Sam Altman: Leading the Next Generation of Startups

It’s not uncommon for successful entrepreneurs to give back and become venture capitalists themselves. One of the newest additions to this roster of entrepreneurs turned investors is Sam Altman. As the new president of Y Combinator, the well-known start up incubator and seed stage start up accelerator, Altman is now sharing not just the all-important funding start ups need, but his knowledge and experiences as a company founder as well.

Altman graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Computer Science. During his stay at the university, he also did some work at the school’s AI lab. His first foray into entrepreneurship was in 2005 when he co-founded the location-based social media app Loopt. The company was part of the first batch of Y Combinator graduates and was launched as one of the first few apps available on the iPhone’s App Store. Altman even got a chance to present the app alongside Steve Jobs onstage at the 2008 WWDC. Loopt was eventually sold to Green Dot Corporation in 2012. Under the new ownership, Altman still stayed with the company as its CTO, but is now on the company’s board of directors.

Sam Altman’s career as a venture capitalist began when he co-founded Hydrazine Capital with Jack Altman. He also became a part-time partner at Y Combinator in 2011. When the start up incubator’s co-founder Paul Graham decided to hand over the reins to someone new, Altman was handpicked for the job. His success as both an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist has not escaped the watchful eye of tech and business media outlets like Forbes which named him one of 2015’s 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital. In 2008, he was also recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs that year for his work with Loopt.


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