Ted Livingston (Kik)

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Ted Livingston
Born 1987
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Residence Waterloo, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of Waterloo,
Occupation Founder and CEO of Kik Messenger

Ted Livingston (born 1987) is founder of Kik Messenger that provides mobile messaging service.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Livingston was born in Toronto, Ontario to Bob Livingston, a financial adviser on Bay Street and Laurel Hobbs, who worked in advertising.[3] He grew up in North York, spending his summers at his parents cottage in the Muskoka Lakes and skiing in Collingwood in the winter.[4] As a child, Livingston had a passion for building Lego structures and automated machines in his basement. He continues following this interest on the school robotics team.[3]

From 1997 to 2005, Livingston attended the Crescent School, in Toronto.[5] He later stated that Crescent "provided an education which couldn't be more perfect for me as an individual. It allowed me to grow and develop my own philosophies and directions in life."[5]

2005–Present: UWaterloo and Kik[edit]

Livingston took a mechatronics bachelor's degree at the University of Waterloo from 2005 to 2009[4] in order to "pursue his dream of building robots."[6] He participated in the Waterloo co-op program there, with placements at Honda and the City of Toronto. Livingston eventually landed a co-op position as a system engineering project coordinator at Research in Motion.

In December 2007, eight months into his co-op, Livingston was promoted by Research in Motion to "Technical Product Management Coordinator".[5] In 2008, he turned down a full-time job to return to school at the advice of his manager.

Back at Waterloo, Livingston decided to part in the Velocity program, a startup-focused community where he founded Kik Messenger instead of completing his degree.[4]

Kik now competes with Facebook and WeChat, boasts over 275 million registered users,[7] and is used by approximately 40 percent of American teens.[8] Chinese internet giant Tencent recently invested $50 million into kik, placing its value at $1 Billion.[9]

In 2014, Forbes placed him on their "Top 30 under 30:Technology" list.[10] In November 2015, Torontolife ranked Livingston at #20 on their "Toronto's 50 Most Influential,".[11]