Genius entrepreneurs: a list of entrepreneurs that made it big in the 21st century. The people featured here were chosen from different fields. With this list I'm trying to outline accomplishments and breakthroughs of successful entrepreneurs in and also outside of the Tech world, as it seems that it is so hard to find self-made young successful business people outside of the Internet world.
Elon Reeve Musk was born in South Africa on June 28th, 1971, to a Canadian-English mother and South African-born British father. He was self taught computer programmer and at age 12 he wrote and sold his first computer video game code, Blastar, for 500 USD.
At age 17 Musk obtained his Canadian citizenship through his mother and move to Canada before his military service for the South African army as an easier way of emigrating to The United States of America.
Zip2 was started in 1995, together with his brother, focusing on creating an internet based guide for the newspaper industry. In 1999 the company was sold to Compaq for 307 million USD, out of which Musk received 22 million.
In 1999 he co-founded X.com and one year later merged with Confinity to create what was later renamed PayPal, after their money transfer service. The company was such a big success that in 2002 eBay acquired it for 1.5 Billion USD. Musk made 165 million USD out of the deal.
- Tesla Motors | Premium Electric Vehicles
Tesla designs and manufactures premium electric vehicles. Tesla currently produces the Model S sedan and is taking reservations for the Model X SUV crossover.
SpaceX, one of Musk's most cherished projects was founded in 2002, with the objective of making space travel and the colonization of other planets a reality. Musk stated that he hopes that in his life-time he hopes that space travel will become at least 10 times cheaper.
SpaceX hold the records for the first privately funded liquid-fuelled vehicle to put a satellite into Earth orbit and first commercial company to launch and berth a vehicle to the International Space Station. In 2008 SpaceX was rewarded a 1.5 billion USD contract for 12 flights to the International Space Station.
In 2004 Musk invested and became chairman of a 1 year old company called Tesla Motors.The company aims at making electric powered vehicles affordable and available to the masses. At the moments Tesla Motors also provides services for Daimler and Toyota. It is the first ever company to have a competitive rival to fossil-fueled cars and slowly but steady wins more and more ground.
Along the above mentioned projects, Musk is also part of SolarCity and Hyperloop. SolarCity is the second largest provider of solar power systems in the US, while Hyperloop aims on creating a revolutionary transportation mean that commuters could use to make the trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than 35 minutes.
Elon Musk is now worth 7.5 billion USD. His annual salary is 1 USD.
One of the most recognizable persons alive, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the co-founders and current CEO of Facebook. Facebook is the largest ever social-network website, achieving in 2012 to reach 1 billion users.
Zuckerberg is Harvard dropout and Facebook was started while he was still a university student. In 2004 together with Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes they started The Facebook as a Harvard campus-only social network. The project draw inspiration from a common practice in the life of young students at private schools in America, accustomed with the so called "The Photo Address Book", a platform on wich students could list personal information and link with friends.
After the great local success of the platform, Facebook expanded to other American universities, such as Yale, NYU, Columbia and Stanford.
Facebook didn't grow without ups and downs, Mark Zuckerberg having several law suits flied against him. The most notable is the one coming from the founders of HarvardConnection.com ( later ConnectU) claiming that Zuckerberg stole ideas and source code during his work for HarvardConnection.com and used it to create Facebook. The lawsuit was settled for 1.2 million Facebook shares.
Besides Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg works on many different project. One of them is Internet.org, a project aimed at offering internet access to people and in locations that currently lack it.
He was ranked in 2011 as the "Most influential Jew in the world", by The Jerusalem Post, and tops the list since 2013.
As many others CEO's of big corporations, Mark Zuckerberg received from Facebook an annual salary of 1 USD. He is worth an estimated 33.1 billion USD.
Elizabeth Holmes is an American entrepreneur born in February, 1984 in Washington, D.C.. Her field of activity is health technology, being the founder and CEO Theranos.
Inspired by the life of one of her ancestors she wanted to study medicine, but later found that she had a fear of needles. Helped by the Mandarin she studied due to her father's work in China she obtained an internship at the Genome Institute of Singapore. Her first business was selling C++ compilers to Chinese universities. After her return from China she applied for her firs U.S. patent.
At Theranos, we're working to shape the future of lab testing. Now, for the first time, our high-complexity CLIA-certified laboratory can perform your tests quickly and accurately on samples as small as a single drop.
Holmes is a Stanford University chemistry drop-out, in the last year of her studies deciding to concentrate on starting and developing her own company Real-Time Cures. Real-Time Cures became what is now known as Theranos. The companies main service is that of providing an easier alternative to blood tests, their logo being "one tiny drop changes everything".
The work of her company has been kept very discrete in order to avoid possible competitors or investors that would fund rival companies. The company has only 500 employees and is valued at 9 billion USD.
Elizabeth Holmes holds 66 non-U.S. patents and 18 U.S. patents, and hold more than 50% of Theranos. She is the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world, being worth and estimated 4.5 billion USD.