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 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.
8 #8: David Karp
7 #7: Nishita Shah
6 #6: Kevin Systrom
5 #5: Dustin Moskovitz
4 #4: Alexa von Tobel
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.
3 #3: James Stunt
2 #2 Priscilla Chan
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.
1 #1 Mark Zuckerberg
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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