Mark Gorton: Tech Grants

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: LimeWire, Tower Research Capital

FUNDING AREAS: Civic Space, NYC Community

OVERVIEW: Mark Gorton launched the Open Planning Project to address civic space issues. The nonprofit has run several initiatives, including Neighborhood Empowerment Project.

BACKGROUND: Mark Howard Gorton graduated with B.S. in electrical engineering from Yale University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He began his career as an electrical engineer for Martin Marietta (now part of Lockheed Martin), and later worked for Credit Suisse First Boston. Gorton went on to launch LimeWire, an electronic peer-to-peer music service and an eventual successor to Napster. He is also the founder of Tower Research Capital, a trading and technology company that builds trading platforms.

ISSUES:

CIVIC SPACE: An avid cyclist, Mark Gorton launched Streetsblog, an influential website for transportation reformers. As he once put it “Unlike the paid advocates who work the halls of government, I think there's room for someone like me to be a bit of an outsider and say how screwed up things are.” Gorton also launched the Open Planning Project to address civic space issues. The nonprofit has run several initiatives, including Neighborhood Empowerment Project, whose mission is to “create a framework that harnesses local energy and creativity and empowers people to take ownership of and solve their local problems.” Gorton is also a major supporter of Transportation Alternatives, whose mission is to “reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile and advocate for better bicycling, walking, and public transit for all New Yorkers.”

NYC COMMUNITY: Gorton and family have also supported places like Symphony Space, Bank Street College of Education, and JCC in Manhattan.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Gorton to continue to dig into this unique interest area.