Nick Hanauer

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Nick Hanauer
Born 1959
New York, New York
Occupation author, entrepreneur, venture capitalist
Nationality USA
Notable work(s) The True Patriot
Relative(s) Adrian Hanauer

Nick Hanauer (born 1959) is an American entrepreneur[1] and venture capitalist living in Seattle, Washington.

Business career[edit]

After earning his philosophy degree from the University of Washington, Hanauer got his business start at the family-owned Pacific Coast Feather Company, where he continues to serve as co-chair and CEO.[2] In the 1980s he co-founded Museum Quality Framing Company, a large West Coast franchise.[3]

In the 1990s Hanauer was one of the first investors in (where he served as adviser to the board until 2000). He founded (which eventually merged with and Avenue A Media (which in 2007, under the new name aQuantive, was acquired by Microsoft for $6.4 billion).[4]

In 2000, Hanauer co-formed the Seattle-based venture capital company, Second Avenue Partners. The company advises and funds early stage companies such as HouseValues[5] Qliance,[6] and Newsvine.[7]

Civic activism[edit]

Hanauer is co-founder of The True Patriot Network, a political action tank framed upon the ideas he and Eric Liu presented in their 2007 book, The True Patriot.[8]

Hanauer is active in the Seattle community and Washington’s public education system. He co-founded the League of Education Voters (LEV), a non-partisan political organization dedicated to improving the quality of public education in Washington. He also serves on the boards of Cascade Land Conservancy, The University of Washington Foundation, The University of Arizona's Mount Lemmon Science Center and the Biosphere2 climate research project.[citation needed]

2012 TEDtalk controversy[edit]

In May 2012, several online news outlets reported the TEDtalk[9] from Hanauer presented on March 1, was not chosen to be posted by TED. In the short presentation he speaks about the rising income inequality in the US, and the problems that may cause to future business ventures, as he feels the middle class consumer is far more responsible for job creation than wealthy entrepreneurs like himself.[10][11][12] Thus he proposed the necessity for higher median incomes rather than tax cuts for high incomes, stating that if cutting high income tax rates really worked "we would be drowning in jobs", instead of unemployment being at current numbers.[13]

Curator of the private organisation, Chris Anderson stated that he felt Hanauer's talk was "explicitly partisan" and included "a number of arguments that were unconvincing".[14][15] Huffington Post writer Jillian Berman expressed bewilderment since TED had previously issued talks by politicians such as Al Gore or David Cameron without hesitation.[16] TED reserves the right to post only the talks it considers to be most effective. Hanauer partially defended Anderson's decision in an interview with Sam Seder, saying he could understand that the position he himself offered in his talk might be controversial to the business community and that Anderson might have received unproportional critique for his decision to hold back the talk.[17] The original presentation is available on YouTube.[18]


  1. ^ story,, 2008-03-10.
  2. ^ Pacific Coast Feather Company company history,
  3. ^ story,, 1999-11-22.
  4. ^ Microsoft-aQuantive,, 2007-05-18.
  5. ^ blog entry, Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  6. ^ Timmerman, Luke (7 July 2009). "Qliance Raises $4M To Expand New Primary Care Model, Circumvent Health Insurers". Xconomy. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Rahner, Mark (20 March 2008). "Authors plunge into meaning of "True Patriot"". Seattle Times Newspaper. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  9. ^ [1], Who are the Job Creators?, 2013-06-15.
  10. ^ [2], National Journal, 2012-05-16.
  11. ^ [3], TIME Business & Money, 2012-05-18.
  12. ^ [4], The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  13. ^ [5], The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  14. ^ [6], The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  15. ^ Chris Anderson. "TED and inequality: The real story". TEDChris. Archived from the original on 2013-04-30. 
  16. ^ [7], The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  17. ^ [8], with Sam Seder, 2012-05-30.
  18. ^ "Youtube video Nick Hanauer". 

External links[edit]