A Stanford University professor inspired his students to create Facebook apps and put them on the digital market, back in 2007. These apps began to gain popularity, turning several students into millionaires within weeks. Few expected that these students would rise to new levels of innovation and entrepreneurship so quickly. In this case, famously known as “The Facebook Class,” students showed the world what was possible if you take a good idea and run with it. Take a look at these five college students who have turned their efforts into million-dollar companies.
1. Mark Zuckerberg
The iconic tale of a rambunctious and hyper-productive Mark Zuckerberg has been immortalized in film and print. By partnering with his dorm roommates at Harvard University, this computer programmer revolutionized how people meet and communicate online. The team’s creation, Facebook, went on to make Zuckerberg a billionaire by age twenty-three. Since the beginning of 2013, Facebook has been embraced by over one billion active users. Companies and celebrities use this ubiquitous social media tool to connect with millions of fans and followers.
2. Dan Greenberg
This student was part of Mr. Fogg’s famous “Facebook Class,” helping to inspire college kids around the world to put their ideas on the market. His company, Sharethrough, helps other businesses create viral video content to entertain masses of internet fans. He got his start as a graduate student and teaching assistant for Mr. Fogg, and then became interested in creating his own apps. Since he dropped out of Stanford, Greenberg has launched several successful apps and has raised millions of dollars for his Sharethrough company.
3. Shahid Balwa
This entrepreneur from Mumbai made his mark on the world after leaving college to help his father with a hotel business. He partnered up with real estate expert, Vinod Goenka and amassed a fortune in large construction projects. Forbes has added Balwa to their list of India’s richest entrepreneurs.
4. Gabe Newell
Before he became known as the co-founder of Valve, Gabe Newell started as a Microsoft employee after leaving college to pursue his program management career. He was involved with several early versions of the Window OS, quickly turning him into a Microsoft millionaire. His success led him to follow his interests in gaming. After partnering with his former Microsoft colleague, Mike Harrington, the pair hit it big with their Half-Life release. Since then, Newell has created the famed Steam game distribution system and several hit gaming titles.
5. Matt Mullenweg
The blogging giant known as WordPress was created by this web developer during his freshman year at the University of Houston. The blog solutions quickly gained attention and led Mullenweg to drop out of college and build his WordPress business. With over 70 million websites using WordPress, Mullenweg has secured his fame as a college student turned millionaire.
Students who are interested in learning more about finance should keep tabs on economic news and trading tutorials. When it comes to young, student millionaires, a common theme can be seen: following one’s passions and interests. Take the time to cultivate ideas and get them out into the market.