Recognizing extraordinary
startup operators and advisors

Nominations now open for 2021
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In partnership with top operators from
Every winning startup has leaders that transform the trajectory of the business. You know them when you see them. They are relentlessly resourceful. They run over, around, and through walls. They solve problems in surprising ways and take 100% accountability. Without them, their companies wouldn’t have made it from zero to one, let alone reach hypergrowth scale.

We don’t think these unsung heroes should be forgotten. That’s why we created The Anchor List, an annual honor roll that recognizes the most talented operators and advisors in tech building the world’s fastest growing startups. Help us celebrate their stories.

Operators and advisors will be recognized across 7 categories

Product Judge

Lenny Rachitsky


Ex Product Lead, Airbnb


Anchor product leaders can see the future. To echo Henry Ford, they’re not looking to give customers faster horses. They’re dreaming up products at the edge of our imagination, ones that customers are desperate for. They rally teams behind them to build, iterate, and execute at lightning speed. They have a founder mentality and are the critical nexus of technology and business within the company.

Design Judge

Helena Seo


Head of Design, Doordash


Anchor designers are the great artists of our time. They know how to tell amazing visual stories that transcend demographics and culture. They are endlessly creative, and totally unbound by rules and convention. They are perceptive students of human behavior that know how to get customers to magical moments of delight. They create first-of-its-kind experiences that change the game.

Marketing & Growth Judge

Meagen Eisenberg


CMO, TripActions

Marketing & Growth

Anchor marketers don't just capture demand, they create demand. They know their job is to think like an entrepreneur and get the most results they can for the most effective use of time and money. Rather than succeed conventionally, they win by communicating in surprising and unexpected ways. They market differently, rather than better. They avoid comparison games with other companies.

Sales & Business Development Judge

Navid Zolfaghari


VP Sales, Branch

Sales & Biz Dev

Anchor sales leaders are day one revenue machines. They can teach a masterclass in the art of relationship building. They serve on the front lines and can close deals in their sleep. They intuitively know how to pave a path to get the customer to “yes”; the word “no” is simply not in their vocabulary. They go beyond the call of duty to make customers successful.

Talent Judge

Heather Doshay


VP People, Webflow


Anchor talent leaders build out legendary founding teams. They have a reputation for discovering “diamonds in the rough” and recognize amazing people before anyone else does. They convince veterans to take a chance on the unpredictable startup journey. They empower people to do their best work. They architect community and set the tone for culture.

Engineering Judge

Nick Caldwell


VP Engineering, Twitter


Anchor engineers apply logic, data, and math to push the boundaries of what we are capable of building. A 10X engineering leader is constantly learning and elevating the work of everyone around them. In the software world, they eat code for breakfast. In the hardware world, they are mad genius inventors. They understand the challenges of hypergrowth and massive scale.

Operations & Finance Judge

Amer Ali


Head, Strategic Finance, Netlify

Operations & Finance

Anchor operations leaders keep the bus running. They’re the adults in the room that get the backbone processes in place that set up a startup for hypergrowth. This means finance, legal, compliance, and all the workflows in between. They squeeze out every optimization possible across the value chain so that the bus runs on time, then quicker, and then more efficiently when more passengers jump on.

Candidates will be evaluated by Anchor List alumni and featured guest operators who have helped build iconic technology companies.
Learn More

For the 2021 winners of Anchor List

  • Invitation to the exclusive Anchor List community, which grants access to a network of the best startup operators in Silicon Valley and beyond
  • Invitation to Anchor List Dinners, which are co-hosted by prominent founders and investors in the startup ecosystem
  • Access to exclusive workshops hosted by Floodgate founding partners Mike Maples and Ann Miura-Ko (e.g. angel investing, startup ideation, etc)

To be considered

Nominees must either be in a full-time role or recognized as a formal adviser at a private company. We will accept cofounder candidates, but we will not be accepting nominees who serve as CEOs. We will also not be accepting candidates who work at public companies. Candidates are welcome to nominate themselves. If you have specific questions, feel free to send a note to

Who is the best operator you know?

Nominations will close at 11:59 PM PT on June 14, 2021.