Jason Raznick

Founder and director of Benzinga in Southfield. Benzinga is an online financial media outlet that provides real-time market updates and news for investors. Raznick started the company with $20,000 and it became profitable in just six months, gaining more than 50,000 active users. Benzinga serves over 3 million readers in more than 125 countries every month. Raznick has grown the company from two employees to 20, with five additional contractors and plans to hire more staff in 2012. The company has a public site and a premium subscription service, as well as a recently launched affiliate program. Benzinga received $1.5 million in funding from tech investment fund Lightbank, the VC group backed by the founders of Groupon. Previously, Raznick held positions at Merrill Lynch, Jim Cramer's TheStreet.com, and Tricap Holdings, where he discovered a niche in providing actionable trading ideas, thus forming the ideation for Benzinga. He also founded two successful Internet companies. Raznick and Benzinga have been featured in national publications for the quick growth and accurate information that the site provides. In the metro Detroit area, Raznick volunteers as a Startup Weekend mentor and for CommunityNEXT. He received his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Michigan.

WHERE BORN: “Royal Oak.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My dad taught me perseverance, being creative, building relationships, and always doing the right thing. He taught me treating people better than you want to be treated and always going out of your way for people, and he showed me how to be creative to get things done.”

LAST BOOK READ: “The Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Energetic, driven, creative, and very caring.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The financial media industry is going to continue to be much more targeted to the individual who is utilizing the information. There's a lot of noise out there, and people will continue to gravitate to places that decipher the news so you can find out what's actually important to you.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My iPhone. It can do everything - check in on business, look at metrics; it's one of the best time savers I've ever had.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Being at home in Michigan. It's where my family is and is a nice atmosphere, and I like helping other startups and being involved in the community.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Golfing and reading.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Peanut butter and Middle Eastern.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “Although some say multitasking is impossible, I can be involved in one thing and listening and responding to two other conversations.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As someone who made a positive dent on this planet by doing well and doing good for other people.”