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Sam Yagan      

Co-founder, OkCupid

Sam Yagan is co-founder and CEO of, the fastest-growing free online dating service. Yagan was previously co-founder and CEO of, maker of SparkNotes, and president of MetaMachine, which developed P2P file-sharing application eDonkey. He has also been vice president and general manager at Delias, and vice-president and publisher at Barnes & Noble.

The son of Syrian immigrants, Al and Dr. Haifi Yagan,Sam was instilled with an entrepreneur trait at a young age. Growing up in Bourbonnais, Illinois Yagan’s academic prowess led him to the prestigious Illinois Math and Science Academy and eventually Harvard University. Yagan holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Mathematics and Economic from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University.

In 1999 during his senior year at Harvard, Yagan and two of his classmates, Chris Coyne and Max Krohn, started the online study guide SparkNotes.[6] Christian Rudder joined shortly after the founding. A year later they sold the company to Barnes and Nobles for $30 million.

By age 25 Yagan was the president of eDonkey (founded in 2002), a P2P file-sharing network. As the developer of eDonkey, Yagan testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing a need for balance between innovation and intellectual property.

In 2003 Yagan again teamed up with his Harvard classmates, Chris Coyne and Max Krohn and founded OkCupid.

In 2009 Yagan and Troy Henikoff founded Excelerate Labs, a 13-week start-up accelerator.

In 2011 Yagan sold his dating website to IAC and in 2012 Yagan became the CEO of (a subsidiary of IAC).

In April 2013 Yagan was he was as one of TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’.

In 2011 Yagan was named to Crain’s 40 under 40” in Chicago.

Sam Yagan is married to his high school sweetheart, Jessica Droste Yagan.


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