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In May 2010, Jared Hecht ’09CC co-founded GroupMe with Steve Martocci. Jared’s wife had complained that she would be unable to stay in touch with friends at a concert due to spotty service and the fact that not everyone had a smart phone. Hecht and Martocci decided to focus on text messaging to resolve the problem because it does not rely on a data connection. The pair created a platform for real-time group messaging during the TechCrunch’s Disrupt Hackathon competition. That platform began Groupme.

Groupme is a free mobile messaging app that acts as a chat room on nearly every phone. GroupMe makes it easy to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere.

In August 2011, GroupMe was acquired by Skype for a reported $80 million. GroupMe has grown to more than 12 million registered users.

“What was most important to us was making sure people all over the world can experience GroupMe, and we wanted to take every competitive advantage we had to make sure that happened,” Hecht says.

During Hecht’s senior year, he served as the managing director and publisher for Columbia’s student-written and produced guidebook, Inside New York. Hecht said the experience provided him the foundation for running his own company.

“I was running a business with real revenue and a real product that was distributed with significant impact.”

It has not been shared with his next focus will be but Hecht just announced that he will be leaving the company to pursue new projects.