Tales of enormous fortunes created by the technology industry brought a gold rush in recent years that has gripped San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. Many young dreamers – entrepreneurs, geniuses, idealists – flocked to the area with the hope of starting a successful start-up or striking it rich by joining the right company at the right time.
The entrepreneurs work long hours with hopes to build empires. And their lives are intertwined: They live with each other, network with one another in co-working spaces, compete with everyone and party together.
Here are the 10 young CEO’s of Silicon Valley startups you can’t afford to ignore,
1. Aaron Levie – CEO of Box
Box is another red-hot enterprise startup that’s already worth more than $500 million.
It’s like Dropbox and Google Drive — an online storage service. But it focuses on service that storage to large businesses instead of consumers.
2. Trip Adler – CEO of Scribd
Whenever you read a document online, the widget powering it is probably run by Scribd.
Trip Adler is a favorite among other startup founders and CEOs in Silicon Valley. Ask most of them what they think and you’ll get a lot of positive feedback.
3. Travis Kalanick – CEO of Uber
Uber, which turned five this year, is the most valuable private tech company in the world. The ride-hailing company, could soon be worth as much as $50 billion with a new cash infusion.
Uber operates in 311 cities and 58 countries. While the company is working to overcome regulatory hurdles, Uber has its sights set on plans bigger than just chauffeured transportation.
4. Ben Silbermann – CEO of Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley. It’s captured the hearts and minds of entrepreneurs everywhere with its close attention to design and rapid growth.
A lot of that comes down to Silbermann, who was the product visionary from the start of the company.
5. Solomon Hykes – Founder of Docker
Docker is one of the most buzzed about things on the internet, and for good reason. The open-source software, developed by CTO Solomon Hykes, gives developers the tools to build and distribute apps so that they work across multiple platforms.
This technology is revolutionizing how companies view and build applications, and companies such as Yelp and eBay are adopting Docker at a fast pace.
6. Mikkel Svane – CEO of Zendesk
Some of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley are actually enterprise startups.
Zendesk, a customer help ticket management system, is one of them. After moving into a brand new office in San Francisco, Zendesk is looking to up its headcount to 300 employees from around 220 this year.
7. Elizabeth Holmes – CEO of Theranos
Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of an Ivy League university during her sophomore year to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.
At age 19, the ambitious chemical engineering major quit Stanford and bootstrapped Theranos, a revolutionary Palo Alto, Calif.-based blood diagnostics startup, mainly with money her parents saved for her college education.
8. Brian Chesky – CEO of Airbnb
Back in 2007, Brian Chesky and his roommate Joe Gebbia were too broke to pay rent on their San Francisco apartment. To avoid getting booted by their landlord, the enterprising industrial designers decided to rent out three air mattresses on their floor for $80 bucks a piece.
The sharing economy forefathers hobbled together a basic website advertising their crash pad for rent and the rest — a few setbacks along the way included — is history.
9. Stewart Butterfield – CEO of Slack
Slack is a workplace-communication app. Slack has group- and private-chat features and lets users share files and work collaboratively. Slack was originally an internal tool used by CEO Stewart Butterfield’s team at Tiny Speck, the company that made the multiplayer game Glitch, but Butterfield decided to spin it out into its own product and company.
Slack’s growth as an enterprise communication tool has been organic — it hasn’t spent any money on marketing. It’s one of the fastest-growing enterprise apps of all time.
10. Chris Wanstrath – CEO of GitHub
CEO Chris Wanstrath is a self-taught coder who dropped out of college to pursue a career in software development. An active profile on GitHub — his software-development tool that allows users to collaborate — has become a popular destination for Valley programmers to work and get hired.