These days, it seems like every college kid has aspirations of entrepreneurship. A Bentley University study found that two out of every three millennials – many of whom are currently in school – would like to start their own companies. However, the statistics on success rates of start-up organizations are daunting – according to Mashable, a quarter of all start ups will fail by the end of their first year and nearly all will be wiped out by their fourth year of operation. There are, of course, success stories – and some of those college kids who took risks and founded companies ended up as millionaires.
Steve Jobs – The Apple visionary is described as a restless kid who constantly got into trouble and couldn’t focus in the classroom. As he got older, teachers began to recognize his intellect and skipped him ahead in grades. After his high school graduation in 1972, he attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but he dropped out within a year. Upon returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area, he joined forces with Steve Wozniak and the rest is history.
David Karp – Tumblr founded David Karp never even bothered with college. He began learning HTML at the ripe old age of 11 and was soon developing websites for businesses. He bounced around the tech world for a bit before launching Tumblr in 2007, when he was 21 years old. He sold Tumblr to Twitter for a whopping $1.1 billion in 2013 and today has a net worth of an estimated $200 million.
Pete Cashmore – Born and raised in Scotland, Pete Cashmore founded social media news site Mashable when he was only 19 years old. The company has grown since its 2005 inception and currently boasts 42 million unique visitors each month. Despite rumors of offers, Cashmore has held onto Mashable and is estimated to have a net worth of nearly $100 million.
Austin Allison – Unlike some of the other entrepreneurs on this list, dotloop founder Austin Allison actually finished college, graduating with a degree in real estate development from the University of Cincinnati. He went on to law school – but had other things on his mind, developing a comprehensive software system to handle real state transactions. Allison dropped out of school in 2009 and launched dotloop – which has an estimated annual revenue of $10 to $15 million.
Michelle Phan – At 18 years old, Michelle Phan was just a teenager with a beauty blog. Two years later, she began recording YouTube makeup tutorials and quickly became an Internet sensation. Like any smart entrepreneur, Phan jumped on her popularity by launching Ipsy, a make-up subscription company with an estimated annual revenue of $120 million.
Mark Zuckerberg – Whether you love him or hate him, Mark Zuckerberg revolutionized the way that we interact. The Harvard University student – and eventual drop-out – founded Facebook from his college dorm room in 2004 with a few of his buddies before moving operations to Palo Alto, California. Although estimates of the company’s net worth seem to fluctuate, Facebook was recently valued at $245 billion.
Elizabeth Holmes – Former Stanford University student Elizabeth Holmes recently became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, thanks to a revolutionary lab testing medical device that she patented when she was only 19-years-old. She went on to found her company Theranos in 2003, which is valued at a whopping $9 billion.