Whitney Wolfe, chief executive of Bumble, spoke at The Post’s 2015 inGENuitY Summit Dec. 2 in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.
Whitney Wolfe was born and raised in Salt Lake City until she and her family moved to Paris at the age of 11. She returned to Utah to complete high school and went to Southern Methodist University, where she majored in international relations after being rejected by the advertising and marketing school. She has since been called a “marketing genius” by outlets such as Medium.com and Bloomberg. She spent a year at La Sorbonne during university and is fluent in French.
Wolfe started two companies while in college. She started the first, a non-profit organization inspired by the BP oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico called the “Help Us Project,” with partner Patrick Aufdenkam. “Help Us” bags became a popular line of organic bamboo totes supported by numerous celebrities, with proceeds benefitting the Ocean Futures Society. Wolfe formed a clothing line also with Aufdenkam, called Tender Heart, produced in Nepal, to raise awareness of human trafficking and fair trade clothing.
After graduating, Wolfe spent six months in Asia working in orphanages in Northern Thailand and Cambodia. Upon her return, she joined the Cardify team for marketing and sales, which was part of the IAC incubator Hatch Labs. After Cardify failed to pick up, Wolfe lobbied the team to run with another side project they had created, which was called Matchbox. That app became Tinder. Wolfe co-founded Tinder and was the vice president of marketing for two years. After her departure, she saw a missing link in online responsibility and had hopes to create a platform for kindness. Whitney reunited with business acquaintance Andrey Andreev, most famous for his platform Badoo — which has over 230 million users and generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Together they formed Bumble.