Laurel Touby is an American journalist and investor. She is best known as the founder of mediabistro.com, the journalism and publishing resource site that she sold to Jupitermedia in 2007 for $23 million. Following the sale of Mediabistro, Laurel began a second career as a New York City based start-up Advisor and Investor focusing on the Media, Financial Technology and Emerging Technology industries. She has also been a mentor for the tech incubator, Techstars. In January 2015, she set up her own investor syndicate, Flatiron Investors, representing New York based private investors.
Laurel attended Pine Crest High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) from 1979-1981. She then went on to pursue her education at Smith College where she majored in economics and international relations. She graduated with her BA in the summer of 1985. While studying at Smith College Laurel was a track and field collegiate athlete and actively involved in student government. During her time at Smith Laurel developed a passion and talent for writing. Following graduation in 1985 Laurel moved to New York City to pursue her interest in writing.
Laurel started as a junior planner at Young & Rubicam advertising in June 1985. Over the course of the next three years she worked herself into the position of Senior Media Player. During her time with Young & Rubicam she worked on the AT&T calling card account as well as the Breyers ice cream account. Laurels’ next career step was when she took a position as Staff Editor for BusinessWeek magazine in September 1990. While staffed there she wrote for the corporate strategy section of the magazine.
Laurel's career accelerated when she was hired as the contributing editor at Glamour magazine in 1995. During that time she wrote and edited a column named “Getting Ahead Guide” to jobs and money. While still working at Glamour magazine Laurel also became the CEO of MediaBistro, a website that revolutionized the way people in the media industry do business, connect and communicate. During her time as CEO, she pulled the company through two recessions, pivoted, managed growth with minimal resources and developed an audience via guerrilla and social marketing (before that term existed!). Users subscribe to mediabistro’s many services, which include online education, employment classifieds, conferences (offline), events (offline), forums, and industry-specific blogs, such as the popular TVNewser. Following the sale of the company for $23 mm to Jupitermedia in 2007, Laurel remained with the company through June, 2011.
Laurel began investing in seed-stage startups, including: AdYapper, Appboy, Apploi, Buddie, Clef, CreativeWorx, Fashion GPS, Fresco News, BlockSchool, and Pivit. She is an LP in Lowercase Ventures (with holdings in Twitter, Uber, etc.) and in Pershing Square, among others. Laurel is the Managing Director of Flatiron Investors , an investment syndicate representing New York City-based private investors.
Laurel is active as a public speaker and hosted “Secrets of Successful Startups“ on CBS Interactive. Laurel is also involved with a number of different organizations. She is a member of the American Business Media organization. She is also involved with the Magazine Publishers of America Organization as well as TED. In 2007 she earned the entrepreneur of the Year Award from Smith College and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.
- Pozin, Ilya (13 November 2014). "20 Entrepreneurs Shaking Up New York's Tech Scene". Forbes. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "The $23 Million Boa". Village Voice. 2007-08-14.