PayPal, Yelp Co-Founder To Speak At U Of I Commencement
Max Levchin, the computer scientist who co-founded PayPal and Yelp, will return to the University of Illinois May 12th, to be the Urbana campus’s commencement speaker.
The 42-year-old Ukranian-born Levchin was brought to the United States by his family, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. He enrolled at the University of Illinois in 1993, and while still a student, co-founded two Internet ventures in the 1990’s.
Those businesses failed, but Levchin had more success after graduation when he co-founded the company that created the money-transfer service PayPal. Later, he helped finance the crowd-sourced business review site Yelp, launched by two of his PayPal colleagues.
Levchin is currently involved with the online lending platform Affirm and the fertility app Glow. Both were developed at Levchin’s technology incubator lab, HVF Labs (the initials stand for “Hard Valuable Fun”).
A U of I news release says Levchin has remain involved with the university since his graduation, making several appearances on the Urbana campus. U of I Chancellor Robert Jones calls Levchin “an inspiring entrepreneur and innovator”.