Meet Dennis Crowley, a technology innovator, product developer, serial entrepreneur, and Fortune 40 under 40 nominee. Crowley is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. Born in Medway, Massachusetts, he began his higher education at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and later continued his education at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program where he has since worked as an adjunct professor. Crowley has always had an aptitude for technology and has always believed in its power when paired with social events. Whether it was throwing parties and wiring dorm rooms with Ethernet in college or developing location-based social games he’s always had a knack for knowing what will appeal to his audience and implementing his ideas in an effective manner. Crowley has the ability to think up great ideas and market them to the right people for support.
Reaching success was not an easy journey, nor a quick one. After graduation from Syracuse, Crowley moved to Manhattan to work as a research assistant for Jupiter Communications. Soon after, he left Jupiter Communications to become a product developer at a mobile company called Vindigo. Crowley did not last at this company for very long, he was let go as Vindigo went through a period of layoffs. In response, Crowley applied for graduate school at NYU, where he met Alex Rainert. Together, they co-founded Dodgeball, one of the first mobile social services ever, and was later acquired by Google in 2005. Afterwards, Crowley worked on several location-based social games such as PacManhattan, a live action game of PacMan in New York City and ConQwest, a big game played in five cities with teams of 20 high school students who were encouraged to race around the cities taking pictures of sema codes which are 2D barcodes as part of a treasure hunt. Dennis is now also the chairman of the Kingston Stockade Football Club, a semi-professional soccer team based in Hudson Valley NY.
As a trailblazer for social technology, he has always been invested in social situations. By far his most well-known creation is Foursquare. Have you ever wanted to be the “mayor” of a restaurant you frequent? Be rewarded with a title for going out four nights in a row to different bars or eating at 20 different pizza places? Foursquare is a social network that enables users to check in at restaurants or bars and earn badges and awards based on where and how frequently they check in. The app caters to a variety of user groups, namely foodies and restaurant owners. Foodies use it to share their culinary experiences and provide recommendations to others. Restaurant owners gain valuable insight into their customers’ preferences and backgrounds based on how many times people check into their restaurants on Foursquare and what types of badges are awarded. Some restaurants are now even offering incentives for people to use Foursquare such as a free beverage or a guaranteed reservation, even occasionally being acknowledged as the Mayor if a user manages to acquire this badge. Crowley is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of this innovative company that works to bring people together using a common interest in food and reaches 50 million people per month world-wide. This incredible idea is unique and helps people discover the world around them using big data and social encouragement.
If all these accomplishments aren’t enough to prove his success, you should also know that Dennis has been named one of Fortune’s “40 under 40” in 2010 and 2011. Along with this, he was a member of Vanity Fair’s New Establishment list in 2011 and 2012. If that’s not enough, Crowley was also recognized in the MIT Technology Review as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under 35. He was keynote speaker at the 2015 Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders and has also won the Fast Money bonus round on the well-known game Family Feud.
Dennis Crowley is invested in his ideas and has been able to reach millions of people worldwide with his creations. He works to bring together communities through social interaction by making it into a fun game. Crowley has put countless innovative ideas into action, and we are excited to hear him share his story at the Ascent Conference this October.
Hear from Dennis in person at NYC’s Ascent Conference, October 3-4 – Get an extra 30% off your pass with code: BLOG30