EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Greater Los Angeles Awards

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Technology

WINNER

los_eoy_AlexKazeraniAlex Kazerani
Chairman and CEO

 

 

 

los_eoy_JamesSegilJames Segil
President
EdgeCast Networks
www.edgecast.com

 

With the onslaught of content floating around, Alex Kazerani and James Segil realized that the public Internet was not keeping up with the demands of digital media, and wouldn’t be able to handle future growth.
Around the time the company started, media files were forced to traverse great distances prior to reaching users’ computers or mobile devices, and legacy content delivery networks were built when broadband was less common and storage was very expensive. So, Kazerani and Segil founded EdgeCast Networks, a content delivery network (CDN) that helps make the Web faster.
In a world of broadband and cheap storage, Kazerani, who is chairman and CEO, and Segil, who is president, opted for the strategy of fewer strategically located servers with massive amounts of storage, enabling customers to carve out their own dedicated space on the Internet’s edge from major cities around the world.
Now, a viewer in London can have his or her video seamlessly delivered from a server there rather than waiting for it to travel from the video company’s server halfway around the globe.
Founded in 2006, the company officially launched in 2007 after building and testing network locations in 13 cities on four continents. By 2010, the company could count IMAX, Yahoo!, WordPress and LinkedIn among its customers.
Over the next few years, the company forged significant partnerships with telecommunications leaders to offer CDN services and software using the EdgeCast network. This provided even more validation and momentum for EdgeCast and its technology, which enables customers to have more control of how data moves around the world and improves end-user experience.
In 2012 and 2013, the company continued its blockbuster growth, ending 2013 with more than 6,000 of the Web’s busiest properties. In December 2013, the company was acquired by Verizon and will be a key part of its digital strategy.


 

FINALISTS

los_eoy_MitchGarber

Mitch Garber
CEO
Ceasars Acquisition Company
www.caesarsacquisitioncompany.com

Mitch Garber started his career as a gaming lawyer in 1993, helping American casino companies and gaming equipment manufacturers expand beyond Nevada and New Jersey. Today, he is widely considered one of the most effective and innovative CEO’s in the gaming industry worldwide.
Garber recognized early the disruptive nature of the Internet on traditional businesses and seized on his knowledge of the gaming industry to be at the forefront of what he believed was its next big opportunity — the digital delivery of casino entertainment.
Today, as CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company, Garber runs all of the interactive businesses for Caesars. He created Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) in May 2009, and made a significant investment in social and mobile games on iPhone, Android and Facebook. This strategic decision and its execution have created the greatest new value in Caesars in recent history.
CIE was formed to prepare for what was expected to be the imminent federal legalization of real money online poker and casino games in the U.S. Only Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, however, allow real money gaming today.
So, Garber focused on strengthening the World Series of Poker brand, knowing the importance it would play in real money online gaming one day, by cementing licensing deals with Microsoft and Electronic Arts. He also expanded its presence on ESPN and added new land-based events in the Pacific Rim and the U.S.
Garber also knew he needed to diversify the company. Drawing upon his past experiences, Garber went on the acquisition hunt, looking for opportunities to bring the intersection of casino gaming and digital delivery into CIE’s fold. Garber found Playtika, and has added three additional social game studio purchases in the past three years.
With Garber’s vision and leadership, CIE continues to outpace the growth rate of the industry by creating new opportunities to add to the company’s portfolio.


 

los_eoy_NickHedgesNick Hedges
CEO and president
Velocify
www.velocify.com

 

Nick Hedges is president and CEO of Velocify, as well as a 15-year veteran of the Internet and software as a service industries. Hedges has a passion for business, not settling for the status-quo, and for innovation that drives substantial positive change. At Velocify, Hedges brings this passion to work everyday as the visionary leader behind one of the fastest-growing and most impactful technologies for sales professionals.
Velocify, formerly Leads360, was founded in 2004 as a software development project for a bank, which turned to Velocify after failing to find a solution on the market that could accelerate its sales team’s lead response efforts and drive a more disciplined sales approach. Today, Velocify helps customers across a variety of industries improve customer acquisition practices and sales performance.
Velocify’s cloud-based, intelligent sales automation solutions can systematically accelerate sales performance through rapid lead response, increased selling discipline, improved sales team productivity and actionable performance insights.
Hedges has a deep-seated passion for helping sales organizations maximize potential. This is evidenced by Hedges’s founding of a research department in 2008 focused on sales best practices, which has produced more than 30 research papers and has formed the foundation of countless articles, webinars and conference presentations that serve the sales profession.
Velocify’s products transform the sales process and help sales leaders reinforce the best practices of their top performers to close more deals. It has already been recognized with two prestigious awards within the technology industry — the Stevie Awards and a BIG award from the Business Intelligence Group.
Hedges aligned the company culture based on guiding principles, progress and perks, which is one of the many reasons Velocify has been recognized four years running as a “Best Place to Work” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Aligned with its No. 1 cultural principle, all employees have equity in the company.