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Justin McLeod      

Founder & CEO of Hinge

Justin McLeod is an entrepreneur born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He attended Colgate University and, though his troublemaking nearly had him kicked out, graduated with a BA in 2006. While working in management consulting after college, McLeod traveled abroad to learn more about himself. Upon his return, he attended Harvard Business School where he thereafter earned his MBA. It was during this time he conceived the idea of Hinge.

Dissatisfied with the online dating options such as OKCupid or eHarmony, McLeod sought to create a platform to connect friends of friends. His vision was this would be a more natural, comfortable alternative for people like himself. He approached a friend working as a programmer for Google with his idea, and the two collaborated on the first version of Hinge. It was originally a desktop-only app, launching in 2011, and while it was designed well, making enough money to maintain itself became problematic.

By late 2012, Hinge was very much in danger financially. In a last ditch effort, McLeod set aside the remaining liquid funding he had for two purposes. The first of which was to pay his developers for their work in helping create Hinge's first mobile app. The second, hoping to give the app a healthy boost in traffic, was to throw a monumental launch party in Washington D.C. McLeod soon found himself pulling his hair out with concerns over the app being accepted into Apple's App Store on time. The morning of the event he awoke to find the app accepted, and the traffic generated from the launch party led to investors giving Hinge a second look.

Since then, Hinge has experienced steady growth and is encroaching further on its competitors' market share by the day. Hinge is currently in over 34 cities including locales like Sydney, London and Mumbai. McLeod has raised $20 million in capital since its inception

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