University of Southern California

Scott Yamano Named Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies will Honor the CEO of Dedicated Media at Annual Networking Day
February 9, 2012 • by News at Marshall

The USC Marshall Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies will honor Scott Yamano, CEO of Dedicated Media, as Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year at its Annual Networking Day on March 3, 2012.

Yamano, who graduated from the USC Marshall School of Business in 1998, founded Dedicated Media with Chris Berman in 2003. Funded by a $35,000 short-term loan from Berman’s father, Yamano and Berman launched the Internet marketing firm out of their house.

Dedicated Media is now a leader in U.S. online media sales, with 80 employees in three offices (Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco). Yamano and Berman remain 50/50 owners of the business.

"The award is really a testament for how well the university prepared me to achieve success," Yamano said. "All the hard work and effort in the world won't make a difference if you aren't set up with a foundation to succeed."

"As a student, one of the most exciting parts of the curriculum was having exposure to successful entrepreneurs who were willing to share their experiences with the class," Yamano added. "To be given a chance to be part of that lifecycle and giving back to the program is incredibly rewarding. I'm humbled by the list of previous winners and really appreciative of the honor to even be mentioned with such household names as CEO and Co-founder of Chris DeWolfe and Chairman, CEO and Founder of Marc Benioff."

Gene Miller, director of the Lloyd Greif Center, said Yamano is an example of the entrepreneurial mindset it is the center's mission to develop in all graduates. "Scott was a natural choice for this award because of his vision and drive," he explained. "That he was able to conceive of and build Dedicated Media in such a short period of time, and so soon after graduating, is remarkable."

After graduation, Yamano worked at Centropolis Interactive. He went on to a position as vice president of online marketing at Fandom, but that job was short-lived as the board pushed out the founders and buried the company in 18 months. Yamano said he weathered the dot-com bust for a while, but ended up on the unemployment line.

In 2002, Yamano met Berman at Response Base, an online marketing and advertising company that slowly moved away from direct response marketing and toward a startup called MySpace. As director of sales, Yamano was responsible for the first ads sold on the fledgling project that became the most-trafficked site on the Internet. He saw the company grow from about 20 employees when he joined to a mega site targeted by Fox for a $580 million acquisition after he left to found Dedicated Media.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.