Given the sheer amount of entrepreneurial enterprises that we find on our iPhones, computer screens, social media accounts and high streets, it can be hard to whittle a list like this down to a mere 20. What’s more, the men and women who are making it big are young; they have taken risks to start up businesses which have now become household names. And, in creating these incredible brands, they have turned themselves into some of the wealthiest people to walk the planet. But who are they?
No list such as this would be complete without Mark Zuckerberg in his rightful place at the top. The Facebook co-founder – who launched the site from his Harvard dorm room in 2004 – has created a personal wealth of an incredible $41 billion and has been ranked by Forbes as America’s 7th richest person.
Often in the shadow of his aforementioned colleague, Dustin Moskovitz is the second mastermind behind Facebook, co-founding the social network with Zuckerberg. His wealth is estimated at $9billion, which is comparatively low against Zuckerberg’s, but he’s still one of the wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs – and a pretty good one at that.
The co-founded of Snapchat is one of the world’s richest – and youngest – entrepreneurs and is estimated as being worth a massive $2.1billion at the tender age of 25. Spiegel launched the world-famous app, which now attracts almost 100 million users per day, while studying at Stanford in 2011.
Oculus VR, the latest and hottest in American virtual reality was founded in 2012 when Luckey was just 20 years old. Facebook agreed to acquire the software in 2014 for $2 billion cash and Facebook stock. A true entrepreneur, Luckey raised the funds to create Oculus by raising $36,000 dollars by fixing and reselling damaged iPhones and his estimated net worth today sits at $700 million.
Nathan Blecharczyk is the co-founder and CTO of one of the most-used websites in the world, Air BnB. The site was founded in 2008 by Blecharczyk and a few others (who rank on this list, too) and Blecharczyk has since made an estimated $3 billion. Having studied Computer Science at Harvard and setting up small but successful business throughout his high school career, Blecharczyk is the very definition of an entrepreneur.
Perhaps more well known that the aforementioned Blecharczyk, Chesky is the CEO and co-founder of Air BnB and is one of the wealthiest self-made billionaires in the world. At the age of 34, Chesky has a net worth of $3 billion dollars and continues to work as the CEO of Air BnB.
iThe third and final gentleman in the Air BnB co-founding triangle is Joe Gebbia, who currently holds the title of CPO. Gebbia was instrumental in creating the vision and then the execution of the world-famous brand. Now worth $3 billion, he’s on the board of directors for the company.
Although the company she founded is under close scrutiny at the moment for supposedly using unapproved materials, Elizabeth Holmes remains the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. Holmes founded Theranos at 19, after her uncle died of cancer. The aim of Theranos was to make cheaper diagnostic tests that require only a few drops of blood from a finger prick. She is currently estimated at $4.5 billion dollars.
Eduardo Luiz Saverin
Another name that seems to have fallen under the Facebook radar is Saverin, who is one of the co-founders of the social networking site. As it stands today, he has 53 million shares in Facebook and is estimated to be worth $4.9 billion. Saverin has some controversial and negative press surrounding him, having moved to Singapore and renouncing his American citizenship in 2011 and therefore saving $700 million in capital gains taxes.
A university friend of the aforementioned Evan Speigel is Bobby Murphy, the co-founder of social networking site Snapchat. Murphy was two years older than Spiegel when they met at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house at Stanford in 2011 and he’s now worth an estimated $1.8 billion.
Blake Ross is the co-founder of one of the most heavily used internet browsers in the world, Mozilla Firefox. At the age of 30, Ross is now worth an estimated £150 million and has worked his way up in the industry, having started interning at Netscape at just 14.
Alongside Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Rosenstein co-founded the collaboration software company, Asana in 2011, which is a task management mobile application that helps teams managed track their progress. Rosenstein also started his career at Facebook where the duo worked on increasing the productivity of the entire social network’s head office. Rosenstein is now estimated at $150 million and the company is now valued at $280 million.
Jack Dorsey has, in the last year, found himself firmly back in the headlines after rejoining the company that he co-founded – and then ceremoniously left. He currently holds the title of CEO and co-founder of Twitter, as well as CEO of Square, a mobile payments company. He is now worth an estimated $1.5 billion and has the whole world watching his every move.
Drew Houston may not be a household name, but his company certainly is. He is the founder and CEO of online storage system, Dropbox in 2007, and at the age of just 32 is worth $1.3 billion. Houston is also responsible for starting Hubspot, a sales and marketing software system, among other projects.
Sean Parker is the founding president of Facebook who then went on to be founder of file sharing computer service, Napster. He’s know a well respected philanthropist and has founded and funded many charities, as well as being chairman and founder of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on life sciences, global public health and civic engagement. He is has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion.
Markus Persson, also known as Notch, is a video game designer and programmer who co-founded Mojang, the principal venture of which was the highly popular and publicised Minecraft – which initially was started as a hobby. Persson is now worth an estimated $1.5 billion.
David Karp is American web developer, entrepreneur (and college dropout) who founded the highly popular and widely used short-form blogging platform, Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013. Karp is still the CEO of Tumblr and has an estimated net worth of $200 million.
Belnick was given $500 at the age of 14, which sparked his entrepreneurial side and led to him building the multi-million dollar company, Bizchair. At the tender age of 24, Belnick is worth an estimated $42 million and continues to remain the CEO.
Peter Cashmore is the scotsman responsible for bringing Mashable into our lives in 2005 at the age of just 19. He was also crowned by INQ as the most influential Briton and most influential Twitter user in the world in 2009 and has an estimated net worth of $95 million.
After attending Yale University and working as a Google product designer, Ben Silberman co-founded image sharing network, Pinterest. The start-up initially failed to spark a buzz on the social media front at first, but has established a ton of momentum in the past year by drawing over 31.9 million global users.