Nicolas J Hanauer is a partner with Second Avenue Partners, a Seattle venture capital partnership specializing in early state startups and emerging technology. He has had a hand in such companies as Amazon.com and aQuantive among others.
Hanauer’s career began with a position as executive VP of Sales and Marketing at Pacific Coast Feather Company, a family owned manufacturer of basic bedding. In his time in that role, he helped grow Pacific Coast from several million dollars to more than $300 million in sales. Hanauer subsequently served as the company’s Co-Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer and remains Chief Executive Officer.
In 1988, Hanauer co-founded Museum Quality Framing Company, a company that has emerged the largest of its kind on the west coast with 60 locations. Hanauer was also one of the first investors in Amazon.com in 1995, where he served as a Board Advisor until January of 2000.
In 1996, he founded and served as CEO of internet media company Avenue A Media (later re-named aQuantive, Inc.) and became Chairman of the Board upon the first public offering in 2000. aQuantive was purchased by Microsoft in August of 2007 for 6.4 billion dollars; the largest acquisition in Microsoft history.
In 1998, Hanauer founded Gear.com and served as Chairman of the company for three years until its merger with Overstock.com in 2001.
In the year 2000, Nick Hanauer partnered with three colleagues to create the Seattle-based venture capital company, Second Ave Partners. The company provided management, strategy, and capital for early stage companies such as HouseValues, Ice Energy, Insitu Group, Modumetal, and Newsvine. Hanauer serves as a Board Member and Advisor to HouseValues, Inc., Insitu Group, and Newsvine.
In 2007, Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu published the book “The True Patriot,” written in the pamphleteering style of Thomas Paine. The book, now in its second printing, asks the politically motivated question, “What do you believe and why?”
In 2008, Second Ave Partners and Nick Hanauer joined with Rich Barton (Zillow.com co-founder) to back Fanzter, a Connecticut startup launching an online consumer service called Coolspotters.com.
Hanauer is actively involved in the Seattle community and Washington State’s public education system. In 2000, he co-founded the League of Education Voters (LEV) – a non-partisan statewide political organization focused on promoting public education on which he currently serves as Co-President. Additionally, Hanauer serves on the boards of the Cascade Land Conservancy, The University of Washington Foundation, The Seattle Alliance for Education, The University of Arizona’s Mt Lemmon Science Center and the Biosphere2.
Nick Hanauer grew up in the Seattle area, attended public schools and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Washington.