• Co-founder of a company.
  • Using my liberal arts education.
  • A computer programmer.
  • Holder of 25 patents.

A Willamette computer science professor mentored Noah Horton '02 and encouraged his interest in the field.

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Turning a Passion into a Career

Noah Horton ’02 used his talent in computer programming to create a company, Involver.

When he first came to Willamette, Noah Horton '02 thought he wanted to be a lawyer.

But he had been writing computer programs since second grade, and after taking related courses at Willamette and finding a mentor in computer science Professor Fritz Ruehr, Horton chose to double major in computer science and mathematics.

Today, Horton is the co-founder and chief technology officer for Involver, a fast-growing Bay Area company offering social media software that helps companies more effectively use websites like Facebook or YouTube to market their products.

After graduation, Horton worked at Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and a Silicon Valley start-up software company before meeting Rahim Fazal, a coworker who had already founded several businesses. Horton and Fazal joined up to create Involver, which started out helping companies use video advertising on the internet.

Today, Involver's software applications allow companies to better brand their social media sites and make them interactive.

Horton and Fazal found immediate success — in 2008, Inc. Magazine named them among the top 30 entrepreneurs under age 30.

"I commonly have dinner with people from Fortune 500 companies who do not understand the technical aspects of computer programs, and I have to explain our product so that they will want to buy it," Horton says.

"I go into those situations with a diverse liberal arts background — I took classes at Willamette in archaeology and comparative religions, for example — and I have more to talk about with them.

"Not being too technically focused, like many of the people who graduate from tech schools, has been a great enabler in my career."

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