Primary Role
CEO at Appolicious
4 Investments in 3 Companies

Person Details


Alan Warms is a Chicago-based entrepreneur and early stage investor, in addition to being an accomplished media executive.

Alan Warms founded Appolicious Inc. in May, 2009, producer of appoLearning, to help parents find great educational apps for their kids.

In addition to Appolicious, Alan currently serves on the Board of Directors of and Hydro Flask, where he is also an investor in both companies. Alan is also a seed investor and advisor in both Stocktwits and Trada. Previously, Alan has served on the Board of both Viewpoints and RealClearPolitics.

Prior to founding Appolicious, Alan worked at Yahoo! as Vice President, General Manager Yahoo! News, Tech, and Education from the sale of BuzzTracker in September, 2007 through November, 2008. While there, Warms: led the development of the first major site redesign in 3.5 years resulting in a tripling of engagement; implemented BuzzTracker into every News story page as the Most Blogged About feature; extended Yahoo! News lead as the number one News site for Reach in the world according to Comscore; and grew revenue and operating cash flow double digits percentage-wise on a year to year basis while consistently beating budget targets.

Participate Media, founded by Warms in 2005, developed, a news aggregation platform that uses the top 100,000 blogs to automatically determine the top headlines for hundreds of thousands of content topics. Participate Media sold BuzzTracker and associated technologies to Yahoo! in September, 2007.

In 2006, Participate Media led an investment in and took over as Publisher, where Warms and his team led the development of new blogging-platform based site, launched several new features, executed significant distribution deals and quintupled revenue before exiting the investment in 2007.

Prior to founding Participate Media, Alan was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Participate Systems, Inc., a provider of enterprise software and online community management services founded by Alan in 1997. Participate Systems developed enterprise software and managed online communities for more than 100 corporations, including TiVo, palmOne, Logitech, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, General Electric, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and IBM. Alan also pioneered the development of hard ROI models around online community via a series of whitepapers he co-authored. Participate Systems was sold to OutStart (, an eLearning enterprise software company, in November, 2004.Prior to founding Participate Systems, Alan worked at eShare and FreeLoader in senior executive positions. He also worked as a case leader and management consultant for The Boston Consulting Group.

In 2001, the World Economic Forum selected Alan as one of its 100 Technology Pioneers. Also in 2001, the editors of Crain's Chicago Business recognized Warms as one of forty executives under the age of forty who have significantly contributed to building Chicago's economy. Alan is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago.

Alan holds a MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S.E.E. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children.

Experience (11)

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    Member Board of Directors
    Dec 1, 2009
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    Member Board of Directors
    May 1, 2009
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    May 1, 2009
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    VP GM News, Tech, Education
    Sep 11, 2007 - Dec 1, 2008
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    Participate Media

    BuzzTracker Founder
    May 1, 2005 - Sep 10, 2007
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    Sep 1, 2005 - Mar 1, 2007
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    President, Participate Systems Division
    2004 - Jan, 2005
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    VP, Strategic Business Development
    1997 - Jan, 1997

Education (2)


Investments (4)