Alexis was born on 24th April 1983 in Brooklyn, New York. His earliest lessons of web design and management were learnt from Quake 2 Clan and Everquest guild. He enrolled in the University of Virginia and that was where he befriended Steve Huffman who would later be his partner in founding ‘Reddit’. Alexis majored in history and German and had plans to become a lawyer. The future however had other plans. Alexis Ohanian and Steve visited Cambridge to attend a lecture from Paul Graham on ‘How to Start a Startup’. Afterwards they went out with him for drinks where they pitched some ideas to him. Their first plan was to build a system that would allow people to order food from their cell phones but this was not accepted by Graham. Their other idea was reddit.com.
Reddit is a social news website where the readers are able to control the front page by voting for the stories they want on it. The website has more than 35 million visitors and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites. In 2006 the website was sold to Conde Nast. However Alexis continued to offer his advice to them till 2010 when he left for Armenia where he spent three months and worked as a Kiva Fellow and volunteered for Kiva.org. He is the member of Reddit’s board till today. After his return, he focused his attention on a new project which he called Breadpig. Also called ‘Newman’s Own for Nerds’, ‘Breadpig’ features several eminent web comics and geeky innovations such as LOLmagnetz, Awesome sauce and xkcd & Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. The profits attained from this site are given away as donations.
Alexis Ohanian got the post of Y Combinator’s Ambassador to the East after returning to the US. He also joined Steve Huffman’s ‘hipmunk’ in August 2010 which was his second Y Combinator startup. He is also an active investor having invested in more than 50 tech startups. He has designed the brands and logos for his website Reddit, hipmunk and Breadpig. All these experiences enabled him to mentor new startups and young entrepreneurs. He has spoken at Yale, Carnegie Melon, MIT, Columbia, UCLA, UPenn, NYU, University of Edinburgh, University of Michigan, and University of Virginia. Alexis also lectured at several conferences such as the Clinton Global Initiative, TED, ROFLCON and SXSW. He is very much in demand as he was hired by companies like Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Hyatt and Palantir for talks. He has also appeared in numerous publications on the internet and print media such as New York Times, WSJ, Washington Post, WIRED, Gawker, The Economist, Mashable, Paper Magazine, Forbes, Fast Company and many more. He has appeared on several TV shows on channels like MSNBC, CNN, Fox, Al-Jazeera English, G4 and NPR. His interests and likes include the Washington Redskins, hummus and of course his cat and girlfriend.