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Laurel Touby

Founder, mediabistro
In 1994, Laurel Touby, a Smith College graduate and then-freelance business writer and Glamour magazine contributor, decided to host a mixer for media people. About 20 editors, writers, and other content creators came to that original cocktail party at Jules Bistro in the East Village. The parties quickly grew, and soon Laurel had 4,000 of New York's top media talent on her email list. After creating a website in 1996 and adding features such as job listings, bulletin boards, classes, e-classes, media and a freelance marketplace, Touby's business began to take off. Today, mediabistro also includes news, events and "learn" emails, as well as media industry blogs. Last year, Touby sold mediabistro to Jupitermedia for $23 million.