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Sam Yagan has about wrapped up a $39 million venture capital fund. 0

Sam Yagan looking for ventures to help Syria

November 6th, 2016

Tech entrepreneur Sam Yagan is just wrapping up a $39 million fundraising effort for his latest venture capital fund. It’s going to help entrepreneurs solve the world’s problems.

Maybe even in Syria.

“I want to try to help with what’s going on there,” he told a room full of 30-somethings gathered last week to hear him speak at an Ivy social-networking event.

Yagan is Syrian American–his parents immigrated here more than 40 years ago. And the atrocities and war crimes going on there worry him.

The tech world knows Yagan for founding SparkNotes–the online version of CliffsNotes. He went on to start OkCupid, the online dating site bought up by And he now heads ShopRunner (like Amazon Prime but for the brands you love).

Yagan’s success allows him the luxury of supporting other entrepreneurs looking to change the world.

He’s invested in Karam Foundation, which supports education and delivers aid to children in Syria, and Hala Systems, a startup that uses technology to improve humanitarian aid.

Yagan also supports businesses started by Syrian refugees–including Chicago catering companies Thanaa Catering and HoneyDoe.

“Immigration is the ultimate entrepreneurship,” he said, explaining the difficulties of starting with nothing and having the spirit to achieve your dreams.

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