Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a man with a vision. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, SolarCity and SpaceX - all extraordinary companies in four completely different industries. Here is a look at the life of Elon Musk.
Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971. His father was an engineer and his mother a nutritionist from Canada.
Musk was also interested in computers and by the age of 12, he had written the code for his own video game, a space game called Blastar, which was the first product he ever sold.
He emigrated to Canada in June 1989 at age 17 to attend. He left Canada in 1992 after getting a scholarship to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania.
He earned an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed on another year to finish a second bachelor's degree in physics.
In 1995, Elon Musk headed to Stanford University in California to pursue a PhD in energy physics. However, he only attended the school for two days before dropping out to start his first company, Zip2 Corporation, which provided online content publishing software for news organizations.
In hindsight, it was an excellent decision since the company was later acquired in 1999 by Compaq's AltaVista division acquired Zip2 for 7 million in cash and million in stock options.
Out of that amount. Elon Musk's share was $22 million. Musk had become a millionaire at 28.
As a new millionaire and with time on his hands, Elon chose not to retire early, but went back to brainstorming new solutions for problems he saw in the world. That same year, he started X.com with $10 million dollars from the sale of Zip2. X.com was a financial services and email payments company.
In 2000, during the dot com boom, X.com was acquired Confinity.
In February 2001, X.com changed its legal name to PayPal. In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for US.5 billion in stock. Before its sale, Musk, the company's largest shareholder, owned 11.7 percent of PayPal's shares.
In 2002, Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, with the goal of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. SpaceX develops and manufactures space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology.
His entry into the automobile industry came in the form of Tesla Motors. Despite popular belief, Musk was not a co-founder of the company. A while after the company had been set up, Tesla Motors began their Series A round. It's Model S sedan is among the safest cars on the road.
- However, the New York Times ran a bad review of the Model S in February 2013, which Musk responded by producing data from the test drive and said the article was 'fake.'
With a stake in the company taken by Daimler and a strategic partnership with Toyota, Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering in June 2010, raising $226 million.
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