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Ben Lerer Co-Founder & CEO, Thrillist.com

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Thrillist Co-founder and CEO, Ben Lerer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Immediately following, the native New Yorker returned to his home city to work with hotelier Andre Balazs in operations for his two Los Angeles Standard Hotels, The Raleigh Hotel in Miami and Hotel QT in New York.

While living in New York City, Lerer recognized the need for a no-BS city guide that didn’t cater to tourists or the Zagat-minded and in response launched Thrillist in 2005 to address the lack of funny, actionable information available to young men. Just five years later, Thrillist has developed into the leading men’s digital lifestyle publication with over 3million daily subscriptions in 19 localized markets in the U.S. and the U.K. Thrillist was listed as no. 93 in Inc Magazine’s 2010 list of the 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. In the last year, Thrillist expanded its footprint into e-commerce by acquiring members-only online retailer JackThreads.com and launching a localized deal site, Thrillist Rewards.

Lerer oversees business development, advertising sales and marketing efforts for Thrillist, in addition to managing the company’s 100+ employees. In the last year, Lerer was among Crain’s “40 under 40” class of 2010, AdWeek’s “Digital Hotshots,” NY Enterprise Report’s “Game Changers of 2010” and no. 4 of Silicon Alley Insider’s “100 Coolest Tech People. He has been featured on the front page of The New York Times business section and in Inc. Magazine’s 2009 “30 under 30” list of successful entrepreneurs. He serves on the Board of Directors for the East River Development Alliance, a New York non-profit organization and is an Associate Member of the International Acafdemy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS). Lerer is also the Co-founder of Lerer Ventures, a New York based Angel fund investing in media and technology.

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