The Entrepreneur Breeding Ground

Recently I have been thinking about all of the great people that I have had the privilege to work with at Orbitz. Turns out that we have been an excellent Entrepreneur Incubator. Quite a few companies have been formed by people that cut their teeth at Orbitz.

Orbitz Entrepreneur’s
Leapfrog.com
Sells products focused on children.
** This company was formed by others, but Jeff turned them around.
Jeff Katz – Former CEO of Orbitz

Kayak.com
One of the first travel meta search companies.
Steve Hafner – Original start-up team at orbitz
Karen Klein – Chief Legal Council for Orbitz
Keith Melnick – Helped create the Orbitz Business plan while working at BSG
Kellie Pelletier – Helped create the Orbitz Launch PR Strategy

G2 Switchworks
Travel agent desktop software.
**Company recently sold to Travelport

Alex Zoghlin – Original Orbitz CTO and created the Orbitz idea
Michael Harbin – Established Orbitz interface for ticketing systems
Roger Liew – VP Orbitz Development
John Sokel – Senior Developer at Orbitz
Ellen Lee – Manager in Marketing at orbitz

Viewpoints
Consolidates consumer reviews of products
Leon Chism – Chief Internet Architect at Orbitz
Kyle Bolstad – Senior Software Developer
Kevin Lilly – Senior Software Developer

Naymz
Personal identity management directory
Nolan Bayliss – Helped build Orbitz Hotel systems
Tom Drugan – Managed the Orbitz Search Engine Optimization systems
Anthony Czupryna – Senior Developer at Orbitz

Accertify
Internet credit card fraud detection system
Jeffrey Liesendahl – Finance Controller at Orbitz
Gary Doernhoefer – Original General Council at Orbitz
Michael Long – Established Fraud group at Orbitz

Interactive Mediums
Provides communication solutions that help businesses connect to their customers
Jeff Judge – Director of Complex Travel at Orbitz
Dave Farkas – Senior Developer at Orbitz

Jaxtr
World’s largest social communications company
** This company was formed by others, but Bahman was brought in to turn them around.
Bahman Koohestani – Former Orbitz CIO (our third CIO)

If you take the time to review this list it will become very clear that they all are innovating, not inventing. Every company took something that Orbitz does as a function of running our business and commercialized the idea. Awesome job everyone!

I will periodically update the list as I come across new business that were formed by the Orbitz Entrepreneur Incubator.

Chicago CIO and Entrepreneur. Started @Orbitz, @AssureFlight, Team ITG, YourPrivateLine and others. I Love technology, startups and meeting interesting people.

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