Do you need a degree to be an entrepreneur or is it something your born with? Or is it a bit of both? Some of the most famous entrepreneurs to date started their companies while at university. It's not essential you wait till you get your degree and you will probably learn more by doing.
So who has built a successful company from their dorm room? Well I'm sure Mark Zuckerberg will be first to spring to most people's minds these days. But there have been many, so read on to see 10 great dorm room success stories.
1.) Mark Zuckerberg
Lets start with the obvious. In 2004 Zuckerberg created Facebook from his dorm room in Harvard. Facebook started of as just a Harvard 'thing' but as it rapidly grew Mark decided to drop out of Harvard and move to Palo Alto, home of silicon valley.
Facebook has gone on to become a regular part of our daily lives. Currently the site has over 600million users and is valued at around $50billion.
2010 even saw the release of the film 'The Social Network' based on Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook.
2.) Bill Gates
Bill Gates the founder of the most well known computer software company Microsoft. Gates, synonymous with the tag of richest man in the world, created Microsoft in 1975 at the age of 20. Earlier that year gates and school friend Paul Allen saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU and were inspired to start their own software company.
At the end of 1975 Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard, to work on Microsoft full time, never returning as a student.
At the close of 2010 fiscal year, Microsoft had $62.48 billion in net revenues and $18.76 billion in net income for the 12-month period
3.) Michael Dell
Michael Dell was a pre-med student at the University of Texas when he started Dell. In 1984 with $1000 and an idea he founded Dell. Starting at the university he attended he worked upgrading computers in the labs before applying for a vendor license so he could win bids on contracts for the State of Texas. He would go on to win these bids by not having the overheads of a store.
By the age of 27, Dell was the youngest CEO to have his company listed in the Fortune 500 corporations. Soon after in 1996 Dell started selling over the internet and not long after that were raking in over $1million in sales every day. In 2010 Michael Dell's net worth was an estimated $14billion.
4.) Jerry Yang and David Filo - Yahoo!
Yahoo founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994 was the worlds biggest web directory/search engine before Google came along. The site, started by two electrical engineering graduate students at Stanford University grew rapidly during the Dot Com bubble, but struggled after the bubble burst.
Yahoo diversified it's offering becoming a web portal and and his recognised as a leading online brand.
5.) Larry Page and Sergey Brin - Google
Sergey Brin graduated with an undergraduate degree in computer science from University of Maryland. After graduation, he moved to Stanford to acquire a Ph.D in computer science. There he eventually became friends with Larry Page, initially they didn't particularly like each other.
They crammed their dormitory room with inexpensive computers and applied Brin’s data mining system to build a superior search engine. The program became so popular at Stanford that they decided to suspend their Ph.D studies to start up Google in a rented garage. In fact Sergey is still officially on leave!
6.) Shawn Fanning - Napster
Shawn Fanning founded Napster with his business partner Sean Parker in May 1999. Prior to it's launch Shawn spent 4 months coding Napster, an online programme that made it easy to share and download music. Before it was shut down in 2001, it gained huge notoriety after becoming the target of many music industry backed lawsuits due to the P2P (peer-to-peer) nature of. Napster was the first massively popular free file sharing programme and has returned today as a legal paid service.
Shawn was studying at Boston's Northeastern University at the time and was just getting into programming in his spare time. Within two years Napster had 80 million registered users.
7.) Matt Mullenweg - WordPress
Mullenweg was a 19 year old freshman at the University of Houston when he developed WordPress, back in 2002.
WordPress, has become the blogging service that most serious bloggers turn to. In fact this site has alot to thank Matt for as well. WordPress is currently used by 13% of the 1,000,000 biggest websites and has been downloaded almost 13 million times.
WordPress is continuously growing at a fast pace with Open source software being a large part of WordPress' success.
8.) Paul Orfalea - Kinko's
Paul started Kinko's in 1970 while studying at the University of Southern California where he graduated from a year later. He started up his company from a 100 square foot space, on the University campus. His idea for Kinko's, a photocopy chain, came after encountering a copy machine in the university library.
The company name came from a nickname he got while he was younger. He was called Kinko due to his curly red hair.
In 2000 the company was bought by FedEx for $2.4billion and it's name became FedEx Office.
9.) Fred Smith - Fedex
FedEx it self, although not created while Fred Smith was a student, came from an idea he had while at Yale. In fact while an undergrad at Yale Fred wrote the FedEx concept in a term paper. The concept became reality in 1971 making a profit 4 years later and expected to see profits of $1.6billion in 2011.
Fred joked that this all came from what was probably a 'C grade' paper.
10.) Todd Krizelman and Stephan Paternot - TheGlobe.com
What was one of the fist social networks well before Myspace and Facebook, Todd Krizelman and Stephan Paternot founded the internet startup in 1994. Although it has since ceased operations as of 2008, TheGlobe posted the largest first day gain of any IPO when it went public on November 13, 1998.
The founders were undegrads at Cornell when they came across a primitive chatroom on the uversity networks. After TheGlobe.com issued its IPO the founders, 24 at the time, were thought to be worth about $100million each. This was the peak for the pair and after that it was all down hill.
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