Sam Altman

Samuel Harris Altman is an American entrepreneur, investor, and programmer. He is the CEO of OpenAI and co-founder of , a and digital ID project. Sam Altman was the co-founder of Loopt, former President of Y-Combinator, and was briefly the CEO of Reddit. [1]

Early Life & Education

Sam Altman, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, received his first computer at the age of eight and attended John Burroughs School. He briefly pursued computer science at Stanford University but dropped out after one year without completing his Bachelor's degree. [2][10]



At 19, Sam Altman co-founded Loopt, a location-based social networking mobile application. As CEO, he successfully secured over $30 million in venture capital for the company. However, Loopt did not achieve sufficient user adoption. In 2012, the company was acquired by the Green Dot Corporation for $43.4 million. [3][4][5]

"i failed pretty hard at my first startup--it sucked!--and am doing pretty well on my second. the thing i wish someone told me during the first one is that no one else thinks about your failures as much as you do, and that as long as don't psych yourself out you can try again." - Sam tweeted[9]

Y Combinator

Sam Altman joined Y Combinator as a partner in 2011, initially working part-time. In February 2014, he was appointed President of Y Combinator by co-founder Paul Graham. In a 2014 blog post, Altman revealed that the combined valuation of Y Combinator companies had exceeded $65 billion, featuring notable startups like Airbnb, Dropbox, Zenefits, and Stripe. In September 2016, Altman expanded his role to become the president of YC Group, encompassing Y Combinator and other associated units. [6]

In October 2015, Sam Altman introduced YC Continuity, a $700 million equity fund dedicated to investing in maturing Y Combinator companies. Around the same time, he also established Y Combinator Research, a non-profit research lab, and contributed $10 million to support its initiatives. YC Research has undertaken research in areas such as basic income, the future of computing, education, and urban development. [19]

In March 2019, Altman transitioned from his role as president to Chairman of the Board at Y Combinator, taking on a less hands-on role to focus on OpenAI. His decision coincided with YC's relocation of its headquarters to San Francisco. However, as of early 2020, he is no longer associated with Y Combinator. [20]


In 2020, Sam Altman shifted his focus to become the full-time CEO of OpenAI, leaving his role at Y Combinator. OpenAI was initially funded by Altman, along with contributions from Greg Brockman, , Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Infosys, and YC Research. At its launch in December 2015, OpenAI had secured $1 billion in funding. In May 2023, Altman testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, discussing matters related to AI oversight. [7][8]


Sam Altman was the CEO of Reddit for eight days in 2014 after CEO Yishan Wong resigned. He announced the return of Steve Huffman as CEO on July 10, 2015. [11]


is an iris biometric project developed by San Francisco and Berlin-based Tools for Humanity[12]. It was founded in 2019 by Sam Altman, Max Novendstern[17], and Alex Blania[16], and it is backed by VC . [13]

The Worldcoin project involves an eye-scanning "orb,” which must be used in person and gives users a unique digital identity to verify they are real humans and not a bot. [14]

"The idea came from wanting to solve the problem of humanness through a privacy-preserving and non-fraudulent solution" - Sam Altman [25]

Worldcoin launched its utility WLD token and on Twitter on July 24, 2023. [15]

"the goal is simple: a global financial and identity network based on proof of personhood. this feels especially important in the AI era. i'm hopeful worldcoin can contribute to conversations about how we share access, benefits, and governance of future AI systems." - Sam Altman tweeted. [15]

Speaking on why is needed in this era, Sam Altman said;

"When we think about these very powerful systems, these very powerful AIs that will exist in the world, I think the benefits from them, access to them, governance of them, those belong to real people. And I think it's very important that AI is being built as tools for people"

"I also think that the ability to say I'm a human I created this content or I'm at least endorsing this content, that's gonna turn out to be important too" - Sam Altman

Word lD

World ID is privacy-preserving proof of personhood. It enables users to verify their humanness online while maintaining their privacy through zero-knowledge proofs, via a custom biometric device called the Orb. [18]

World IDs are issued on the protocol, which allows individuals to prove that they are human to any verifier (including web2 applications) while maintaining their privacy through zero-knowledge proofs. [18]

Speaking on the complexity & pressure surrounding the Worldcoin launch, Sam said;

"It's been very cool to watch how good the worldcoin team has gotten at getting good at new challenges. One of the things I love most about startups is watching people learn just how much they can get done and just how much they're capable of. Small teams in particular & the worldcoin team is certainly outperformed expectations" [25]


Altman was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2023, one of the "Best Young Entrepreneurs in Technology" by Businessweek in 2008, and the top investor under 30 by Forbes magazine in 2015. [21][22]

In June 2017, Altman received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo for supporting companies from its Velocity entrepreneurship program. In August 2017, GLAAD recognized him with the Ric Weiland Award for promoting LGBTQ equality and acceptance in the tech sector. [23][24]

See something wrong? Report to us.

Sam Altman


Did you find this article interesting?

Twitter Timeline





Join the IQ Brainlist

Sign up for the IQ Brainlist to get early access to editing on the beta site!

Join Now

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss any of the most popular and trending articles on when you sign up to our email newsletter.

Subscribe's vision is to bring blockchain knowledge to the world and knowledge onto the blockchain. A part of Brainfund Group.


What's IQ?StakingBonds


About usCareersBrandingIQ GPTIQ Dashboard

© 2023 Powered By BrainDAO& IQ