Paul Vincent Craven was born on November 12, 1971 in Des Moines, Iowa. After receiving his primary and secondary education in Indianola, Iowa, he studied at Simpson College, in Indianola. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Math and Computer Science in May 1994 from Simpson College.
While attending Simpson College, he was employed by Investors Management Group from 1991 to 1994. During that time he developed an automated computer accounting system that tracked several hundred million dollars worth of investments for the Iowa Public Agency Investment Trust.
After graduating from Simpson College, he married Valerie Hakes Craven on August 13, 1994. Soon thereafter he began graduate studies at the University of Missouri-Rolla, in Rolla, Missouri. While attending the University of Missouri-Rolla, he worked at the United States Geological Survey, and did private consulting for Investors Management Group, and Heuris/Pulitzer. Paul V. Craven spent the summer of 1995 on the road with the UMR Solar Car team for Sunrayce '95.
After finishing classes at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Mr. Craven began working for CE Software in West Des Moines, Iowa. He began work there as a Software Engineer on January 2nd, 1996.