Motivation, Startups

How These Entrepreneurs Built Empires Worth Millions

successful entrepreneur

Shown Above – Sridhar Vembu, Founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation

We live in an era where many of us rather majority of us wish to become entrepreneurs. Additionally, many of these budding entrepreneurs aspire to create the next Amazon or Uber too!

As much as that may sound a bit crazy but it actually is quite possible!

A few right tricks from the hat and you’ll be there! Becoming a millionaire is not that difficult anymore, given the availability of resources.

All you need to do is, touch the right chords. What is actually difficult is, finding those “right chords” and then maintaining your success.

As entrepreneurs, we are told that we should expect to fail at our first, second, or third idea before becoming successful, and that is often true. Coming up with an idea and then profiting from it immediately is a very rare scenario.

There are so many ways for one to make money using the internet — it could be a physical product, service or for that matter air, that you breathe. Whatever be your product or your flavour of entrepreneurial streak, there are some sure-fire ways to make it in the online world.

That said – you do not always have to come from a privileged background to make it big. That is the beauty of capitalism.

Some of the greatest men and women in the history of business started with very little. They overcame a number of challenges until they found the road to success. These captains of industry had vision, passion and determination to be successful.

Here’s a list of such entrepreneurs from the new-age world of entrepreneurship

1.  Tyler Haney – Outdoor Voices

Tyler Haney had started Outdoor Voices, an active-wear fashion brand based in New York City in 2012.

The business was started using her own savings and a round of investment from friends and family.They used to sell clothes in small U.S. boutiques and abroad in the early days.

It was only in October of 2014 that their first retail store opened in (Austin) Texas, where the brand was partially headquartered. This was followed by a Soho pop-up shop in November 2015 as well.

Due to the successes of the above two, she further went on to open a shop in lower Manhattan in early summer 2016, with office space as well.

Talking about the investments – after being turned down by more than 50 investors over time, the company has raised more than $9.5 million from investors including General Catalyst Partners, along with tech giants like Airbnb and Snapchat in its portfolio.

2.  Jeroen Cappaert – Spire Global

Jeroen Cappaert an ex NASA researcher is the co-founder of a satellite data company based in San Francisco called Spire Global.

Spire is a satellite-powered data company that helps business tackles some of world’s most unpredictable business challenges with truly global data solutions for organizations primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia.

It helps organizations to attain a competitive advantage by offering insights into areas such as global trade, weather, shipping and supply chain, illegal fishing, maritime domain awareness, and so on, by offering unique data from any point on Earth and every hour.

Spire was founded in 2012 and currently, also has offices in Glasgow, Singapore, and Boulder. It was founded to create ArduSat, a crowd-funded satellite, which was launched on 3rdAugust 2013. After this, Spire Global has gone on to launch, a whole range of satellites.

It landed $40 million in a June 2015 funding round, bringing its total capital raised to nearly $80 million. They have raised a total of $69.5 million dollars.

3.  Vladimir Tenev- Robinhood

Vladimir Tenev is the cofounder of Robinhood Markets Inc, a stock-trading app, along with co-founder Baiju Bhatt.

Robinhood was started in 2013. It is an app that allows individuals to invest in publicly traded companies and exchange-traded funds listed on U.S. exchanges without paying a commission.

The company was formed by two individuals who had previously built high-frequency trading platforms for several financial institutions in New York City, which got them to realize that high-frequency traders and electronic trading firms pay nothing to place trades on the market.Robinhood Financials is an SEC registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC

To date, the startup has facilitated more than $2 billion in trades, free of commissions, and has raised $66 million from NEA, Index Ventures, and Ribbit Capital, among others, with the latest one being of $50 million.

4. Emerson Spartz – Dose Media

Emerson James Spartz is the founder of Dose Media(a positive-only news site), and MuggleNet (a Harry Potter fan-site).

Dose, started in 2009has launched at least thirty websites under the banner whose primary job is to republish previously developed viral content, and mainly depend on social media sites for web traffic.

Today, the site clocks 50 million monthly visitors and has scooped up $25 million in funding recently making it a total of $34.5 million.

MuggleNet, a Harry Potter news website and forum, was founded in 1999, at the age of twelve. By 2009, he had already written two books on Harry Potter (which remained on the New York Times Children’s Bestseller List for six months).

5. Christopher Gray- Scholly

Christopher Grayis the founder of Scholly, an app and website that connect college students to scholarships.

Scholly helps deserving students find scholarships. There is free money for college out there, and Scholly has helped students win over $50 million in scholarship awards.

Scholly was also featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, and had landed a deal with Daymond John and Lori Greiner. After Shark Tank, Scholly became #1 in the iPhone and Android App store for several weeks too.

Christopher was also named a 2015 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Social Entrepreneurship.

He cofounded it in 2015along with co-founders Nick Pirollo and Bryson Alef, and together they have managed to integrate more than 600,000 users, and has already facilitated $20 million in scholarships.

6. Annie Lawless – Suja Juice

Annie Lawless is the cofounder of Suja Juice, an organic juice company that is clocking sales around $70 million,and is currently valued at over $300 million.

She has cofounded the company along with Eric Ethans(raw food chef), James Brennan (an award-winning restaurateur), Jeff Church (a Harvard MBA, CEO of Nika Water -a social enterprise that donates 100 percent of its profits!).

Founded in 2012 – Suja Juice produces cold-pressed juices, waters and drinking vinegars that are organic and non-GMO. It is a juice company that is based in (San Diego) California, and has grown on to become the largest independent producer of cold-pressed juice sold in the United States.

So far, the company has raised a total of $21 million in equity funding from The Coca-cola Company and Alliance Consumer Growth.

7.  Sophia Amoruso- Nasty Gal

Sophia Amoruso is an American young entrepreneur who owns Nasty Gal- A passion that turned into a multi-millionaire company.

Founded in 2006, Nasty Gal is an American retailer that specializes in fashion for young women. The company has more than 550,000 customers in over 60 countries.

She had started off with a store on eBay with the name of Nasty Gal Vintage, where she sold vintage fashion, and has went on to extend the same into a multi-million dollar venture. In October 2013, Business Insider named Sophia Amoruso one of the sexiest CEOs alive.

In 2012, the company had further expanded into Publishing by launching several magazines as well. Nasty Gal has raised a total of $65 million in 3 Rounds from Index Ventures and Ron Johnson.

8. Shashank ND & Abhinav Lal– Practo

“Necessity Is The Mother Of All Inventions.” Someone has very rightly said that the most successful businesses are created out of personal pain points. When we face a problem and we are not able to find a solution to it, in desperation we Create One!

Practo Technologies is a combination of two products – Practo Ray (an online medical practice management software that is made to be used by doctors and other medical personnel’s only) & (consumer-focused product), which was founded by a personal pain-point of the founders – Shashank ND & AbhinavLal in 2008!

It is now the world’s second largest health-tech start-up (next to Zocdoc) and is now valued at $525 million.

Currently,Practo is present in 15 countries, 50 Indian cities with 200,000 registered doctors, 8000 diagnostic centers, 10,000 hospitals and 4,000 Wellness and Fitness centers.

9. Sridhar Vembu – Zoho Corp

Sridhar Vembu is the founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation (formerly AdventNetInc), and is famously known for building a multi-million dollar Zoho Corporation from scratch. Without taking any external funding!A company, that today competes directly with giants like Microsoft, Google, Oracle and, and is giving them a run for their money, as well.

The man behind the Multi-million dollar bootstrapped company – Zoho, is also known for constantly and humbly turning down Venture Capital Fund, several times in his career.

His journey includes modest beginnings of coming from a middle class family in Chennai, where his father was a stenographer in the High Court and his mother was a house wife, and neither of them went to college, and his firm determination that made him the founder of a multi-million dollar company.

10. Kailash Katkar – Quick Heal

Kailash Katkar is the Founder of the ₹1700 + crores Quick Heal Technologies, which in the simplest terms is an Anti-Virus Company that offers end-to-end mobile and desktop security solutions.

From being born in a small village at Rahimatpur in Maharashtra, to workingat a local radio and calculator repair shop, and then founding Quick Heal, this SSC Dropout has come a long way.

Not only is Quick Heal known to be the first company in India to begin and offer Research and Development of IT security solutions, but is also one of those very few companies who have managed to out beat competitors like MacAfee and Symantec in India, and other countries across the world as well.

11. P C Mustafa – ID Fresh

PC Mustafa hails from a remote village in the Wayanad district, Kerala. His father was a coolie, and his mother had never seen how a school looked like. His village was so remote that it only had a primary school, four kilometres away from his house.

Mustafa failed class 6 but went on to study in the National Institute of Technology in Calicut and Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.

Mustafa decided to invest ₹. 25,000 and immediately started a company with his four cousins — Nasser, Shamsuddin, Jaffer, and Naushad, called ID Fresh.

Today, ID Fresh is a 100 + crore company that has grown from producing 10 packets a day in 2005 to producing batter for millions idlis a day in 2016 with 1,100 employees in over 10 years.

12. Patricia Narayan – Sandeepha Chain of Restaurants

Patricia Narayan is the Founder and Director of Sandeepha Chain of Restaurants based in Chennai.

Hers is one of the most inspiring stories that you’ll come across, that caused her to fight all the odds of failed marriage, addict husband, no money, taking care of two kids, and not to forget the social pressure. All of these led her to become a proud winner of “FICCI Woman Entrepreneur Award”

She had started her career 30 years ago as an entrepreneur, by selling eateries from a mobile cart on the Marina beach with just two people & ₹50 paisa/day, today has more than 200 people working directly under her & makes ₹2 lakhs/day in sales collectively, from 14 outlets of Sandeepha.

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