Nominations are now open for Anchor List 2021

Help us recognize extraordinary operators and advisors in the startup ecosystem

We’re excited to share that we are now accepting nominations for this year’s cohort of the Anchor List, an annual list recognizing the most talented operators building the world’s fastest growing startups.

We’ve never been more bullish on Anchor Operators - the key leaders within a startup that can totally transform the trajectory of a business. We’ve worked with enough companies to know that the first engineer, first designer, first sales hire, and so on are super critical to mission success. Help us celebrate their stories by nominating the best operator or advisor you know!

We’ve expanded our definition of Anchor Operators to include advisors.

When we started the Anchor List, we focused on highlighting key executives who were working full-time at a private company. However, after speaking to many founders over the last year, we’ve found that startup advisors can be just as critical in the zero to one journey as key hires. Advisors offer an incredible sounding board to entrepreneurs on how to build their products, organizations, and teams before they are ready to commit to a first hire in a particular function. We’ve taken that feedback to heart and will also be considering operators who advise founders in a formal capacity this year. 

We’ve added a new category of Anchor Operators to evaluate: Engineering.

Last year, the Anchor List recognized operators in product, design, marketing & growth, sales & business development, operations & finance, and talent. We’ve now added engineering as a seventh category for consideration. Engineers are the lifeblood of the startup ecosystem - few products could be built without them. We’ll be looking to highlight 10x engineering leaders across software, data science, hardware, and more.

We’ve called back many of our Anchor List alumni to join our judging panels.

We’re excited to share that more than 70% of this year’s judges are Anchor List honorees from our 2020 cohort who are interested in staying involved in the community! These folks are veterans from iconic companies such as Airbnb, Doordash, Stripe, Twitter, and more. More than half of our judges are women, and roughly a fifth of our judges identify as black or latinx. 

Over the course of the last year we landed in national publications like Business Insider and The Information, and hosted a range of exclusive workshops on everything from startup ideation to angel investing. Some folks have joined, started, and funded new companies as a result of connections made here! We’d love to continue building a robust Anchor Operator network.

Nominations will close on June 14, 2021.

We’ll be accepting nominations for the next several months. Once nominations close, the Anchor List team will be shortlisting 30 nominees in each category for our judging panel to consider. We plan to announce 4 honorees in each category by June 30, 2021.

The Anchor List is powered by Floodgate.

I’m Shawn, an operator turned seed stage investor at Floodgate, and I help curate the Anchor List. We’re an early stage venture capital firm that’s backed legendary companies like Lyft, Twitter, Twitch, and more with the earliest checks. We believe in lifting up exceptional operators, and we’d love your help in telling their stories. If you want to follow along to see who makes the 2021 list + take a deep dive into the minds of the most epic operators we can find, please consider subscribing to this newsletter. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ping

Special thanks to our designers Albert Dong and Marcus Knowles at Godling Studio and our developer Yoni Dejene at Alama for their help in getting our website up and running!

So who’s the best operator you know?  Nominate your candidate by visiting our site at