Business Travel: Q&A with Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe

The creator of the female-first dating and networking app talks business, travel and giving back. Plus, perfect date spots in Brooklyn, Banff and Boston.

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe, photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

Whitney Wolfe has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Before her junior year in college, she launched the non-profit Help Us Project, a line of organic bamboo totes with proceeds benefitting the Ocean Futures Society, and in 2012, she co-founded the popular dating app Tinder. But 29-year-old Wolfe, who is based in Austin, Texas, is also passionate about tackling gender inequality and using kindness to drive female empowerment and to change how people treat each other. In 2014, she launched Bumble, a dating app that requires women to reach out first when a match is made (unless it’s a same-sex match, in which case either person can make the first move). Today, Bumble has more than 18 million registered users, and roughly 1 million conversations are started each day. According to Wolfe, in the days before and after Valentine’s Day, the app sees a spike in usage. But Bumble isn’t just for dating anymore. In March 2016, Bumble BFF launched to help users form platonic relationships, and the networking feature of the app—called Bizz—launched in October 2017.

What inspired you to create Bumble?

“There is still an imbalance in gender dynamics, whether that’s in dating or at the office, and that’s a driving force behind why I created Bumble. We want to change the conversation and how people treat each other—for the better.”

What is the goal of Bumble?

“The ultimate goal of Bumble is to become the social network for people you don’t know yet—whether that’s a dating relationship, a friendship or a professional connection.”

Recent business highlights?

“[Last year], I was honoured to be on the cover of magazines like Fast Company and Wired. I was also named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Watching our team grow and work so hard to launch Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz has been inspiring.”

How do you give back?

“Most recently, we’ve supported the local Austin nonprofit Dress for Success, which is an organization with a mission to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and life.”

How do you balance work and leisure?

“When I travel for pleasure, I’ll check my email in the morning and the afternoon so that I don’t fall too far behind, but it’s important for me to unplug when I’m spending time with loved ones.”

Three perfect dates while travelling


Take a cooking class in Brooklyn

Put a spin on the traditional dinner date with a cooking class at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. First, prepare a delicious four-course meal, then tuck in with a glass of wine or beer.

Enjoy the great outdoors in Banff National Park

Take your sweetheart to Banff, Alta., for an afternoon on the slopes at Sunshine Village. Or hit the ice at The Waldhaus Rink behind the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, then cozy up by the open fire.

Visit a museum in Boston

Take a museum tour and let the exhibits inspire your conversation. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has art, gardens and is the site of the world’s biggest unsolved art heist.

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