After earning his Philosophy degree from the University of Washington, Nick Hanauer got his business start at the family-owned Pacific Coast Feather Company, where he continues to serve as Co-chair and CEO. In the 1980s he co-founded Museum Quality Framing Company, which has become a large West-Coast franchise.
In the 1990s, Hanauer was one of the first investors in Amazon.com (where he served as adviser to the board until 2000). He founded gear.com (which eventually merged with Overstock.com) and Avenue A Media (which in 2007, under the new name aQuantive, was acquired by Microsoft for $6.4 billion).
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