 Alexis joined the team at hipmunk, Steve Huffman's second Y Combinator start-up. Alexis helped create the company's brand identity and managed their marketing and PR. After a little over a year, Alexis moved to an advisory role and accepted an offer from Grand Central Publishing for his first book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made not Managed, which debuted as a national bestseller.

In early November 2011, Alexis joined the fight against SOPA and PIPA, becoming one of the public faces for the movement, which ultimately thwarted both bills in a display of citizen power never seen before by lawmakers. He continues to fight for internet freedom working on projects like the Declaration of Internet Freedom, Internet Defense League, and the Internet 2012 Campaign Bus Tour, which toured the heartland of America with Erik Martin to campaign for the open internet and produced a documentary about the adventure, Silicon Prairie. He presently sits on the NYC Mayor's Council on Tech and Innovation.

An active investor with over eighty tech startups now in his portfolio, Alexis is now one of the most prominent investors in tech. He designed the logos and brands for reddit, Breadpig and hipmunk, and proven the model for making something people love online & offline, building brands that are both community-driven (reddit) and not (hipmunk). He uses these experiences to mentor and advise the young startups in his portfolio and recent YC graduates.

Along the way, Alexis has spoken at TED (a talk viewed over a million times), been rendered in CGI on NMA.TV, was named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” in Technology two years in a row (and then turned 30), and included in Inc. Magazine's “30 under 30” for his work at hipmunk. He's a regular contributor on Bloomberg TV, and is especially proud of having received a personal shout out from Stephen Colbert.

Alexis has spoken at universities including MIT, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, UPenn, NYU, Columbia, UCLA, the University of Michigan, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Virginia to name a few; lectured at conferences like TED, the Clinton Global Initiative, SXSW, and ROFLCON; spoken to companies such as Google, BBDO, and Betaworks; hired for talks at Johnson & Johnson, Hyatt, Kraft, and Palantir. He even keynoted an entrepreneurship summit in Cairo organized by the U.S. State Department just months after the Egyptian Revolution.

Alexis has appeared in countless publications in print and online: New York Times, WSJ, CNN, Washington Post, The Economist, WIRED, NY Post, Gawker, TechCrunch, Mashable, Paper Magazine, Nylon guys, Forbes, Fast Company, and Inc. He's also appeared in television programs on networks including CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CNBC, Al-jazeera English, NPR and G4.