Catalin Voss tells the story of how he went from being a young programmer in Germany to a Stanford student and an Innovator in Residence at StartX.


Catalin Voss
Stanford University
Class of 2016
Major: Computer Science; Minor: Management Science and Engineering

Catalin Voss is a 17-year-old German freshman at Stanford. He is currently an Innovator in Residence (IIR) at StartX and had been working in Europe in mobile software engineering with the startup PayNearMe for the past three years, while finishing high school in Germany. He was recently named a national scholar by the German National Academic Foundation.

Catalin grew up and graduated from high school near Heidelberg, Germany. He was always interested in technology and built his first robots and websites at the age of nine. When he was twelve, he taught himself the basics of mobile software development when iPhone apps first became popular.

A year later, he started a German podcast about iOS development to share his learning experience with others. Catalin’s tutorials quickly achieved > 200,000 views and became the #1 podcast on the German iTunes store. In 2009, he began working with a startup in Stuttgart on iPhone Apps for the U.S. Army stationed in Europe and published five applications before he turned 15. Steve Capps, Microsoft fellow and creator of Apple’s Macintosh and Newton, hired Catalin as a software engineer intern in 2010 to work on PayNearMe’s mobile product.

After PayNearMe's CEO, Danny Shader, used the prototype to pitch to key partners at the time (CEOs of 7-Eleven and Greyhound) and Series B investors, he decided to keep Catalin on board to work on everything mobile. Catalin worked on the company’s iPhone, Android, and web platforms and helped launch a mobile cash payments platform, resulting in his first software patent applications (pending).

At Stanford, Catalin pursues a degree in C.S. with a minor in Management Science and Engineering. As an IIR in the StartX program, Catalin works on his own projects and advises StartX’s founders on mobile engineering.

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