Top Young Entrepreneurs

These Millennial Entrepreneurs Have Made it Big

What do these top young entrepreneurs have in common? The same traits that builders of great businesses have always had:

  • Determination
  • Self-confidence
  • A willingness to take risks
  • An ability to seize the initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Competitiveness
  • Self-reliance
  • A strong need to achieve

Take the above characteristics and match them up with a great business idea and you have a recipe for success, as the following young entrepreneurs, all multi-millionaires and billionaires, have demonstrated:

of 06

Mark Zuckerberg (born 1984) - Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook
Young entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook. Chesnot

Industry: Internet Content & Information

Founded: 2004

Full time employees: > 30,000

Market capitalization: ~ $450 billion

As co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is the king of young entrepreneurs.  After developing Facebook within the Harvard community he left the university in his sophomore year to work full time on expanding Facebook to a worldwide audience, and the rest is history.

Zuckerberg owns approximately 25 percent of Facebook shares, giving him an estimated net worth of over $80 billion and making him one of the top 10 richest people in the world.

Advice to young entrepreneurs: "Find that thing you are super passionate about".

of 06

John Collison (born 1990) - Stripe

John Collison - Stripe
Young entrepreneur John Collison - Stripe. S3studio/Getty Images

Industry: Software - Online Payments

Founded: 2010

Full time employees: > 1300

Estimated annual revenue: > $500 million (private)

After dropping out of college, the Irish-born John Collison and his brother Patrick went on to found Stripe in 2010, with the goal of revolutionizing the digital payment business.

After receiving seed funding from venture capital investors such as Elon Musk , Stripe has rapidly grown into one of the largest mobile payment processing companies, boasting clients such as Lyft and Shopify along with partnerships with Visa, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter.

By 2016 the Collison brothers had become the youngest self-made billionaires in the world. As of 2018 Stripe was valued at over $19 billion.

John Collison attributes the success of Stripe to the employees:

"There is not a sliver of a chance that we would be here without the hard work of hundreds of employees building Stripe."

of 06

Evan Spiegel (born 1990) and Bobby Murphy (born 1988) - Snap Inc (Snapchat)

Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy - Snapchat
Young entrepreneurs Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy - Snapchat. Lars Niki/Getty Images

Industry: Internet Content & Information

Founded: 2010

Full time employees: > 2,800

Market capitalization: ~ $16.7 billion

Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy are the co-founders of Snap Inc., a camera company which operates the photo messaging service known as Snapchat.

Spiegel came up with the idea of Snapchat while still a student at Stanford University, where he met Bobby Murphy. Evan Spiegel is 28 years old and has a net worth of $3 billion.

Some of Spiegel's advice for success:

  • "Find an area of specialization, something you can do very well, and become the best at it."
  • "The most important thing is to really have fun and enjoy the process - because unless you really get joy from the amount of growth required—as an individual, but also for your business—it can really burn you out."
of 06

Arash Ferdowsi (born 1985) and Drew Houston (born 1983) - Dropbox

Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston
Young entrepreneurs Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston. Kimberly White/Stringer/Getty Images

Industry: Software - Infrastructure

Founded: 2007

Full time employees: > 1,800

Market capitalization: ~ $16.7 billion

Houston and Ferdowsi were students at at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when they came up with the idea of an cloud-based file sharing and storage service. 

After starting Dropbox in early 2007 they decided to move the company to San Francisco later that year and in 2018 launched an initial public offering which valued the company at over $9 billion. Dropbox now has over 500 million registered users and generates over $1 billion in annual revenue.

Quotes from Drew Houston for entrepreneurs just starting out:

"No one is born a CEO. This is an acquired skill set, and, furthermore, it's one that you learn on the job. So everyone is a first-time CEO by definition at some point."

of 06

Kylie Jenner (born 1997) - Kylie Cosmetics

Kylie Jenner - Kylie Cosmetics
Kylie Jenner - Kylie Cosmetics. Jeff Kravitz/Contributor/Getty Images

Industry: Cosmetics

Founded: 2015

Full-time employees: > 300

Estimated annual revenue: ~ $330 million

While primarily known as a television personality, model and socialite, Kylie Jenner has become a very successful business person as the owner and founder of Kylie Cosmetics.

With funding from her modeling activities, Jenner launched a line of cosmetics in 2015 which became an instant success. The company quickly boosted production and in its first 18 months in business generated over $420 million in revenue.

Kylie Cosmetic products are sold exclusively through the Kylie Cosmetics website and mobile application.

As of 2018, Kylie Jenner's net worth was estimated to be approximately $900 million, which with continued success may make her the youngest self-made billionaire ever.

of 06

Vivek Ramaswamy (born 1985) - Roivant Sciences/Axovant Sciences

Vivek Ramaswamy at the Under 30 Summit
Vivek Ramaswamy at the Under 30 Summit. Lisa Lake/Stringer/Getty Images

Industry: Biotechnology

Founded: 2014

Ramaswamy is the founder and CEO of Roivant Sciences, a private equity-funded biopharmaceutical company focused on facilitating the rapid development of promising late-stage drug candidates.

In 2014 Ramaswamy also created Axovant Sciences as a subsidiary of Roivant Sciences. Axovant develops treatments for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The Axovant Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares in 2015 raised $360 million. 

After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard, Ramaswamy went on to obtain a Doctor of Law from Yale Law School. His net worth is estimated to be approximately $600 million.

Views on entrepreneurship in America:

"Entrepreneurship is the fabric of what America is all about. It has been responsible for driving this country in years past and will drive it forward in the future as well. The shift of the entrepreneurial age towards a younger age bracket indicates a potential uptick going forward as these younger, aspiring entrepreneurs gain more experience."