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Mike Seiman CEO, Chairman and Founder, CPXi
It was more than 10 years ago, when Mike Seiman was a student a Hofstra University, that CPXi got its start. While still living in his childhood home in Long Island, Mike built a handful of entertainment websites that eventually garnered a decent size audience worth monetizing through digital ads. With no easy solution available, Mike engaged a partner and together they built their own ad-serving platform. Likeminded publishers were soon asking for his help in monetizing their own sites, and a new enterprise was born. With the help of a few of his closest friends, Mike started a company catering to a completely nascent and uncharted at landscape. Launching a business straight out of college was undoubtedly risky. Mike resolved to not take on outside money from the start, a decision that meant more pressure to succeed quickly, but one that also insured that the company would develop in accordance with his own vision. By keeping overhead low and focusing on organic growth during the hard internet times that followed the company’s formation, Mike was able to position the company perfectly as the industry emerged and birthed the boom that became known as Web 2.0. Early on, CPXi set itself apart by being the only ad network to focus on monetization of a publisher’s remnant inventory. Having been a publisher himself, Mike knew that this was a specific and unaddressed pain that all publishers felt. For advertisers, this offered the ability to try out inventory that had never been widely available before, at a cost lower than what they were used to. This focus on driving performance and efficiency from the "long tail" served to establish CPXi as a unique player in the landscape at a crucial point in the company’s development and lead to it becoming known as an "ad network’s ad network," helping others monetize what they could not do on their own. When the time was right, Mike decided to shift the company’s focus to winning more agency and brand dollars directly. This pivot enabled the company to come out from behind the "white label" curtain and soon the company went global, setting up offices in New York, Los Angeles, Spain, Turkey, Italy, and Germany. That same year, Inc. Magazine recognized CPXi as the 6th fastest growing privately held advertising/marketing company in the US for 2008. CPXi continues to pride itself on staying true to the initial promise of what an ad network can be: a force for true efficiency in an otherwise overcrowded and confusing ecosystem. In a space that has fragmented in order to accommodate the prevailing winds, CPXi continues to mark its own success by its ability to serve both advertisers and publishers. With this as a guide post, CPXi has engaged the evolving digital platforms of video, mobile and social media. In addition to the professional challenges involved in building an international advertising company, personal challenges in Mike’s life (such as losing his older brother and mentor at a young age and fighting his own battle with diabetes) have instilled in him a sense of "strength through perseverance," a belief in treating people well and a drive to give back to those in need. Mike has always drawn personal strength and happiness from helping and supporting others and the results of his philosophy are manifested in the philanthropic outreach of CPXi. Mike has always been aware of the responsibility behind CPXi’s vast network and the ability to drive eyes around the internet. This awareness led to the creation of the company’s philanthropic division, CPXample. By partnering with organizations like Save Darfur, Live Earth and the American Diabetes Association, CPXample has contributed millions of impressions and directed huge amounts of traffic to these organizations’ websites. CPXample.com is now the philanthropic division’s hub where various causes are featured monthly. Mike is also an extremely active philanthropist in the NY area and beyond. Mike serves on the Board of Directors of his alma mater, Hofstra University, the H.E.S. (Hebrew Educational Society non-profit community center) and Children’s International. In 2010, Mike and several other members from the CPXi executive team helped spearhead the development of a community center in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The community center now provides children and their families with a medical facility, dental care center, library, and a computer lab that offers the chance to learn skills that could translate into a job. Last year, in line with CPXi’s entrepreneurial DNA, the company announced its newest initiative, The CPX Incubator. With the ultimate goal of supporting young entrepreneurs in the advertising technology space, CPXi reviews start-ups in the sector that are in need of early funding and overhead support. The company will infuse the selected companies with capital and resources to help clear typical stage hurdles, offering CPXi resources and expertise, opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs while contributing to the future of the sector. Evidence of Mike Seiman’s entrepreneurial spirit can be found in both his personal and professional lives. In both cases his commitment to excellence is best summed up by his approach to any challenge. According to Mike, a challenge is "an opportunity to discover the best possible version of one’s self, and to help those around you to do the same." An important mentality for any top entrepreneur to have.