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Eric Ly
Eric Ly
Thich Vi Ly

(1969-01-15) January 15, 1969 (age 55)
Alma materStanford University (BS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS)
Occupation(s)Technologist, Investor
Known forCo-founding LinkedIn
TitleFounder, CEO, presdo

Eric Thich Vi Ly (born January 15, 1969) is an American entrepreneur and investor. Ly was co-founder of LinkedIn, a social networking site designed specifically for the business community, where he served as its founding chief technology officer. He is currently the CEO and founder of a blockchain based trust protocol Hub, as well as the CEO and co-founder of KarmaCheck providing candidate's background checks.[1]

Early life and education

Ly was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and emigrated to the United States in 1975 as a result of the Vietnam War. He lived in San Francisco, California, for some years, and when his parents found jobs in Silicon Valley, his family moved to Sunnyvale, California.

Ly attended Homestead High School, where he applied his interest in computers to journalism and the on-campus newspaper, The Epitaph. Through a sponsorship from Apple Inc., he transformed production methods for the publication, making Homestead one of the first schools in the country to use desktop publishing technology to publish its newspaper on the newly introduced Macintosh computers.[2]

Ly attended Stanford University and volunteered as a science writer for the Stanford Daily in addition to his studies.[3] Ly was inspired by professor Terry Winograd's perspective that computers ultimately serve as communications tools for people.[4] Ly graduated with distinction in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Symbolic Systems and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.[5] His contemporaries included Scott Forstall, Reid Hoffman, and Marissa Mayer.

Ly went on to earn a Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab in 1993 with a research thesis ("Chatter: A Conversational Telephone Agent") on combining speech-user interfaces and artificial-intelligence agents.[6]

Ly returned to Stanford University to get his PhD in Computer Science but he would later drop out of the program.[7]


Early years

Ly started his professional career in technical positions at Steve Jobs' NeXT (acquired by Apple Inc.), IBM, Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle), and General Magic.[8]

In 1995, Ly co-founded Netmosphere, a software company enabling project management collaboration utilizing Internet technologies such as Java. Menlo Ventures invested in the firm, which was subsequently acquired by Critical Path, Inc.[9] In 2000, Ly co-founded a mobile software company called Tresidder Networks in which Industry Ventures invested.[citation needed]


In 2002, Ly co-founded LinkedIn with Reid Hoffman, a Stanford schoolmate, and several other co-founders, including Jean-Luc Vaillant, Allen Blue, and Konstantin Guericke. When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016 for $26.2B, it was the world's "largest social networking site focused on the working world" with more than 400 million registered users.[10]

As LinkedIn's founding CTO, Ly "helped create some of its core product features, which enabled the company to reach profitability and a quickly growing user base."[11][12]

Wellington Partners

From 2008 to 2011, Ly served as a venture partner for Wellington Partners, a Munich, Germany-based venture capital firm whose investments include Xing and Spotify.[13]

Current projects

In 2007, Ly launched Presdo with $35,000 (~$49,559 in 2023) of his own money.[14] The company first built a meeting scheduler chatbot described as "pure, refined, focused, with a fairly deep understanding of how real people, not just 'users,' think, act and want from their online apps."[15] On the suggestion of Loic Le Meur and others, Ly was persuaded to adapt the meeting scheduler to conferences where it could help attendees arrange face-to-face meetings. The technology evolved into a mobile app called Presdo Match, "that facilitates networking" and "provides a searchable directory of attendee profiles (imported from LinkedIn when desirable), makes connection recommendations, and highlights which contacts from existing networks are in attendance so users can send messages and schedule meetings with other attendees."[16] Presdo Match was launched in 2010 at the LeWeb conference, "the biggest European Internet conference."[17][18] Ly subsequently expanded his marketing efforts for Presdo Match globally.[19]


Ly has spoken at many event-industry conferences on the topic of social technology and its role in live events, including The Meetings Technology Expo, Web Summit, Expo! Expo!, and the Society of Independent Show Organizer's CEO Summit.[20][21][22]


  1. ^ "Smart Talk: Eric Ly, Co-Founder of LinkedIn | Smart Meetings". Smart Meetings. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  2. ^ "Steve Jobs, a Tribute - The Ferris Files". The Ferris Files. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  3. ^ Jackson, Abby (2017-01-27). "Here are the colleges that have produced the most founders of billion-dollar startups". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  4. ^ Terry, Winograd (1987). Understanding computers and cognition : a new foundation for design. Flores, Fernando, 1943-. Norwood, NJ. ISBN 0201112973. OCLC 11727403.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ "Web Entrepreneurs with College Degrees". Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  6. ^ Eric Thich Vi Ly (1991). "Chatter: A Conversational Telephone Agent" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Eric Ly". LinkedIn.
  8. ^ "Speaking With "LinkedIn" Entrepreneur Eric Ly - PE Hub". PE Hub. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  9. ^ "Netmosphere, Inc.: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  10. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "Microsoft officially closes its $26.2B acquisition of LinkedIn". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  11. ^ "Eric Ly: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  12. ^ "Eric Ly, LinkedIn". VCIC. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  13. ^ "LinkedIn co-founder Eric Ly joins Wellington Partners | VentureBeat". venturebeat.com. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  14. ^ Schonfeld, Erick. "Presdo, The Magical Online Scheduler". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  15. ^ Walsh, Bob (2008-05-05). "Presdo: Twitter for Your Calendar?". Gigaom. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  16. ^ "Presdo Match Added A Business Card Exchange Feature, So What?". EventTechBrief. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  17. ^ "Eric Ly Presents Presdo Match at Le Web '10". Vimeo. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  18. ^ "The Highlights and the Review of LeWeb 2010 conference | Web SEO Analytics". www.webseoanalytics.com. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  19. ^ "LinkedIn founder takes the next step". The National. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  20. ^ "Facebook joins Dublin Web Summit lineup - The Sociable". sociable.co. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  21. ^ O'Carroll, Sinead. "Tech leaders land in the city for Dublin Web Summit". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  22. ^ "Trade Show Executive :: IAEE's Expo! Offered Something for Everyone". www.tradeshowexecutive.com. Archived from the original on 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2017-11-01.