The challenge: Can a startup take on venerable brands to grab a share of the African-American media audience?
What he did: When Jamarlin Martin launched the black-oriented gossip site Bossip in 2006, the former paralegal was surprised that so few media companies targeted younger (ages 24 to 40) African-American women. "I didn't see anyone saying this is a big opportunity," says Martin, 34. Thanks to dish on celebs like Tyra Banks and a mobile-friendly platform, Bossip took off. Martin soon spun out five other lifestyle sites, from MommyNoire (for new moms) to Hip-Hop Wired (for music lovers). Focusing on building traffic by obsessively studying the web-surfing habits of his readers, Martin snagged big advertisers like P&G (Fortune 500) and , Starbucks (Fortune 500). Today his 45-employee company generates revenue of $11 million a year, he says. Next: a 24/7 video channel. ,
Yup, the company will paint the interior of your home in a day.