Alexis Ohanian, the 33 year old. who got engaged to tennis legend, Serena Williams is a great man too in ICT. He is also a legend in his own world.
He is an American internet entrepreneur, activist, investor, and best-selling author. He lives in San Francisco.
He was born on 24 April 1983 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. His father Chris Ohanian, is an Armenian-American whose family were Armenian Genocide survivors who came to the US as refugees.
His mother, Anke is a German-born, who worked as an au pair and overstayed her visa when she fell in love with Ohanian’s father.
Ohanian went to Howard High School in Ellicott City, Maryland where he gave the student address for his graduating class in 2001.
He is best known for co-founding the social news website Reddit, co-founding the early stage venture capital firm Initialized Capital, helping launch the travel search website Hipmunk, and starting the social enterprise Breadpig. He was a partner at Y Combinator, and is also the executive chairman of Reddit.
After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005 with degrees in commerce and history, Ohanian started reddit.com, with co-founder Steve Huffman. Reddit initially received funding from Y Combinator after Ohanian and Huffman were rejected for their initial idea, My Mobile Menu.
They joined the first batch of Summer of 2005 and were later acquired by Condé Nast in 2006. Ohanian continued to work closely with Reddit as a member of its Board of Directors.
In 2007, Ohanian launched Breadpig, an “uncorporation” that produces geeky merchandise and gives the proceeds to charity. He is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Breadpig.
In 2009, Ohanian spoke at TED about a whale named Mister Splashy Pants. After leaving Reddit in 2010, Ohanian spent 3 months working in microfinance as a Kiva fellow in Yerevan, Armenia. Ohanian helped launch travel search website Hipmunk in 2010, and now acts as an advisor. In June 2010, Ohanian announced the launch of his company Das Kapital Capital, which focuses on startup investing, advising and consulting.
He was named the “Ambassador to the East” for early stage venture firm Y Combinator. In this position, he meets with East Coast applicants, mentors New York YC founders, and is a general representative for the company.
He also held the role of part-time partner and full-time partner at Y Combinator, before leaving in 2016 to help launch the third Initialized Capital fund with Garry Tan.
He co-founded Initialized Capital in 2010 and made seed investments in startups including Instacart, Zenefits, Opendoor, and Cruise. It has had three funds, totaling over $160M under management.
In late 2010 and early 2011, he spoke out against Congress’s Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate’s Protect IP Act. He helped lead the Internet-enabled grassroots campaign that eventually overturned the two bills.
Ohanian spoke to members of Congress, helped launch the national anti-SOPA/PIPA protests that took place on January 18, 2012, and spoke at the rally in New York that was organized by NY Tech Meetup.
In October 2012, Ohanian teamed up with Reddit General Manager Erik Martin and embarked on the Internet 2012 Bus Tour from Denver, CO to Danville, KY to campaign for the open Internet during the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. One of the campaign stops spurred the idea for a possible “National Geek Day.” in Washington DC.
In response to his work advocating for the Open Internet, The Daily Dot named Ohanian number one in their top ten most influential activists of 2012, and Forbes dubbed him “Mayor of the Internet.”
In May 2014, Ohanian began campaigning the FCC to support net neutrality, culminating with a day-long phone-a-thon into the FCC and Congress on 15 January, 2015.
In 2011 and 2012, Ohanian was named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list as an important figure in the technology industry.
In 2013, Ohanian and Erik Martin were featured as “champions of innovation” in the 20th Anniversary issue of Wired.
In 2015, Ohanian was named to the Crain’s “40 Under 40” list for business.
Ohanian published a book titled Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed on October 1, 2013.
Without Their Permission ranked 4th on the Wall Street Journal’s best sellers list for Hardcover Business. In connection with the book, Ohanian embarked on a 5-month, 150-stop and 75-university tour to promote the book.
Ohanian has spoken at over 80 universities, and lectured at conferences like TED, the Clinton Global Initiative, SXSW, and ROFLCon.
He has spoken to a range of companies, including Google, BBDO, BursonMarsteller, Johnson & Johnson, Hyatt, Kraft, and Palantir. Ohanian was also the keynote speaker at an entrepreneurship summit in Cairo organized by the U.S. State Department months after the Egyptian Revolution.