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Iqram Magdon-Ismail

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Iqram Magdon-Ismail's Social Links


Iqram Magdon-Ismail is a well-respected tech entrepreneur and the co-founder of Venmo, the popular mobile payments company. Together with college dorm roommate Andrew Kortina, Magdon-Ismail founded Venmo in 2009, initially as a music app. Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in computer science, Magdon-Ismail went on to work for TicketLeap after college while Kortina landed at Bit.ly. Prior to establishing Venmo, the pair founded My College Posts, a classifieds site, during their senior year at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to his stint at TicketLeap, Magdon-Ismail served as a developer at the popular social flirting site, iminlikewithyou.com (IILWY). He also co-founded wemusicstore.com.

In 2009, Magdon-Ismail and Kortina reconnected to launch Venmo, a music startup that allowed users the opportunity to send a text message to a bank to have an mp3 ship in their email. They got the name Venmo from vendere, which is Latin for “to sell,” and “mo” for mobile. Later that same year when Magdon-Ismail was visiting Kortina in NYC and forgot his wallet, the idea of turning Venmo into a payments app came to fruition. Recognizing how inconvenient it was to have to pay Kortina back for the weekend via mailing a check, they began doing research on whether or not there were any mobile apps on the market that made sending money to another person as simple as they had in mind. The answer was no, and Venmo was transformed into one of the most popular and successful payments apps on the market. Their first angel investment in the company was Magdon-Ismail’s old boss at TicketLeap, as well as his father.

In 2012 they sold Venmo to Braintree, and today it is owned by PayPal.

Companies and Investments

Venmo (Co-Founder & President), Swipecast (Advisor), My College Post (Co-Founder)

Lessons Learned

Be relatable to your target audience and offer them something they could actually use.

Research your market and make sure there is a need for what you are offering. If so, go for it.

Never give up or stop coming up with new ideas. You never know when the right one will come along.

Be dedicated, passionate, and a hard worker. These traits will get you far in life and in business.

Inspiring Quotes

Iqram Magdon-Ismail's Quotes

You get more value out of sharing with friends.

Iqram Magdon-Ismail

One of the reasons people prefer us, and will prefer us in the future, is just the fact that we are social

Iqram Magdon-Ismail

Influential Books