Justin McLeod: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Hinge CEO


Justin McLeod is the founder and CEO of the growing dating app Hinge. His vision has made Hinge unique in a world full of dating apps. As a pioneer in the online dating field, McLeod has found his niche. He is keenly aware of what millennials are searching for in the dating world. Justin McLeod has used his knowledge, awareness, and drive to achieve success in the technology start up field. He has created a dynamic mobile app that is easy and appealing to use to meet a potential partner. Justin McLeod is one of the most innovative technology experts of his generation.

He is from Kentucky

The 32 year old McLeod was born and raised in Kentucky. His entrepreneurship was encouraged by his father and uncle who each owned building supply companies. At 15 years old, McLeod was fired from a restaurant bus boy job, but his drive helped him start his own business. He started to help local businesses build their websites during high school. He also went to several summer camps at Duke University where he took computer science courses and learned how to code. Despite being captain of his high school tennis team and president of the student counsel, Justin McLeod liked to party in high school.

He is into Yoga

Justin McLeod enrolled in Colgate College in upstate New York. In the beginning, he did not take university life too seriously. His dorm had to be evacuated his first night because he set off the fire alarm by smoking indoors. He also got into trouble for throwing snowballs at his Resident Assistant’s window. However, McLeod got it together during his college years. He traveled to India and Thailand to find himself and took a 300 hour yoga training program. Today, he is an avid meditator.

He went to Harvard Business School

After graduating from Colgate College, Justin McLeod worked as a consultant in the healthcare field. Justin then went to Harvard Business School. While at Harvard, Justin McLeod found his niche in the technology field.

He is a self-described “nerd” and “hopeless romantic”

Justin McLeod calls himself a “nerd” but he does not appear to be one. He is good with computer technology, but he is also an average Millennial. For years, Justin was a huge fan of “The Bachelor” but afraid to admit this to his friends. He calls himself a “hopeless romantic” which inspired him to create an online dating app that is changing the dating game.

It took a lot of drive to get Hinge started

Despite financial connections, it took a lot of drive for Justin McLeod to get Hinge started. McLeod raised $100,000 for the initial dating app which was called “Secret Agent Cupid” with a mascot of cupid in a tuxedo. He brainstormed the idea with a friend who worked at Google, but the friend chose to stay with Google and McLeod returned to the East Coast. He and some friends launched in 2011 but did not have a mobile app. McLeod hoped to launch the mobile app in 2013 but at the last minute did not get approval from Apple. This was the same day that McLeod had a huge launch party scheduled in New York City with thousands of guests.

Hinge is not Tinder

Justin McLeod’s vision for Hinge is to be different than Tinder. Unlike Tinder, Hinge’s main competitor, Hinge’s main objective is to connect people through friends. McLeod’s idea has been to build a dating website that connects people through friends, like a house party. McLeod pictures himself and his team as the hosts who help friends connect with friends and hopefully create relationships. Hinge is a facilitator for dating. Hinge’s main goal is to eliminate the “swiping” of other dating sites which dehumanizes the dating experience. Hinge hopes to help couples truly connect in the world of online dating.

Hinge’s Facebook Connection

Hinge relies on Facebook for its dating connections. Facebook helps to pull data to make possible matches. Instead of meeting someone random online, Hinge aims to connect friends of friends. We all know that all of our 600 + Facebook friends are not really our true friends. Yet, we do have things in common with our friends of friends. By connecting people through common friends, Hinge is a lot less scary than other dating sites.

Who uses Hinge?

The average Hinge user is between 23 and 36 years old. Mostly urban, university educated, Hinge users typically work in the technology, media, finance, fashion or legal fields. The main goal of Hinge is to spark connections through friends, career and city. Half of Hinge users seek an actual conversation connection. It is not just a “hook up” site. Hinge has focused on a “city by city” agenda. Focusing on New York City then Chicago and so on. This past year, Hinge went international playing by the same rule book. Hinge has expanded to Toronto, London, Mumbai, and Sydney.

He is currently “hinged”

Justin McLeod was briefly on Hinge. He developed his initial ideas for Hinge during his years at Harvard Business School. Harvard had an event called “Last Chance Dance”. During the event, students could “confess” their feelings/crushes with other students. A Facebook page was set up to facilitate the event. Justin McLeod did not get the response he had hoped for through that event, but he has found love and is no longer “in-Hinged”.

Justin McLeod Net Worth

Justin McLeod’s net worth is $1.2 millions. His vision and talent has helped McLeod find success. Most of all, his drive and perseverance have served him well.

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