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9 tech founders who are the ‘Mark Zuckerbergs’ of their countries — they’re rich, successful and younger than 35

Matt Weinberger
mark zuckerberg annoyed

REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

President, founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a Reuters interview at the University of Bogota January 14, 2015.

It’s the stuff of entrepreneurial legend: In 2007, at just 23 years old, Mark Zuckerberg became one of the youngest billionaires in the world on the back of Facebook, a product he built in a dorm room.

And when he rang in his 31st birthday this past May, Zuckerberg’s shares of Facebook were worth over $9 billion. 

Zuckerberg is definitely an outlier here, but there are plenty of young entrepreneurs around the world building successful tech companies and finding their own success. 

Here are other young tech prodigies around the world everyone should know.

Russia: Pavel Durov is 30 and he co-founded a popular social network there, VK.

Pavel Durov, aged 30, has been called the “Mark Zuckerberg of Russia,” since his social network VK overtook Facebook in his home country. Unfortunately, he was forced to flee Russia late last year, claiming the government was trying to take control of his company. Now, he has a new messaging app called Telegram.

Ireland: Patrick and John Collison, 26, co-founded $5 billion payment company Stripe.

Brothers Patrick and John Collison, both 26, have been called the “Mark Zuckerbergs of Ireland” thanks to the success of their payments startup Stripe — even though they live in Silicon Valley now.

Stripe recently cut a deal to power ApplePay and it’s worth $5 billion.

Singapore: 28-year-old Quek Siu Rui co-founded a fast-growing sales app Carousell.

28-year-old Quek Siu Rui dropped out of grad school to co-found Carousell, a person-to-person sales app that’s gaining mega traction in Singapore.

Japan: Yoshikazu Tanaka founded social network SNS Gree and he’s worth $1.7 billion.

Yoshikazu Tanaka started his social network SNS Gree as a lark at the age of 26. In 2010, not long after he turned 33, he became the youngest-ever founder of a company listed on the front section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

His net worth is estimated at $1.7 billion.

Canada: Michael Litt, 28, co-founded video marketing startup Vidyard.

Michael Litt co-founded video marketing startup Vidyard in 2010 as part of a final-year project at the University of Waterloo.

Today, Vidyard has graduated from the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program and is ranked as one of Canada’s top startups.  It has raisd nearly $26 million.

Sweden: Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek is worth $400 million at age 32.

Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek is worth $400 million at age 32 — and it’s not even his first company.

Ek has sold his previous startups to companies like TradeDoubler and eBay.  

Brazil: Gustavo Caetano, 33, founded Samba Tech

33-year-old Gustavo Caetano took a struggling mobile game distribution company he founded in 2004 and turned it into Samba Tech, now Latin America’s biggest online video platform. 

Kenya: 20-year old Mubarak Muyika sold his first company for six figures when he was 16.

20-year old Mubarak Muyika is the CEO of Zagace, a Kenyan startup that makes business software. And when he was 16, he founded Hypecentury Technologies, a web hosting company that he sold in a six-figure deal.

In fact, he turned down a generous scholarship to Harvard to pursue entrepreneurship.

India: Deepak Ravindran, 27, dropped out of Kannur University to found a mobile search company Innoz.

In 2008, Deepak Ravindran and three of his fellow students dropped out of Kannur University to found Innoz, a company that lets users do Google and Wikipedia searches via text message — crucial in India, since mobile Internet is way less common.

Last year, Ravindran left Innoz to found Lookup, a service for mobile users to chat with local businesses. 

United States: Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his dorm room. The billionaire is now 31.

Mark Zuckerberg is currently worth about $38 billion thanks to Facebook, which he co-founded in his early 20′s.

Facebook’s rapid international growth, plus projects like the initiative, mean that Facebook is making it difficult for entrepreneurs to replicate Facebook’s success.

Recently, Zuckerberg has spent a lot of time trying to get the Chinese government to allow its citizens access to Facebook.

Feeling inspired to follow in Zuck’s footsteps? Read how to turn a good idea into a great iPhone app.

How to turn a good idea into a great iPhone app>>

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