Nick Hanauer

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Nick Hanauer
Born 1959
New York, New York
Occupation Author, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist
Nationality USA
Notable works The True Patriot
Spouse Leslie Hanauer
Relatives Adrian Hanauer

Nick Hanauer (born 1959) is an American entrepreneur[1] and venture capitalist living in Shoreline, 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 non-partisan think tank[8] framed upon the ideas he and Eric Liu presented in their 2007 book, The True Patriot.[9]

Hanauer and his wife, Leslie, co-manage The Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation "which focuses on public education and the environment, and additionally supports a variety of progressive causes locally and nationally."[10]

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]

Hanauer appeared in the Robert Reich documentary Inequality for All.

In June 2014 Hanauer wrote an op-ed for Politico Magazine in which he foresaw pitchforks coming in the future of the .01%ers (plutocrats; to which he stated he belonged himself) if the issue of increasing wealth inequality wasn't addressed, which would result in the destruction of the middle class. He made comparisons to the period preceding the French Revolution in the 18th century.[11]

TEDtalk controversy[edit]

In May 2012, several online news outlets reported the TEDtalk[12] presented by Hanauer 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 it may cause to future business ventures, as he feels that middle class consumers are far greater job creators than wealthy entrepreneurs like himself.[13][14][15] Thus he proposed the necessity for higher median incomes rather than tax breaks for job creation, stating that if lower income tax rates for the wealthy really worked "we would be drowning in jobs", instead of unemployment being at current numbers.[16]

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".[17][18] Huffington Post writer Jillian Berman expressed bewilderment since TED had previously issued talks by politicians such as Al Gore or David Cameron without hesitation.[19] 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.[20] The original presentation is available on YouTube.[21]

Despite comments from the past, on August 12, 2014, TED added his most recent talk from TEDSalon NY2014.

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Hill, Kashmir (27 February 2012). "How The 'True Patriot Network' Tested Its Political Messages On The 99% Via Email". Forbes. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Rahner, Mark (20 March 2008). "Authors plunge into meaning of "True Patriot"". Seattle Times Newspaper. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "About Friends of Waterfront Seattle". Friends of Waterfront Seattle. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  11. ^ The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats, Nick Hanauer, July/August 2014, Politico Magazine
  12. ^ Who are the Job Creators?, 2013-06-15.
  13. ^ National Journal, 2012-05-16.
  14. ^ TIME Business & Money, 2012-05-18.
  15. ^ The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  16. ^ The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  17. ^ The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  18. ^ Chris Anderson. "TED and inequality: The real story". TEDChris. Archived from the original on 2013-04-30. 
  19. ^ The Huffington Post, 2012-05-17.
  20. ^ with Sam Seder, 2012-05-30.
  21. ^ "Youtube video Nick Hanauer". 

External links[edit]