If you’re interested in making it big in technology, look no further for inspiration than this top ten list of the world’s richest technology billionaires, courtesy of Bloomberg. Unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by US citizens. Still, they are all self-made billionaires, proving that you don’t need inherited wealth to succeed. Prepare to be awed and surprised
1. Bill Gates: Net Worth $84 bn
59-year-old William Henry Gates was born in the United States. He is a philanthropist, working chiefly through the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation which he co-founded with his wife Melinda Gates, an investor, a computer programmer and an inventor. Previously Gates was best known for being the co-founder of Microsoft (the main source of his income), but he is now more commonly associated with his foundation and spends most of his time on philanthropy.
- He dropped out of university (Harvard)
- He has donated $28bn so far to his charitable foundation
2. Larry Ellison: Net Worth $ 47.2 bn
Larry Ellison is the Chairman, chief technology officer and co-founder of Oracle, the world’s biggest database company. Prior to founding Oracle, Ellison built databases for the CIA.
- He’s a sailing fanatic.
- Ellison dropped out of university.
- Steve Jobs was the photographer at his fourth wedding.
- He owns most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
3. Mark Zuckerberg: Net Worth $36.6 bn
He needs no introduction, but for the few of you who don’t use Facebook, Zuckerberg is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of the social networking platform Facebook.
- When he was in ninth-grade, he created a digital version of the board game Risk.
- He dropped out of Harvard.
- Zuckerberg is an active philanthropist and has given significantly to help fight the Ebola virus.
- He loves McDonalds.
4. Jack Ma: Net Worth $35 bn
China-based Jack Ma is an e-commerce tycoon (co-founder of the Alibaba Group); however, he started out as an English teacher.
- According to an article in Forbes, he claims to have been rejected from Harvard 10 times.
- He’s the wealthiest man in China.
5. Jeff Bezos: Net Worth $34 bn
Princeton-educated Jeff Bezos is Amazon’s CEO and co-founder. Before founding Amazon, he worked for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw.
- He has a degree in electrical engineering and computer programming so he’s a true techie.
6. Larry Page: Net Worth $31.1 bn
At the tender age of 42, Michigan University and Stanford University graduate Larry Page runs what is surely the most influential company of the digital era: Google. He’s the CEO.
- Page is a hard-core environmentalist: he runs his properties on geothermal energy and rainwater capture.
- He is also an active philanthropist and has given generously to help fight the Ebola virus.
- He personally ’rubber stamps’ every new recruit at Google.
- He’s an avid kiteboarder.
7. Sergey Brin: Net Worth $30.9 bn
Stanford University-educated Sergey Brin is the co-founder of Google. He runs ‘Special Projects’, the division of Google that focuses on high-risk projects.
- He emigrated to the US from Russia with his parents when he was six years of age.
- He has donated millions to Parkinson’s research.
- He often shops at Costco.
8. Steve Ballmer: Net Worth $19.3 bn
In 2014, Steve Ballmer handed in his resignation as CEO of Microsoft. He’s now head of the Los Angeles Clippers.
- He’s passionate about basketball.
- His father was a manager at Ford; Ballmer still drives Ford cars to honour his dad.
- Gates persuaded him to dropout of Stanford.
9. Michael Dell: Net Worth $18.3 bn
Another college drop-out, Michael Dell is the CEO and Chairman of Dell computers, a company which he founded when he was just 19 years old.
- Dell is an active philanthropist. He and his wife Susan invest heavily in the education of the less privileged in South Africa, India and the United States.
- As a youngster, he made $2,000 selling collectible stamps: a born entrepreneur?
10. Pony Ma: Net Worth $18.3bn
China-based Ma is the chairman of behemoth Tencent Holdings, a provider of internet, mobile and telecommunications services.
- Pony is his ‘nickname’( Ma means ‘horse’ in Chinese).
- He wanted to become an astronomer when he was a child.
- He met his wife over Tencent’s instant messaging service.
What’s your takeaway from this illustrious list of tech billionaires? That you don’t have to be a first-class gradate to make it? That they are just as ‘normal’ as the rest of us? Or have you just been impressed by their extraordinary philanthropy? Share your thoughts in the box below…