Alexis Ohanian

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Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian 1-17-2012.jpg
Ohanian protesting SOPA and PIPA, 2012
Born (1983-04-24) April 24, 1983 (age 31)
New York City, New York, USA
Residence New York City, New York[1]
Nationality American
Education University of Virginia
Known for entrepreneurship, startups, social marketing
Notable work(s) Reddit

Alexis Ohanian (born April 24, 1983) is an American internet entrepreneur, activist and investor based in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, best known for co-founding the social news website Reddit, helping launch travel search website Hipmunk, and starting social enterprise Breadpig.[2] He is a partner at Y Combinator. As of November 13, 2014, he is also the executive chairman of reddit.[3]


Alexis Ohanian was born to an Armenian-American father and a German-born mother.[4] After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005, Alexis Ohanian started, with co-founder Steve Huffman. Reddit initially received funding from Y Combinator and was later acquired by Condé Nast Publications in 2006. Ohanian continued to work closely with reddit as a member of its Board of Directors.[5][6][7]

In 2007, Ohanian launched breadpig, an "uncorporation" that produces geeky merchandise and gives the proceeds to charity. He continues to run breadpig today as its Founder and Chief Swine Defender.[8]

After leaving reddit in 2009, Ohanian spent 3 months working in microfinance as a Kiva fellow in Yerevan, Armenia.

In 2009, Ohanian spoke at TED about a whale named Mister Splashy Pants.[9]

Ohanian helped launch travel search website hipmunk in 2010, and now acts as an advisor.[10]

In June 2010, Ohanian announced the launch of his company Das Kapital Capital, which focuses on startup investing, advising and consulting.

Ohanian 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.[11]

Open internet activism[edit]

In late 2010 and early 2011, Ohanian 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.[12]

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.[13][14]

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."[15][16]

Crowdfunding Campaigns[edit]

On December 10, 2012, Alexis Ohanian teamed up with Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers to launch a Kickstarter project, with the intent to make a new album titled "Lester's Time Has Come." According to Fast Company, Ohanian aimed "to prove that there are new, sustainable funding opportunities for artists now thanks to platforms like Kickstarter."[17]

Two years later, Ohanian raised $12,244 for the non-profit Black Girls Code on[18] In May 2014, Ohanian used again to launch "Save Net Neutrality: Billboard in FCC's Backyard," a crowdfunding campaign to protest the FCC's plans to eliminate the idea of net neutrality.[19]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • In 2010 and 2012, Ohanian was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30".[20]
  • In 2013, Ohanian was featured as a tech "Titan" in WIRED Magazine’s 20th Anniversary issue.[21]

Published works[edit]

Ohanian has published a book titled Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed, released October 1, 2013.[22][23] Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed ranked 4th on the Wall Street Journal's best sellers list for Hardcover Business.[24] In connection with the book, he embarked on a 5 month, 150 stop and 75 university book tour that aims to spread the startup entrepreneurial spirit, and give students the event he always wished he had as an undergrad.[25][26]

Small Empires[edit]

In the summer of 2013 Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian[27] premiered on The Verge. The first season had nine episodes. The second season premiered in October 2014.

NYRD Radio Podcast[edit]

On October 15, 2014 Alexis Ohanian launched his NYRD Radio podcast. Guests on the show include Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, Carter Cleveland (Founder of Artsy) and Cameron Russell. He has a segment on the show called Office Hours where inspiring entrepreneurs can apply to work through an idea with him.[28]


On 8 January 2015, Alexis Ohanian posted the first episode (Episode 0) of his podcast "Upvoted", a podcast detailing stories found on Reddit, to various listening platforms online.

Speaking Engagements and Press[edit]

Alexis has spoken at over 80 universities, lectured at conferences like TED, the Clinton Global Initiative, SXSW, and ROFLCON. He’s spoken to a range of companies, including Google, BBDO, BursonMarsteller, 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.

Ohanian has appeared on numerous major television networks, including NBC, ABC,[29] CBS,[30] CNBC,[31] CNN,[32] MSNBC,[33] Bloomberg. Most notably he’s been interviewed on The Colbert Report,[34] Charlie Rose,[35] and Meet The Press.[36] He has also been featured and quoted in notable magazines and newspapers including New York Times,[37] WSJ,[38] LATimes,[39] TIME,[40] Washington Post,[41] NY Post,[42] and The Atlantic.[43]


  1. ^ "Alexis Ohanian". CrunchBase. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Alexis Ohanian". AbridgeMe. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  3. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Kompanek, Christopher (20 September 2013). "Alexis Ohanian on founding Reddit and future start-ups". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 October 2013. His mother was born in Hamburg and his paternal grandparents were Armenian immigrants. 
  5. ^ 2010-08
  6. ^ Sept 2007
  7. ^ 2011/09
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  9. ^ Mister Splashy Pants
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  11. ^ 2010/09
  12. ^ video
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  15. ^ Collier, Kevin. "The top 10 most influential Internet rights activists in 2012". Society. The Daily Dot. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Austin Carr, Reddit Cofounder Alexis Ohanian Taps Kickstarter And The Chambers Brothers To Prove Music Industry Wrong
  18. ^ "Black Girls Code]". Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Save Net Neutrality: Billboard in FCC's Backyard". Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  20. ^ 30 Under 30
  21. ^ 2013/04
  22. ^
  23. ^ Without Their Permission
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