Andy Russell is an American investor and entrepreneur in the digital media space. He is the founder and CEO of Trigger Media, an operating company focused on launching new digital media businesses. He is also co-founder and CEO of Trigger Media’s second company, Host Committee. Russell is also a founding partner at Bob Pittman’s private equity firm Pilot Group.
After earning his BA from Cornell University, Russell began his professional career in 1993 as an investment banking analyst and later associate at Chemical Bank (JP Morgan Chase), in the acquisition finance group.
After leaving Chemical Bank, Russell co-founded the world-renowned restaurant and nightclub MOOMBA. At the same, Russell earned his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Columbia Business School. He then sold MOOMBA in 1999.
From 1999-2003, Russell was the youngest partner at East River Ventures, where he focused on the firm’s digital media investment practice.
In 2003, Russell became a founding partner in Bob Pittman’s private equity firm Pilot Group. Through his responsibilities leading the firm’s digital media investment practice, Russell was an early investor in DailyCandy, Thrillist, TastingTable, Idealbite, VitalJuice, PureWow, GeeKChicDaily, Zynga, Betaworks, Silicon Alley Insider, TrialPay, GroupCommerce, SailThru, RapLeaf, Room77, Huddler, SpongeCell, HomeRun, and AdRoll.
In 2003, Russell founded Trigger Media, an operating company focused on launching transformational or disruptive digital media businesses. Trigger’s investors and advisors include Bob Pittman, Conde Nast/Advance Publications, former MySpace president Jason Hirschhorn, Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investments, former Daily Candy CEO Pete Sheinbaum, as well as Michael Kassan, former president of Initiative Media Worldwide, Ken Fox, cofounder of Internet Capital Group, and OneKingsLane founder Ali Pincus,
Trigger Media launched its first portfolio company, InsideHook, in 2011. InsideHook (www.InsideHook.com) is a digital lifestyle brand engaging established, adventurous men who want to be in the know about everything new and exciting their city has to offer. From underground supper clubs to thrilling outdoor expeditions to little-known clothiers and one-of-a-kind gifts, InsideHook sends one tip a day to its subscribers via the daily email newsletter model popularized by DailyCandy, a former venture of Russell's. The company currently publishes a National edition, as well as local editions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. InsideHook also partners with leading automotive, liquor, technology and menswear brands to host intimate, high-profile events in each of their markets.
In 2012, Russell co-founded and launched Trigger’s second portfolio company Host Committee (www.hostcommittee.com). Host Committee is focused on organizing the nightlife industry online, giving users a digital portal through which to reserve and organize nighttime gatherings with their friends. The company has built a network of over 100 bars, lounges and clubs in New York and uses its social media-integrated web platform to allow users to plan events and invite guests.
Host Committee recently closed a $2.5 million round of financing, including David Pecker, Jason Hirschorn, Paul Tudor Jones and Andrew Siegel.