What is Jason Calacanis net worth? Who is Jason Calacanis’ wife?Embed from Getty Images
Jason Calacanis is an American entrepreneur best known for his part in the Dot-Com Era of New York.
He has founded and invested in a number of companies –such as Uber and Tesla–, mostly focused on the technology sector, that have led him to become a billionaire once positioned on the Forbes 400 list.
The Origin Story
The entrepreneur was born on November 28th, 1970, in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City.
His father, John Calacanis, was the owner of a bar, a man of Greek origins despite being raised in the United States, origins strongly embraced by Jason even now; and a man beloved by his community.
His mother is a woman of Irish origin and a very hard-working nurse at Victory Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn.
Jason was raised as a happy and sharp-witted kid in 1970s Brooklyn, along with his two brothers Jamie and Josh, one of which is a firefighter in the New York City Fire Department.
He started working at his dad’s bar very early on, where he claims to have been exposed to a lot of commerce that awakened in him an interest in money and power. He would receive tips from cops, members of the mafia, hippies, and Hell’s Angels.
Calacanis’ first enterprise surged when he was around thirteen or fourteen years old; one of his father’s backgammon buddies gifted him a VHS tape of Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, that was not available anywhere else, which gave him the idea of making copies with a friend’s VHS and selling them for 20 dollars each.
“Jason’s Hot Tapes,” that’s how he referred to the small business.
Jason graduated from Xaverian High School in 1988 and went on to attend Fordham University, where he received a B.A. in psychology.
He considered himself a “less than spectacular” student, begging his way into Fordham and struggling for five years to finish.
He took a particular interest in media, magazines, the way information circulated back in the ’80s and 90s and developed an affinity for both economics and technology.
Calacanis worked for a while at the Fordham computer lab, earning $250 an hour, the minimum wage in 1987, but was later on fired for selling video games that he had hidden in a partitioned hard drive.
Once he stopped his “enterprise,” he went to work for Amnesty International.
The closeness to the world of IT made Jason realize how early on he had gotten involved in the new world of the internet.Embed from Getty Images
Calacanis started a magazine called CyberSurfer once he became aware of the growth hacking and media culture in New York.
The main focus of the self-published magazine was dial-up, but it never made it past issue number five.
That’s when he knew Silicon Alley was going to become something big.
In 1996, Jason began producing the Silicon Alley Reporter.
He would walk around the city, handing out the 16-page newsletters to people at parties and leaving stacks of them in reception desks.
He was the self-appointed creator, editor, and delivery boy.
Four years later, the magazine had 75 full-time employees and was making $12 million in revenue.
Jason then decided to create a list to rank the top 100 people in the industry.
With the dot-com bubble bursting, Silicon Alley Reporter was sold out of bankruptcy by a private equity firm.
In 2003, Calacanis co-founded Weblogs Inc., a publishing company that capitalized on the growth of blogs.
An angel investment of Mark Cuban, an American billionaire entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $4.3 billion.
Two years after the launch, Weblogs Inc was generating one thousand dollars a day just from AdSense. In October 2005, Time Warner’s America Online agreed to buy the company for $25-30 million.
Just a year after the sale of Weblogs Inc, Calacanis joined the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as an entrepreneur in action (EIA) for two years.
Calacanis’ early investment of $25 thousand in Travis Kalanick’s company, Uber, during this time, wound up as a $100 million deal.
2007 was the year that Mahalo, the web directory and knowledge exchange website created by Jason, was launched.
The site raised $20 million in venture capital from various well-known investors such as Sequoia Capital, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, News Corp, and CBS.
The company achieved profitability and peaked in 2011 before suffering a quick decline in traffic and shutting definitively in 2014.