There’s arguably nothing more impressive than founding a company and turning it into a billion-dollar business before you turn 30.In the tech world, more and more wunderkinds are emerging.
Here are the youngest people running today’s most valuable companies.
Ben Silbermann left Google to start a company. After a few false starts, he landed on Pinterest, a photo collection company that is now valued at $1.5 billion.
What he's done: Silbermann left Google to found a company. After a few false starts, he and his cofounders began to gain some traction with a picture collection site, Pinterest. Pinterest has quickly grown to nearly 20 million monthly unique visitors and it's a top social media traffic driver.
Pinterest has raised $138 million at a $1.5 billion valuation. Silbermann's cofounder, Evan Sharp, is also 29.
2 years after founding Instagram, Kevin Systrom's app now has 80 million users. He sold it to Facebook in April for $1 billion.
What he's done: In 2010, Systrom cofounded Instagram with his 25-year-old cofounder Mike Krieger. Instagram quickly became the most popular mobile photo app and now has 80 million users.
It was acquired for $1 billion by Facebook in April.
Drew Houston launched Dropbox at Y Combinator Demo Day. Now the file sharing and storing company is worth $4 billion.
What he's done: In 2007, Drew Houston cofounded Dropbox. Since then Apple offered to acquire it, but Houston opted to keep building his business. Last year it generated $240 million in revenue.
Dropbox has raised $257 million at a $4 billion valuation.
Aaron Levie founded a Dropbox competitor, Box, in 2006. Last week it raised $125 million at a $1.3 billion valuation.
What he's done: Box began as a college business plan project in 2005 and officially launched in 2006. Since then its young founder has raised $284 million and his enterprise file sharing/storing company is now worth $1.2 billion.
Brian Chesky is only 29, but he runs the peer-to-peer apartment rental site Airbnb, which is worth $1.2 billion.
What he's done: In 2008, Chesky along his two 20-something cofounders Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, launched Airbnb. It made a splash at Y Combinator Demo Day and later became the program's first billion-dollar company.
The peer-to-peer apartment rental site has raised $120 million at a $1.3 billion valuation.
Mark Zuckerberg is one of the youngest billionaires in the world, second only to his Facebook cofounder, Dustin Moskovitz.
What he's done: In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, a Harvard student directory, from his dorm room.
This summer, the company went public with more than 900 million users. It generates about $4 billion per year.
What he's done: In 2008, Andrew Mason founded Groupon from The Point, a failed startup. In two years he grew it into a massive couponing business that Google offered to buy for $6 billion.
Instead he took the company public. Last quarter it generated $559.3 million in revenue and $39.6 million in operating income.
What he's done: In 2007, at age 21, Karp founded Tumblr. Now his company has raised $125 million, it employees more than 100 people, and it's worth about $800 million. It generates more than 15 billion monthly pageviews
BONUS: Adam D'Angelo was Facebook's first CTO. His company Quora is worth $400 million, but it has reportedly turned down $1 billion offers.
The Q&A site was founded by D'Angelo, Facebook's first CTO and Mark Zuckerberg's high school acquaintance, in early 2010. Since then it has raised about $61 million at a $400 million valuation. D'Angelo put $20 million of his own money into the site.