Forty Under 40: Business
BY Advocate.com Editors
May 06 2009 12:00 AM ET
Scott Gatz | Internet entrepreneur | 38 | San Francisco
Scott Gatz jokingly calls GayCities.com "the largest gay travel network you have never heard of." Yet after only a year and a half, his little travel network already covers most cities in the United States and has 250,000 unique users. A lot of this success is based on Gatz's background -- first as a journalist at NBC, Lifetime, and Reuters and then as a senior director at Yahoo! and general manager of Yahoo! Search, where he was responsible for the My Yahoo! personalized home page. In all that time he never encountered any negativity about his sexuality and was completely welcomed in what he admits was a predominantly straight environment. "I have lived my life as an openly gay man throughout my entire career in a way that would have been unheard of in the 1950s," Gatz says. "And to have my partner warmly welcomed at every major business function was important."
Gatz left Yahoo! in 2007 to found GayCities.com because after years of traveling for work and for pleasure he felt that there was no comprehensive and reliable source for the LGBT traveler. "GayCities is the first and still only site in the LGBT space that wraps a social network around city/travel guides," says Gatz, who is the company's CEO. "That means people are reading other people's reviews, because what is fun to a 25-year-old gay man may not be the same for a 40-year-old lesbian." The company is in its early stages but has enlisted former Advocate D.C. correspondent Chris Bull as editorial director and just launched an iPhone application that allows users to find nearby gay bars, restaurants, and gyms.