Laurel Touby is an entrepreneur and social marketing expert. She founded and ran mediabistro.com, a website that revolutionized the way people in the media industry do business, connect and communicate. Before Friendster.com, MySpace, Facebook or HuffingtonPost, there was mediabistro, a site devoted to community building, social networking and career improvement for the millions of professionals working in journalism, publishing, advertising, marketing, design and other media-related specialties. In 2000, Laurel raised $1 mm in venture funding. In 2007, she sold the company to Jupitermedia (now WebMediaBrands) for $23 mm.
Prior to founding mediabistro.com, Laurel worked as a magazine writer and editor, focusing on the business sector. Prior to her career in journalism, she was a Senior Media Planner at advertising agency Young & Rubicam.
Laurel was awarded the Smith College Medal in 2011 and The Exceptional Women in Publishing award from EWIP.org. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce honored Laurel with the "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" in 2007. She serves on the Media Task Force of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Laurel graduated from Smith College in 1985 with a degree in economics.