Paul Allen, Founder and CEO, Soar.com
Paul Allen is a visionary tech entrepreneur and evangelist driven by a desire to help individuals live their best lives.
Paul has founded eight companies. He calls himself a “platform entrepreneur” since his products are usually built on top of the latest tech platform or wave, such as CD ROM, the World Wide Web, mp3 audio, or Facebook. For the past several years, Paul’s focus has been using machine learning and artificial intelligence to help individuals and organizations reach their full potential.
In 1990, Paul founded Infobases, whose mission was to digitize and publish the world’s most important books on CD ROM with a full-text search engine. This endeavor led directly to Ancestry.com—Paul’s best known company—which sought to gather and publish the world’s genealogy records, family trees, and memories on the internet to enable everyone to discover their heritage. Over 100 million people have learned about their family history at Ancestry.com.
Paul’s teams have a history of building viral products. MyFamily.com (1998) attracted millions of users, and for a time, was the fastest growing online community on the web as well as the top photo sharing site in 2000 and 2001. Paul’s We’re Related app on Facebook (2007-2010) gained more than 120 million users in two and a half years.
From 2012 to 2017, Paul worked with Gallup to promote the StrengthsFinder assessment (now called CliftonStrengths) from the Washington, DC headquarters. As the “Global Strengths Evangelist,” Paul helped increase online purchases of the assessment and supported a global community of strengths coaches. Today, more than 30 million people have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment.
Paul’s most recent creation is Soar.com, a company whose mission—once again—is to uplift humanity. Paul is a strong advocate for using AI in positive ways, specifically to enable individuals to become the best version of themselves. When excellent training is paired with AI generated feedback on actual performance, leaders, managers, founders, and individual contributors can achieve excellence faster than ever before.
Soar is an AI Studio that will form more than fifteen separate corporations to bring PURE AI (Personalized Uplifting Responsible Ethical AI) to many fields, including education, faith, government, health, finance, medicine, law, family history, and the workplace. Eventually, Soar will enable people to build and customize their own AI assistant (think of Jarvis from Iron Man or Janet from The Good Place) to help them learn, grow, make better decisions, and maximize their time on Earth.
Paul’s influence extends beyond entrepreneurship. He’s a sought-after keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, teaching the importance of family stories and personal strengths in shaping one’s identity. A lifelong learner, Paul has amassed a vast library of thousands of books. In fact, Paul’s dedication to learning extends to his teaching roles in Internet Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University. He’s received numerous accolades, including Ernst & Young Utah Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and MarketingSherpa National Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008.
Paul is a fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association and was named a Cyber Pioneer in 2010 by the Cyber Law Section of the Utah State Bar. In 2016, he was the honored alumnus of the BYU Humanities College, having graduated in 1990 with a BA in Russian. Most recently, Paul has been featured on The Pulse of AI, The Briefing with Steve Scully, The Business of Learning, and The Adventures in Machine Learning podcasts.
Paul and his wife, Christy, reside in Missouri. They have 8 adult children and 5 grandchildren.