EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Greater Los Angeles Awards

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Advertising

WINNER

los_eoy_JosefGorowitzJosef Gorowitz
CEOProdege, LLC/Swagbucks
www.proedge.com

 

Josef Gorowitz founded Prodege, LLC in 2005 as a developer of white-label search engines for charities, artists, celebrities and entertainment franchises. The original model for Prodege came from Google’s search business model serving paid advertisements for brands, businesses and franchises. The company enjoyed several early high-profile partners including the Green Bay Packers, WWE, Kanye West and more than 150 additional A-list properties. The concept of smart rewards for loyal members evolved into a rewards currency for online activity, eventually named the “Swag Buck.” In 2008, swagbucks.com debuted as the central portal and manifestation of these branded sites.
Swagbucks has grown to become an all-inclusive value proposition for advertisers that joins brands with consumers in a mutually beneficial relationship. The site’s membership, now exceeding 10 million registered users, discover relevant content and spread the word to their peers, giving brands additional exposure through third-party endorsement. This extra communication adds more influence for brands and drives higher conversions than a traditional advertising investment. Swagbucks also remains the only rewards site for interactions across six different earning channels, including shopping, search, games, video, surveys and deal discovery.
Gorowitz, Prodege’s CEO, maintains strong ethics and a methodical strategy to entrepreneurship. He offers excellent benefits and appreciation programs for his staff, and his strong religious background has instilled equality, objectivity and passion in all facets of his executive leadership. The growth of Prodege has shown an unrivaled trajectory for a privately-funded enterprise.
Gorowitz is on the board for Bais Chaya Mushka Girls’ School in Los Angeles; the board of the South Bay Jewish Community Center; and is involved in Guinea-Bissau Maccabiah Team, a basketball charity event that raised more than $23,000 to distribute insecticide-treated, anti-malaria bed nets to West African countries.


 

FINALISTS

Ophir Tanz
CEO
GumGum
www.gumgum.com

Ophir Tanz started on his entrepreneurial dream early. His first company, Fluidesign, launched when he was just 15 and is still in operation today. His technical aptitude was evident as he excelled at Carnegie Mellon University, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously in information systems, designing the school’s first wireless LAN mapping system, called CMU Sky, and writing a textbook chapter on the topic.
So it’s no surprise that Tanz is the successful CEO of GumGum, a business he started at age 25. Tanz’s ability to secure venture capitalist funding through high-profile investors made it possible to create the world’s first in-image advertising platform, GumGum’s core offering.
The GumGum platform reaches 365 million unique visitors worldwide as they view images and content across more than 1,000 premium publishers. GumGum ads yield at least 10 times the engagement of traditional display options, and offer dramatically higher viewability resulting in superior brand lift for marketers and increased revenue for publishers.
As the CEO and founder of GumGum, Tanz is credited with inventing in-image advertising. He has received the Siemer Summit’s Innovation in Advertising Award for his work with GumGum. He was also featured on the cover of Entrepreneur, profiled in C-Suite Quarterly’s NextGen10 issue of young Los Angeles tech entrepreneurs and named to Adweek’s list of Young Influentials.
Tanz is an active member of Santa Monica’s “Silicon Beach” community, speaks regularly at Los Angeles-area technology and investor events and serves as a mentor to several local technology startups.
Nurturing a culture that empowers employees to contribute both individually and as part of teams, GumGum prides itself on a strong work/life balance. The result is a culture of camaraderie, innovation and success that has, in turn, led to the phenomenal growth of GumGum over the past three years.


 

los_eoy_JeffGreenJeff Green
Co-founder and CEO
The Trade Desk, Inc.
www.thetradedesk.com

 

Jeff Green’s vision for the future of advertising is a world where every format — TV, billboards, print, digital — is bought and sold through the efficiency of technological platforms.
After Green sold his first company, AdECN, to Microsoft in 2007, he invested his own money into an idea and an industry that he had established: Advertising technology and real-time auctions for online advertising inventory through his new company, The Trade Desk, Inc. Today, Green leads a worldwide team that is carrying forward his mission to “democratize the way information is distributed across the globe.”
As co-founder and CEO, Green’s fearless approach to growth is the same as his passion for developing the market of advertising technology, a space he pioneered with AdECN, the world’s first online ad exchange. He started AdECN because he believed there was a better way to transact media dollars in advertising. He treated the opportunity to sell to Microsoft in 2007 not as a quiet retirement, but a launching pad to further grow efficiencies and improvements in how media is bought and sold today.
Green has taken a “pure platform” approach where he invites mature agencies and emerging technology providers to build their business on The Trade Desk. Green believes that building thousands of businesses on the promise of the platform will yield greater long-term results than selling a few hundred customers on the current state of affairs. He has diversified his own business offerings without having to hire a massive sales force or accounts team to tend the seeds being sown.
In 2013, Green tied the company’s performance to an unexpected reward: Every month that the company’s revenue goal was met, he would donate to the charity of every employee’s choice. Within six months, as revenue and headcount grew, donations had been made to more than 60 charities worldwide.