2014's 10 Richest Entrepreneurs Under 30

Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest are all worth at least $1 billion. Given that around 45 percent of startups fail before they reach year three, we must ask ourselves: What is the difference between the ones that make it and the ones that don’t? What did the founders of WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other companies do differently? One way of finding out is to look at their sources of wealth and entrepreneurial achievements, which is precisely what this list is about.

It seems like tech companies have created a secret billion dollar club that has become an invisible threshold for entrepreneurial success. Given the immense gap between the net worth of the richest entrepreneurs and the average business owner, aspiring entrepreneurs have started to wonder whether one must start an internet-based business to succeed and whether there is an age limit to become the next Mark Zuckerberg.

It turns out that out of the ten richest entrepreneurs under 30, half went to Stanford or Harvard, and seven out of ten are American citizens, while nine out of ten live in the United States. The two youngest billionaires in the world are both under 30, and the richest person on this list is worth more money than everybody else listed here.

With an estimated global nominal GDP worth $71.83 trillion (last calculated in 2012), it becomes utterly clear that the world's money goes through somebody’s fingers. The entrepreneurs on this list not only make sure that at least some of it goes through theirs, but also achieved and exceeded the $100 million milestone (the minimum you need to be on this list) under the age of 30.

The vast majority of the richest entrepreneurs under 30 are self-made, which is inspiring, to say the least. Let’s have a look at who they are and how they earned their spot on the list of the 10 richest entrepreneurs under 30 in 2014.


9 #10 TIE: Justin Rosenstein & Blake Ross

Blake Ross

Net Worth: $150 Million

Date of Birth: June 12, 1985

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: Mozilla Web Browser, Parakey

Justin Rosenstein

Net Worth: $150 Million

Date of Birth: May 13, 1983

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: Facebook, Asana

Blake Ross and Justin Rosenstein are both worth $150 million and thus share the number ten spot on this richest list.

Ross not only co-founded the popular web browser Mozilla Firefox together with Joe Hewitt, but the two of them also created Parakey in 2005, the company then acquired by Facebook in 2007. Parakey was Facebook’s first acquisition and was meant to be a web-operating system that would compete with Apple’s OS. At the time of acquisition, it had not yet been launched. Ross was hired by Facebook and took the post as the Director of the Product which he resigned from in February 22, 2013.

Rosenstein used to work as a Google Page Creator at Google before he was hired by Facebook in 2007 to oversee the ‘Like’ button, pages, and Facebook Beacon. In contrast to popular belief, his main source of wealth is not Facebook, but the company Asana, which he co-founded in 2008. Asana is a real-time communication manager tool for professionals working in teams, and was valued at $280 million in October 2012.

8 #8: David Karp


Net Worth: $200 Million

Date of Birth: July 6, 1986

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: Tumblr

David Karp is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tumblr. He began making money on the internet at the age of 11, when he designed html-based websites for local businesses and worked for a few companies after earning his high school degree. In 2006, he launched a company called Davidville and created Tumblr which was launched in February 2007. His main source of wealth is and remains Tumblr, even though Yahoo! acquired the company for $1.1 billion in May 2013.

7 #7: Nishita Shah

Net Worth: $340 Million

Date of Birth: 1984 (not confirmed)

Nationality: India

Source of Wealth: Precious Shipping, MJets, Burn Baby

Nishita Shah is the #27 richest person in Thailand and has several highly profitable income streams. She is the largest individual shareholder and director of her father’s shipping company, Precious Shipping. She is the director of MJets, expected to inherit at least some of the family owned Amari Atrium Bangkok Hotel, and has her own clothing company called ‘Burn Baby’.

6 #6: Kevin Systrom


Net Worth: $400 Million

Date of Birth: 1984

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: Instagram, Internet

After co-founding and selling Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion, Kevin Systrom is worth an estimated $400 million. Prior to Instagram, the Stanford graduate had interned at Odeo, the company that launched Twitter, and had also worked at Google. Even though the acquisition by Facebook was his main source of wealth, Systrom also founded Burbn, a html5 based location-sharing device.

5 #5: Dustin Moskovitz

Net Worth: $3.5 Billion

Date of Birth: May 22, 1984

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: Facebook, Investments

Dustin Moskovitz was Facebook’s third employee and is the world’s youngest billionaire and is worth more than twice as much as the entire bottom half on this list. He owns around five percent of Facebook shares (having sold around 1 percent in 2010) and amazed the business world by successfully co-founding and growing Asana to a value of $280 million (last reported October 2012) in under four years.

4 #4: Alexa von Tobel


Net Worth: $4.9 Billion

Date of Birth: 1984

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: LearnVest

Alexa von Tobel is one of the most prominent entrepreneurs on this list, as well as one of the richest. Coming in fourth on the list of the richest entrepreneurs under 30 worldwide, she has received her fair share of media attention. She was featured as personal finance expert and tech entrepreneur alike by various outlets including but not limited to Claire, Businessweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and TechCrunch.

Her personal finance website not only earned her a net worth of $4.9 billion, but also enabled her to be included on several business celebrity lists, such as “Women to Watch” by Forbes and “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs” by Businessweek.

3 #3: James Stunt

Net Worth: $5.5 Billion

Date of Birth: 1984 (not confirmed)

Nationality: British

Source of Wealth: Wine, Automobile

James Stunt is known to be extremely private. While it’s known that his main source of wealth is investments after having made a fortune in the gaming industry, his net worth also consists of a large number of collector items. His collections are said to include at least 13 luxury cars, many fine wines, and rare pieces of art like the most expensive Van Dyck painting in the world which he purchased for £12.4 million ($10,925,000) and that Marc Quinn sculpture ‘Self’ which is made from solid gold and was priced at around $10 million also.


2 #2 Priscilla Chan


Net Worth: $14 Billion

Date of Birth: 1985

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: Facebook

Priscilla Chan is the richest female entrepreneur under 30 worldwide, and in contrast to many other entrepreneurs on this list, her wealth derives from only one source: Facebook. The pediatrician and Facebook shareholder is married to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg which is - shockingly - her main source of wealth.

Divorce lawyers have called the wedding a smart legal move, since it took place just one day after Facebook’s initial public offering without a pre-nuptial agreement. Even though Priscilla Chan’s main job is pediatrician, she is an investor and takes her role at Facebook seriously. Besides the fact that Facebook began an organ donor initiative, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg have been together for a decade, and her support clearly paid off.

1 #1 Mark Zuckerberg

Net Worth: $25.8 Billion

Date of Birth: May 14, 1984

Nationality: United States

Source of Wealth: Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is the richest entrepreneur under 30 with a net worth that is more than twice as high than the everyone else’s net worth on this list. Co-founding the second most visited website in the world (Google is number one) earned Zuckerberg more than $30 billion. He lost around $7 billion in the process of taking Facebook public in order to raise cash to pay taxes, but the Harvard drop-out is still worth a staggering amount of money.

In contrast to popular belief, he is not the youngest billionaire alive. Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook’s third employee and a successful billionaire entrepreneur of his own, is eight days younger than Zuckerberg, and was able to secure fifth place on this list.


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