Leah Culver
Speaking in 2008 at The Next Web Conference (Amsterdam)
Born1982/1983 (age 39–40)
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
EmployerTwitter, Inc.

Leah Culver (born 1982 or 1983)[1] is a computer programmer, startup founder, and angel investor.


Culver started as an art major at the University of Minnesota, but switched majors and earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science in 2006.[2]


Culver is a co-author of a Python library for the open-standard authentication OAuth 1.0 and a co-author of OEmbed.[3][4]

After graduating, she worked at the startups iLoop Mobile and Instructables.[2] While working at Instructables, she received attention for etching company logos onto her laptop, which was funded by that ad space.[5]

In June 2007,[6] she co-founded Pownce, with Digg's cofounder Kevin Rose and Digg’s creative director, Daniel Burka.[6] Pownce was a micro-blogging site she programmed by herself as an experiment,[7] described as "Twitter meets Napster".[6] The company was funded with investments from Culver's friends and family, rather than venture capitalists.[8] Pownce was acquired by Six Apart in December 2008. The website was shut down after the acquisition, but Culver implemented the technology she built for Pownce in TypePad and TypePad Motion.[8] She left the company in February 2010.[8]

After leaving Six Apart, Culver, along with Eric Florenzano and Eric Maguire, co-founded Convore, backed by Y Combinator.[9] Convore focused primarily on an application for real time chat, technology that was inspired by FriendFeed groups and 37 SignalsCampfire .[9] Convore pivoted into Grove,[10] a chat service for workgroups, which Culver says was sold to Revolution Systems in October 2012.[11]

Culver went on to work as an engineer at Dropbox, where she and her team created a copy of a fictional Image compression algorithm called Pied Piper from the television series Silicon Valley.[12]

Leah Culver was CTO of Breaker,[13] a content-discovery platform for podcasts,[14] which she co-founded with Erik Berlin in 2016.[15] In January 2021, Culver and the Breaker team joined Twitter to help build Twitter Spaces.[15] The Breaker application was scheduled for shut down on January 15, 2021, but instead was taken over by Maple Media.[15]

Culver was on the cover of MIT Technology Review in July 2008,[6] was named among the Most Influential Women in Web 2.0 by Fast Company magazine in November 2008,[2] was featured in the documentary The Startup Kids in 2012,[16] and was among Girl Geek X's 30 Female CTOs to Watch list in 2019.[17]

Culver has invested in technology such as Maker, a woman-led and minority-owned canned wine company,[18] and Gowalla, a former Foursquare competitor turned augmented reality social application.[19]

Personal life

Culver is from Minnesota.[20] She resides in San Francisco, California with her Instagram-famous pug Mr. Wiggles.[20]

In January 2020, Culver purchased 714 Steiner Street,[21] the pink Painted Lady, for $3.55 million,[20] well over its asking price.[13] Culver purchased the home with the intention of renovating the property to its 130-year-old glory,[22] while making the home more climate-friendly with the direction of architect David Armour.[21] Culver created Instagram and Twitter profiles to share the progress on the historic building.[13] She underestimated the amount of work required and in May 2022 put the house up for sale at the original purchase price.[23]


  1. ^ Fenn, Donna (1 October 2008). "Cool, Determined & Under 30". Inc. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Chaudhuri, Saabira (6 November 2008). "Most Influential Women in Web 2.0". Fast Company Magazine. Mansueto Ventures LLC. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Meet Leah Culver, one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People 2019". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  4. ^ "OAuth 1 RFCs". Oauth. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
  5. ^ Calore, Michael (2006-11-20). "Leah Culver's Etched Laptop". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  6. ^ a b c d Harris, Lissa (23 June 2008). "Ten Web Startups to Watch". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2021-11-28.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Pontin, Jason (2007-07-29). "A Social-Networking Service With a Velvet Rope". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  8. ^ a b c Kincaid, Jason (12 February 2010). "Pownce Founder Leah Culver Leaves Six Apart". TechCrunch. TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  9. ^ a b Rao, Leena (9 February 2011). "Convore Wants To Be The Easiest Group Communication App Yet". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  10. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (11 October 2021). "Twitter Open-Sources Clutch.IO, The Mobile A/B Testing Service It Recently Acquired". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  11. ^ "About". Leah Culver's Blog. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  12. ^ Hunt, Gordon (2015-08-26). "Dropbox engineers create 'Pied Piper' compression tool". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  13. ^ a b c "Meet the New Owner of San Francisco's 'Pink Painted Lady'". NBC. 6 February 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  14. ^ McCorvey, J. J. (2019-05-22). "How the cofounder of Breaker created a podcast app that (finally) serves listeners". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  15. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah; Wilhelm, Alex (4 January 2021). "Twitter acquires social podcasting app Breaker, team to help build Twitter Spaces". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  16. ^ "The Interviewees". The Startup Kids. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  17. ^ "30 Female CTOs to Watch in 2019". Girl Geek X - Connecting Forward-Looking Women in Tech For Over A Decade!. 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  18. ^ "Maker Wine Raises $2.3 Million to Bring Damn-Fine Canned Wine Across The Country". Yahoo. 18 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  19. ^ Matney, Lucas (28 January 2021). "Gowalla raises $4 million from GV and Spark for its AR social app". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  20. ^ a b c McLean, Tessa (2020-02-13). "$3M and 3 years: What it will take to renovate that trashed Painted Lady". SFGATE. Retrieved 2021-11-28.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ a b Jessen-Petersen, Natasha (16 November 2011). "One of the 130-year-old Painted Ladies is getting a climate-friendly makeover". Peninsula Press. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  22. ^ Journal, Amanda Eberstein (2021-05-22). "Young Residents Are Restoring These San Francisco Homes to Their Original Glory". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  23. ^ "Famous Painted Lady is back on the market".