Are there any other entrepreneurs that are like Elon Musk? Keep reading as we shortlist the five entrepreneurs that show Elon Musk-like qualities.
Elon Musk is a highly driven, visionary, and futuristic entrepreneur that has successfully built companies like PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity, and Hyperloop.
He’s a major inspiration for many entrepreneurs and business owners across the world. But there are several other entrepreneurs that are worth a mention. After all, the world isn’t running just off of Musk’s invention.
Here’s a list of five top entrepreneurs that are worth your consideration and appreciation. Let’s talk about them in detail, shall we?
1. Mate Rimac
Croatia-born and raised, Mate Rimac is popular for his pioneering electric hypercars. He’s a visionary, inventor, designer, and entrepreneur that people often compare to Elon Musk and Nikola Tesla. Why?
Well, his story seems to have fallen straight out of a novel, where a techie shows interest in reinventing cars, a rare luxury in Bosnia back in the 1980s.
Rimac moved to Germany with his family when he was three only to return to Croatia to settle. He completed his studies by enrolling at VERN University. Mate showed massive potential for innovation and technical development as he went on to win several international technology competitions in Germany, South Korea, and Croatia.
‘iGlove,’ one of his first patents, was essentially a digital glove that effectively eliminates the need for a mouse and keyboard. He did this long before touch screens were invented! His passion for cars took him to an epiphany when he started racing his old 1984 BMW 323i (E30) in 2006 in local events.
A blessing in disguise, his car engine broke down mid-race which led him to ideate a 600-horsepower electric motor — creating one of the first competitive EVs, the Rimac e-M3.
This became the prototype for what turned out to be his first, self-built, supercar. It took him just four years to develop the car and get recognized by the FIA and Guinness Book of Records.
He launched Rimac Automobili, a company that went on to create Concept_One, an EV with an impressive initial power figure of 1,088 horsepower.
The EV debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011 after getting funding from the royal family of the United Arab Emirates. Mate Rimac later developed the electric motor to increase the power output to 1,224 horsepower!
That was not it. Rimac and his team are working to prepare a production EV, Rimac Nevera, which is essentially their second electric supercar.
Nevera is expected to generate 1,940 horsepower to achieve a top speed of 412 km/h. However, the company is set to produce only 150 units.
One of the most important goals in Rimac’s life is to become the main supplier of electric and electrified systems for all major EV manufacturers, especially the car companies that wish to develop high-performance and road-legal cars.
At the time of writing, Rimac Automobili has collaborated with automakers like AMG, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Koenigsegg, Mercedes, Porsche, Renault, and Cupra
2. Niklas Zennström
A Swedish entrepreneur and technology investor, Niklas Zennström is known for his massive professional career and philanthropy.
He’s currently the co-founder of Zennström Philanthropies, a charity organization. Zennström has dual degrees in Business Administration and Engineering Physics from Uppsala University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology respectively.
He embarked on his professional career in 1991 at the European telecom operator Tele2. There he served in several business development roles and manned the launch of the European Internet Service Provider business get2net. During that time, he even became the CEO of the everyday.com portal.
Nine years later, in 2001, Zennström co-founded Kazaa with Janus Friis.
This peer-to-peer file sharing application became the world’s most downloaded internet software in 2003. Niklas served as its CEO before members of the music and motion picture industry filed lawsuits against the application. Kazaa was then sold to Sharman Networks.
Next, Zennström founded Joltid and became its CEO. This software company developed and marketed peer-to-peer solutions.
It focused on traffic optimization technologies and commercial content promotion. In this quest, Niklas co-founded Altnet, which is the world’s first peer-to-peer network that promotes commercial content through effective integration of promotional, distribution, and payment technologies.
However, Zennström is best known for founding Skype, another peer-to-peer technology-based telephone company.
Skype was acquired by eBay in October 2005 for a massive sum of $2.6 billion, excluding the performance-based bonuses. Niklas remained Skype’s CEO until September 2007 and launched Joost once Skype was sold.
Zennström has a long list of accolades and achievements. He was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in 2006.
He was voted Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 by the European Business Leaders Awards (EBLA). Oxford University presented Zennström with a Lifetime Achievement Award in September 2011.
3. Max Levchin
Primarily a Ukrainian-American software engineer and entrepreneur, Max Levchin is popular for co-founding and contributing to the security and encryption features of PayPal.
He was a prime member of what we all know as the PayPal Mafia. Max is also an investor and, strangely enough, has been credited as an executive producer in a movie!
He studied computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Such was his passion for technology that he founded four different tech companies during his time at the university.
Max focused on creating platforms to sell online ad banners and white-label classified ads to large online marketing networks.
The first three failed, but the fourth one was successful enough to be acquired by an online advertising cooperative named LinkExchange.
With the cash in hand, Levchin moved from Illinois to California and arrived in Palo Alto. He didn’t have a place to stay so made temporary arrangements at a friend’s home near Stanford.
Max slept on the floor and occasionally snuck into random Stanford lecture halls for the air conditioning. At Stanford, he met Luke Nosek, who introduced him to Peter Thiel, a growing young entrepreneur.
Max currently has a net worth of $3.4 billion and is a recipient of the Levchin Prize, Game Changers Award, Great Immigrants Award, Core Visionary Award, EY Innovation Award, MIT Technology Review’s Top 100 Innovators, and other prestigious accolades.
After leaving PayPal, Levchin stuck to technology and founded/invested in many tech companies like Yelp, Affirm, and Evernote.
Not just that, Levchin co-created the Gausebeck-Levchin test, which was the earliest form of CAPTCHA, the challenge-response human verification test.
Max had a rough childhood as he belonged to an immigrant family. Born and brought up in Kyiv, Ukraine, Max’s family had a hard time moving to the United States. He shares that when his family immigrated, they only had a few hundred dollars.
4. Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Bushnell is remembered as the Grandfather of modern-day gaming systems. He is an innovative entrepreneur and visionary leader that almost everyone in the gaming industry looks up to. If you don’t know his name, you most probably know his creation — Atari. He’s arguably one of the most inventive game designers on the face of Earth.
Bushnell is an American born in Utah. He went to Utah State University and studied engineering. It was in university that he developed his passion for gaming.
He chose to game and went on to create history. His career in the gaming industry started off after playing Spacewar!, an extremely influential computer game. He went on to create Syzygy, his first gaming company.
At Syzygy, he and fellow engineer Ted Dabney partnered to create Computer Space which rivaled Spacewar! It did excellent business in the gaming market and pushed the team to change the company’s name to Atari.
The company had a major breakthrough when Bushnell developed Pong. The game was an instant hit — making Atari a household name.
It was at this time that Steve Jobs offered Bushnell a stake in Apple. Bushnell rejected and went on to release the Atari 2600, an extremely successful home video game console. Bushnell and the team created several famous games like Pong, Breakout, and Computer Space.
He has made a massive contribution to the game development philosophy. Nolan’s philosophy is a mix of creativity and efforts to create the most fun games.
The philosophy is also referred to as Bushnell’s Law. The law states that:
“All the games are easy to learn and difficult to master. They should reward the first quarter and the hundredth.”
That’s not it. Nolan Bushnell invented Chuck E. Cheese in 1977 when he was ousted at Atari. Chuck E. Cheese was the very first restaurant that combined food with arcade gaming. It was bought by Showbiz Pizza Place and later became the successful brand that it is today.
5. Jay Adelson
American internet entrepreneur Jay Adelson founded Equinix, Revision3, Digg, and Opsmatic. He is known for heading a number of successful entrepreneurship endeavors. But, the most resounding one was Opsmatic in 2013.
He founded the company and became its CEO to focus on improving the productivity of the operations team.
Jay Steven Adelson went to Cranbrook Kingswood School for high school graduation and later enrolled at Boston University to study film and broadcasting. However, his major was still in computer sciences. After graduation, Jay moved to California to commence his career in sound engineering.
He joined Netcom in 1993 and served as an Installation Coordinator.
He moved up the ladder and was promoted to Director of Network Operations in 1995. He actively managed the network operations in the company and successfully caught Kevin Mitnick, a computer hacker by Tsutomu Shimomura.
Adelson moved on to work at Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX) in 1996. His continuous efforts helped PAIX get acquired by Equinix in 2009.
Adelson worked as the Chief Technology Officer at Equinix Inc. It was here he achieved freedom and space to invent and innovate.
He went on to work as the CEO and co-founder of Digg and Revision 3. Jay served as a member of the Board of Directors for a couple of years and helped the companies generate huge monetary revenues.
Not just that, he co-founded Opsmatic and Center Electric — companies that focus on the Internet of Things.
His undeterred focus and resilience helped his entrepreneurial journey achieve a space in Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World list.