Oct 10th 2014

AOL Breakout

This week, AOL hosted its first annual Breakout contest at our headquarters in NYC, with AOLers competing to pitch their most innovative product ideas to a panel of expert judges for the chance to have those ideas funded. With a format similar to NBC's popular show "Shark Tank," the contestants had just minutes to make an impression or go home. AOL is where Culture meets Code and it was in evidence this week through Breakout .

AOL's CTO, Bill Pence and Abigail Gray, Head of Design for Membership, joined forces to create the competition, which challenged AOLers to think outside of what already exists to create original products that embody our mission: to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code. Breakout follows last year's AOL-wide hackathon, which led to the public release of Commute by MapQuest three weeks ago.

After receiving over 180 idea submissions from employees, spanning 11 offices across 5 countries, a panel of judges, including respected Jefferies analyst, Brian Pitz, whittled down the finalists to 10. Innovative ideas ranged from social media tools and video reminders, to content apps and energy savers.

The pitches were followed by staunch deliberation from the panel of judges who in the end selected four teams to send through to the next round. Congratulations to the four teams: ILLUME by Brook Montgomery in the San Francisco office, Kid's First Email by Slavko Eror in the Toronto office, Media Décor by Veronica Picciafuoco in the San Mateo office and My5 by Wii Yatani in the NYC office.

Now it's on to the "Product Guild" for these four hopefuls who will once again compete against for the funding to take their product from idea to reality!

Oct 8th 2014

Second Film in AOL MAKERS Series Premieres - MAKERS: Women in Hollywood

The second film in the new MAKERS series, MAKERS: Women in Hollywood premiered this week on PBS. This film showcases the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country's biggest commodities: entertainment.

Audiences hear from actress-producer-activist Jane Fonda; television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, who created Grey's Anatomy and Scandal; screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who re-imagined the traditional Disney princess by making Belle (Beauty and the Beast) a self-possessed, strong-willed young woman; writer-director-actress Lena Dunham, who mines comedy and drama gold by exploring what it's really like to be a young woman today; and six-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close. The film is narrated by Julia Roberts.

The film will be available for streaming anytime after 8:00pm ET on MAKERS.com on Wednesday, October 8. The remaining films in the series will air on PBS at 9pm ET/PT as follows:
  • October 14 | MAKERS: Women in Space
  • October 21 | MAKERS: Women in War
  • October 28 | MAKERS: Women in Business
  • November 4 | MAKERS: Women in Politics
Join the conversation on Twitter with @MAKERSwomen, @PBS and #MAKERSfilm.

Oct 1st 2014

START SPREADING THE NEWS - AOL NAMED A BEST PLACE TO WORK IN NYC


Crain's New York has recognized AOL as one of the best places to work in New York City - and we could not agree more! AOL is proud to be headquartered in New York City - the heart of where "culture meets code" - and to be leading the charge in establishing New York City as a worldwide technology hub, attracting the world's best talent.

AOL holds a special place in the history of the internet and, in New York City, AOL has been restructured, revitalized, repositioned and is a thriving company - simplifying the internet for consumers and creators and redefining for decades to come how content is produced, distributed, consumed and monetized. A core value of the company is that "we hire and empower smart people who love what they do" and being named by Crain's as a best place to work in New York City is a great indicator that we are doing just that!

Headquartered in New York, AOL is a global company with offices in 47 cities and 19 countries, and the passion and talent of our employees extends worldwide. As such we share this honor with AOLers across the globe. We are proud that AOL was also recently named a "Top Company for Working Moms" and a "Healthiest Employer" in 2014.

We would like to thank Crain's New York for this honor and most importantly our employees, customers and partners for their tireless work and support. New York City does not sleep and nor will AOL.

Share your reasons why AOL is one of the best places to work with #BESTPLACES2014 and #IHEARTAOL

Sep 30th 2014

First Film in the New MAKERS Series Premieres - MAKERS: Women in Comedy

The first film in the new MAKERS series, MAKERS: Women in Comedy, premieres on Tuesday, September 30 at 9pm ET/PT on PBS. This film tracks the rise of women in the world of comedy, from the "dangerous" comedy of '70s sitcoms like Maude to the groundbreaking women of the 1980s American comedy club boom and building to today's multifaceted landscape.

Contemporary comics, including Chelsea Handler, Mo'Nique, Sarah Silverman, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch, Kathy Griffin, and the incomparable Joan Rivers (in one of her last interviews) talk about where women started in this competitive, male-dominated profession and where they are determined to go.

Kathy Griffin will host a virtual screening on the film on Wednesday, October 1 at 8pm ET on MAKERS.com. The film will then live and be available for streaming anytime on MAKERS.com.

Building on the 2013 film MAKERS: Women Who Make America, which told the story of the modern American women's movement, the series will introduce a new collection of MAKERS.

Join the conversation on Twitter with @MAKERSwomen, @PBS and #MAKERSfilm. Visit MAKERS.com/documentary/womenincomedy for more information.

Sep 5th 2014

Disrupt San Francisco 2014: A Preview

TechCrunch Disrupt is the venue to debut tech starups, and next week the hotly anticipated, world-class hackathon and conference – Disrupt San Francisco – will kick off at a new venue, Pier 48.

The Hackathon will take place September 6th and 7th and the Conference will run September 8th through 10th. The entire event will be captured online, with 24/7 coverage and a livestream on the TechCrunch homepage.

Last year's record-breaking Disrupt San Francisco hosted 3,700+ attendees and 800+ hackers. Taking it to the next level, this year's Disrupt will feature some of the hottest speakers in the industry, including:
  • Peter Thiel, iconic investor and cofounder of PayPal and many other companies-will join TechCrunch Co-Editor Alexia Tsotsis to discuss his book "Zero to One: Notes on Startups or, How to Build the Future"
  • Billionaire investor, serial entrepreneur, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban will speak for at Disrupt for the first time
  • CEO/Co-Founder and COO of Twitch, Emmett Shear and Kevin Lin respectively, will discuss what it's like to run a gaming media monster that was just acquired by Amazon for $970 million
  • Founders of Eventbrite, and married dynamic duo, Julia and Kevin Hartz, will chat about the future of events and what the company's plans are for 2015 and beyond
  • Founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky will share his insight into running a $10 billion startup, and how difficult it was to get it off the ground
  • Disrupt veteran Marissa Mayer and CEO of Yahoo will once again judge the Startup Battlefield finals
  • Michael Arrington will interview Marc Benioff (Founder/Chairman/CEO, Salesforce), and legendary Bay Area investor Vinod Khosla (Founder, Khosla Ventures) will offer his infinite investment wisdom
  • Three new TechCrunch writers will have their Disrupt debut - Kyle Russell will interview the CEO/Co-Founder and COO of Twitch, Sarah Buhr and a panel of tech experts will discuss whether or not "digital medicine is the new Rx", and Ron Miller will chat with Scott Dietzen (Pure Storage) and Mike Speiser (Sutter Hill Ventures)
For the full agenda on this year's anticipated Disrupt, click here.



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