Where Did the World's Top Entrepreneurs Study? | Top Universities

Where Did the World's Top Entrepreneurs Study?

By Mathilde Frot

Updated November 17, 2016 Updated November 17, 2016

In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016, we’re taking a look at where it all began for some of the world’s top entrepreneurs. Today, they’re famous across the globe, transforming entire societies and sectors, and often worth several billions of dollars. But where did they build up their skills, try out their first ideas and meet their future partners?

Read on to find out where the world’s top entrepreneurs went to uni…

1. Jeff Bezoz

The founder of Amazon (pictured with fellow entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg) is currently estimated to be worth as much as US$64 billion! The American techpreneur, who founded the world’s biggest online shopping retailor, graduated from
Princeton University with two BSc degrees in electrical engineering and computer science.

2. Sergey Brin

The Moscow-born American techpreneur, co-founder of Google and philanthropist is worth as much as US$36.8 billion! After fleeing the Soviet Union as a child, Sergey Brin graduated from the
University of Maryland with a BSc in mathematics and computer science. He then went on to complete a master’s degree in computer science at Stanford University.

3. Larry Page

Google’s other co-founder attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a BSc in computer engineering, and then went on to do an MSc in computer science at Stanford University,where he met his future business partner Sergey Brin. His net fortune is estimated at US$37.7 billion.

4. Arianna Huffington

The Greek American journalist and entrepreneur, twelfth in Forbes’s ‘Most Influential Women in Media list’ in 2009, and 42
nd in the Guardian’s Top 100 in Media List, is worth US$50 million. Arianna Huffington founded Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper the Huffington Post, has authored 15 books and is now launching a new platform called Thrive Global, which promises to “change how we work and live.” She attended the University of Cambridge, where she earned a degree in economics.

5. Elon Musk

The South African-born Canadian-American businessman has co-founded a string of successful startups, including SpaceX, SolarCity and Zip2. Currently worth US$11.2 billion, Elon Musk originally attended
Queen’s University but transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with two degrees: a BSc in physics and a BSc in economics from the Wharton School of Business at UPenn.

6. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

The Indian biotech forerunner, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, owes her fortune of US$1.73 billion to her business, Biocon India, Asia’s largest insulin producer. The self-made businesswoman earned a BSc in zoology from Bangalore University, as well as a master’s in malting and brewing from Federation University.

7. Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky, the CEO of the accommodation-sharing website, Airbnb, was named in Time’s 
100 Most Influential People list in 2015. And it’s not hard to see why. Worth US$3.3 billion, the American techpreneur has completely revolutionized the accommodation sector. Believe it or not, Chesky attended the Rhode Island School of Design, and while he wasn’t terribly talented at sketching (according to this writer at Fortune Magazine), he’s certainly found other ways to be creative!

8. Gordon Moore

The founder of Intel, whose net fortune is estimated at US$7 billion, initially attended
San Jose State University but transferred to the University of California Berkeley, where he received a BSc in chemistry. Gordon Moore went on to pursue a PhD in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology,making him one of the most highly educated amongst our list of top entrepreneurs.

9. Martha Stewart

Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, businesswoman, writer and TV personality, Martha Stewart is worth US$638 million. Born in New Jersey, she graduated from
Barnard College (affiliated with Columbia University) with a bachelor’s degree in history and architectural history.

10. Brian Acton

Currently worth US$5 billion, the American programmer and self-made internet entrepreneur co-founded the popular messaging app, WhatsApp, after completing a BSc in computer science at
Stanford University. Five years after Facebook refused to take him on, Brian Acton received US$3 billion for his stake in WhatsApp, after it was sold to the social media giant in 2014 for US$22 billion.

11. Oprah Winfrey

Born in rural poverty, the famous businesswoman, who built her fortune through her business Harpo Productions, the Oprah Winfrey Show and acting work, is worth US$2.9 billion. Oprah Winfrey’s prowess as an orator earned her a full scholarship to
Tennessee State University, from which she holds a bachelor of arts in communication.

12. Jerry Yang

Yahoo’s co-founder, whose net worth is currently estimated to be US$2.1 billion¸ earned a BSc and an MSc in electrical engineering from
Stanford University, where he met David Filo, with whom he was to start up one of the biggest internet companies of the world.

13.  Chard Hurley

Every minute, more than 100 hours of footage are uploaded to YouTube, and almost a third of all internet users have been on YouTube at some time. The site’s co-founder, Chard Hurley, attended
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a BA in fine arts. His fortune is estimated at US$355 million. In 2006, YouTube was sold to Google for US$1.65 billion.

14. YOU.  

Dream big!

This article was originally published in November 2016 .

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Written by

I'm originally French but I grew up in Casablanca, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva. When I'm not writing for QS, you'll usually find me sipping espresso(s) with a good paperback.

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