Paul O'Brien is the CEO and founder of MediaTech Ventures, a media innovation holding company and venture development group with offices in Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, and New York. The group was founded with Randy Blankenship in 2014 and later joined by other co-founders including Jennifer Gooding, Ted Cohen, Kristine Bryant, Kevin Chin, and John Zozzaro. O'Brien is an early to mid stage startup and venture capital advisor, founder of the media incubator Collective, and Founder Institute incubator Director.
During his time in Austin, TX, O'Brien has served on the Boards of the diversity incubator DivInc, FUNDConference, and the International Accelerator, and he invests his time as a mentor at SXSW, at the University of Texas' Moody School of Communication, in Galvanize, Bunker Labs, and at the Austin Technology Incubator and innovation group, IC2.
O'Brien was born and raised in Michigan and started his professional career media, after a brief stint out of college in inside sales with Insight, as a Sales Engineer with Yahoo!. He's a graduate of Arizona State University's WP Carey School of Business and talks of his early work in radio and website development as inspirations of his work in MediaTech. In 1992, his first work online, in school, was a music history site called The Octopus's Garden; O'Brien tells the story of how an article about The Beatles caught the attention of and an email from legendary Beatles' producer George Martin.
His work at Yahoo! experienced many of the early innovations in online advertising and streaming media. Primarily employed in eCommerce with Yahoo! Shopping, his time at Yahoo would carry him to work with HP Shopping, but not after developing with Yahoo many of the early forms of interactive advertising and online media integrations with companies such as Sony, Dell, and Best Buy.
In 2008, Paul O'Brien was profiled by business thought leader Michael Miller for his book, Online Marketing Heroes (Wiley; March 10, 2008). He has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, the Austin Business Journal, Internet Retailer Magazine, KGO Radio, SXSW, and Webmaster Radio, and has spoken at SXSW, FUND Conference, Shop.org, Search Insider Summit, Affiliate Summit, and National Small Business Week.
From an early career at Yahoo! and HP. O'Brien led the early growth of startups such as Outright.com (Acquired by GoDaddy), Zvents (Acquired by eBay’s Stubhub), and MicroVentures (Venture Capital). He continues to blog seobrien.com.