A few weeks after I left my job as director of engineering at Advertising.com, I met for coffee with my friend Paul Palmieri, who had recently left Verizon Wireless. We wound up talking about starting an ad network for the mobile environment. We wanted to create a way to deliver ads to all sorts of phones, with different handset sizes and different capabilities. The complexity of that task really piqued my interest.
Two weeks later, I had a prototype server and showed Paul how it could work with my phone. He got very excited about it, and we began working together to start Millennial Media. Paul was doing some consulting work for the venture firm Acta Wireless and they invested in us, then helped us secure our two lead investors, Bessemer Venture Partners in New York and Columbia Capital in Washington, D.C. Altogether it was about $6 million.
We applied to be part of the Emerging Tech Centers, a business incubator here, and got very cheap office space and all sorts of support services for free. We left the incubator in November 2008, and now have 60 employees.
Being in Baltimore has allowed us to lease reasonably priced office space, and it gives us access to a very well educated workforce. It's also just a good place to live -- housing is very affordable, there are great neighborhoods and plenty to do. -Eilene Zimmerman
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