Meet technology speakers Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail, Venmo cofounders:




Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail are the cofounders of Venmo, a mobile payments company that allows users to send money through their smartphones.

Their Beginnings…

The two met as randomly paired freshman year roommates at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. Kortina studied Philosophy and English and Magdon-Ismail studied Computer Science. They started their first company together as seniors: A college classifieds site called My College Post. Although nothing came of it, the pair got an apartment in west Philadelphia after graduation. During this time, they worked doing freelance website design and various startup projects.

Their endeavors ranged from a website analytics tool called Swooge to a music site called Philafunk in addition to a dating site called iminlikewithyou. After this, Kortina worked at while Magdon-Ismail worked at Ticketleap, but they both knew that they eventually wanted to team up again for a new startup idea.

How We Got To Venmo

So, the pair launched Venmo in 2009. It started as a mobile music company that allowed people to send a text to a band to have an .mp3 show up in their email. The company took a pivot towards its present day function due to an incident in which Magdon-Ismail came to visit Kortina in New York City for the weekend yet forgot his wallet at home. Although Kortina covered Magdon-Ismail’s expenses, they discovered paying people back, especially with checks, was extremely difficult. As a result, they created Venmo.

In an Elite Daily “Disruptive” series video, Michael Vaughn, Venmo General Manager, discusses Venmo’s mission and purpose.

“In Venmo’s case, we were taking something that shouldn’t be that hard and makng it simpler,” says Vaughn. “Our mission for years has been to connect the world and empower people through payments.”

View the full video here:

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