Nicolas "Nick" Hanauer is a Seattle-based entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author and activist with a knack for identifying and building transformative business models. In 1995, Hanauer became the first non-family investor in Amazon.com where he served as a Board Advisor until January 2000. In 1996, he founded and served as CEO of internet media company aQuantive, Inc. (originally Avenue A) and became Chairman of the Board when the company went public in February 2000. aQuantive was acquired by Microsoft in August 2007 for $6.4 billion, the largest acquisition in Microsoft history. In 1998, he founded Gear.com and served as Chairman until it merged with Overstock.com in 2001.
To provide of management, strategy, and capital for early stage companies, he co-founded Seattle venture capital firm Second Avenue Partners with three colleagues in 2000. His portfolio currently includes Marketleader.com, Ice Energy, Modumetal, and Qliance Medical. Prior portfolio companies Insitu Group and Newsvine were sold respectively to Boeing in 2008 and MSNBC.com (Microsoft and NBC Universal) in 2007. He currently serves as a board member and advisor to Marketleader.com and Qliance Medical and is vice chairman of Marchex.
Hanauer began his career at Pacific Coast Feather Company where he joined as executive VP of Sales and Marketing and grew revenue from less than $10 million to more than $300 million. Hanauer continues to serve as the company’s Board Chairman. In 1988, while still an executive with Pacific Coast, he co-founded Museum Quality Framing Company, which is the largest of its kind on the west coast with 60 stores.
Hanauer also directs a significant portion of his time to social and policy issues at the local, state and Federal level. In 2007, he co-authored “The True Patriot” with Eric Liu (currently in its second printing) and co-founded The True Patriot Network, a non-partisan groups committed to furthering patriotic ideals. He also co-founded the League of Education Voters (LEV), a non-partisan statewide political organization focused on promoting public education, where h serves as co-president. Additionally, Hanauer serves on the boards of the Cascade Land Conservancy, The University of Arizona’s Mt Lemmon Science Center and the Biosphere2; a University of Arizona climate research project.
A Seattle-area native, Hanauer attended public schools and received a bachelor's in Philosophy from the University of Washington. An avid adventure traveler, Hanauer has visited more than 60 countries and also enjoys fly-fishing and is an amateur astronomer. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in the Seattle area with their two children.