A – F

Cheol-soo Ahn founded AhnLab, Inc. in 1955, which is a security software provider in South Korea. AhnLab sells computer software such as antivirus software, online security, network security appliances such as firewalls, IPS, UTM, and security software for online game and Mobile Web.
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Robert Afshar practiced corporate law in San Francisco and founded Legal Resource in 1997, a popular source for online “How To” legal information and he authored and published several books, teaching consumers how to handle routine legal matters without incurring attorneys’ fees. In 1999, founded LeadClick Media Inc., a leading online lead generation and internet marketing company that provides customers to the automotive, real-estate, and financial services industries. In 2003, launched eAdvertising.com which quickly became one of the leading affiliate marketing networks in the country reaching over 85 million consumers. More recently in 2009, he founded RAA Ventures, an angel and venture fund focused on investments in extraordinary internet start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Ray Anderson  is the founder of Interface, the largest producer of commercial carpet tiles. He pursued what he called “Mission Zero”: to make Interface fully sustainable by 2020 through the use of recycled materials and renewable energy sources.
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Leanna Archer As the youngest person to ever ring the NASDAQ Stock Market opening Bell, Leanna Archer has been recognized as a Teen CEO to watch. At the tender age of 9 years old, Leanna became the CEO of her own hair product line, Leanna’s Inc. With her great grandmother’s secret recipe, Leanna decided to bottle, package and sell the hair products that had been in her family for generations. Today, at 15 years old, Leanna is running a successful enterprise that yields over $100,000 in revenues per year.Not only is Leanna a successful Teen Entrepreneur, but she is also a voice of inspiration for today’s youth. Leanna is a motivational speaker and has dedicated her time to the enrichment and progressive movement of today’s teens. She has been a speaker at the Black Enterprise’s Teenpreneur’s Conference, has been a panelist at the “ What Makes A young Champion” Forum in Singapore, and was a speaker at the 2009 NAACP Youth Workshop, where she was honored for her entrepreneurialism. Apple has even sought after Leanna and requested her attendance at the 2010 Education Leadership Summit, an invite-only forum gathering hundreds of Education executives dedicated to bringing innovation and technology to the classroom.With all of her amazing success and accomplishments, Leanna has Recognized the importance of altruism and has support many philanthropic as well as humanitarian efforts. In 2008, Leanna founded the Leanna Archer Education Foundation, an organization devoted to providing better opportunities for underpriviledged children in Haiti. Leanna’s goal is to built schools in Haiti, while providing a Safe learning environment for over 150 students.Leanna’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Leanna has been profiled in some of the most powerful business publications including Forbes Magazine, Success Magazine, INC Magazine (30 under 30) and Ebony Magazine. Online web portal, AOL Black Voices, was also impressed with Leanna and positioned the Teen CEO as #5 on their list of “ Top 9 Young Lions” who are making Black History. Leanna has also been interviewed by several major media outlets, including NBC, MSNBC,ABC,FOX Business and BET. Leanna was recognized by Janet Jackson and management team, she met with them at the Radio City Hall and Janet is scheduling a trip to Haiti with Leanna later on this year to her Foundation.Leanna is a true Entrepreneur and has defied all odds by starting at such an early age. While her entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen have allowed her to take charge in the boardroom, her youthful exuberance and resolve has granted her the ability to inspire and motivate a whole new generation of emerging thinkers. Leanna is a beacon of hope for young teen who aspire to run their own businesses, no matter how young they are.

María Asunción Aramburuzabala Larregui de Garza (born May 2, 1963) is a businesswoman in Mexico and Latin America. She is Chairman of the Board of Tresalia Capital.
Aramburuzabala is CEO and President of Tresalia Capital and Vice Chairman of Grupo Modelo. She is also member of the Executive Committee of Grupo Modelo and Vice Chairman of DIFA as well as Chairman of Tresalia Educación. She serves as Director in several important Mexican companies Boards such as Grupo Televisa (since 2000, currently Vice Chairman of the Board), America Movil, Empresas ICA, Banamex – Citigroup, Aeromexico, BCBA Impulse, KIO Networks and GA&A Group; and actively participates as member of the NYSE Advisory Committee.
Aramburuzabala is also an active member of ITAM’s Business School Advisory Committee, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University Advisory Board. She serves in the Advisory Board to the Mexican Ministry of Education looking to improve quality standards in Education and in the Mexican Ministry of the Economy Advisory Board for International Business Trade.
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Anne F. Beiler is an American businesswoman and founder of Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Beiler was born into an Old Order Amish family in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1949. When she was three years of age, her parents became members of the Amish Mennonite church. Growing up in a family of eight children, Anne was the baker and bread maker among them. When she was a teenager, she had a waitressing job that taught her about customer service. Later, she worked at a food stand at a farmers’ market. It was there that she learned how to make pretzels the old-fashioned, Pennsylvania Dutch way – soft and doughy.In 1987, Beiler started making hand-rolled pretzels at a market stand in Maryland. She then rented a stand in February 1988 in Downingtown, Pennsylvania and called it Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. The pretzels they sold during the first weeks of owning their stand tasted “horrible.” The Beilers decided to tweak the recipe and found success. Anne had no previous business experience and only a ninth grade education, but she had eight stand alone stores and her first Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels store in a mall after a year. The only advertising the company had was the rave reviews from their customers In 1989, the first Auntie Anne’s franchises opened throughout Central Pennsylvania.

Lauren Berger is CEO of InternQueen.com, an online internship destination that helps students find and apply for internships while also educating them on how to make the most of their experiences.Read more

Sarah Blakely became the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world in 2012 thanks to the success of Spanx, her reinvention of the girdle. In November 2012 she started rolling out the shapewear brand’s first standalone retail stores at upmarket malls on the east coast. Read More

Bill Bowerman was born on February 19, 1911 and he passed away on December 24, 1999. He was a notorious coach for the University of Oregon where he trained many Olympic and All-American athletes. As a coach, he was always thinking of ways to better enhance his athletes performance; this what led to the finding of Blue Ribbon Sports, later known as Nike Corporation. Mr. Bowerman made the first pair of Nike shoes for Otis Davis, an athlete at the University of Oregon who won two gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics, out of a waffle-iron. The shoes were not perfect so while Phil Knight ran the business side of Nike, Mr. Bowerman experimented with different shoe designs. In 1968, the “Nike Cortez” was created and quickly became a top-seller. Read More

Richard Branson was educated at the exclusive Stowe School but did not excel, possibly due to his nearsightedness and dyslexia. In his teens he developed a national magazine, Student at the Age of Sixteen. At seventeen he began a student advisory service. After leaving school, Branson entered the music industry. Considering that he could sell records cheaper than the existing average, he started a mail-order catalogue with friends. It was a success, and they opened a record discount shop. They named the business Virgin, because it was their first venture. Virgin Records was formed in 1972. The first recording studio was built in Oxfordshire, England. Mike Oldfield recorded the very first album, and it sold over five million copies. When punk came along, Virgin signed the outrageous Sex Pistols when other record companies refused to touch them. The move turned out to be a marketing coup. Virgin Airlines is one of Richard Branson’s main businesses. Formed in 1984, it is part owned by Singapore Airlines, and it is the second largest British long haul international airline, and has won many awards. Read More

Nicky Bronner is the founder of ‘Unreal’ candy- a new company whose mission is to take the ‘bad’ (hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives) out of America’s favorite desserts. Unreal’s first five chocolate bars are almost exact mimics of the most popular of individually wrapped candy- Snickers, Milky-Way, M&M’s, Peanut M&M’s and Reeces Cups- and each has no more sugar then a piece of fruit. Read more

Sean “Jay Z” Carter is famously known as Jay Z is an American rapper and prominent businessman. Growing up the in the projects of Brooklyn, New York, Jay Z has redefined and lived the American dream of rag to riches. Making his name in the rap industry, Jay Z has gone off to venture in several successful businesses including moving the Barclays Center to Brooklyn hereinafter naming the New Jersey Nets to the Brooklyn Nets. His net worth is about $600 million and rising. He also husband to the world superstar icon Beyoncé who has an impressive track record herself. Read More

Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (July 8, 1920 – July 13, 1995) was the son of Ole Kirk Christiansen, the founder of the Lego Group. In 1949 Godtfred Kirk Christiansen bought the patent to the Lego brick and the family started producing plastic bricks as a supplement to the wooden toys. In 1950 he became Junior Vice President of the company and in 1956, he was appointed Managing Director. When his father died in 1958, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen became the manager of the company and bought out his three brothers in 1960 to become sole proprietor of Lego Group. His son, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, took over as president and CEO of the Lego Group in 1979. Read More

Donald Clifton is an educator, thought leader, inventor, and entrepreneur who founded The Clifton Strengths School in Nebraska more than 50 years ago with a simple question that led him to find that identifying what is right with people can help them create the circumstances they want for themselves at home, at school, at work, and in life. Read More

Ben Cohen is a co-founder of the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, an American ice cream company that manufactures ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet and ice cream novelty products. Read More

Barbara Corcoran was born on March 10th 1949 at the city of Edgewater, NJ. She studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College and attained a degree in education in 1971. After teaching for one year, Barbara decided that she wanted to be her own boss. After her brief stint in teaching, she started doing 20 different types of jobs. She also worked as a waitress. After years of doing different types of jobs, she finally decided to start her own venture. She loaned $1000 from her wealthy boyfriend and started her own real estate company called The Corcoran Group. By Mid 1970s, she stared publishing the “The Corcoran Report” that featured real estate data development. Barbara Corcoran was able to turn a $1000 loan into a billion dollar company. She was able to sell her real estate company to NRT LLC for seventy million dollars. She has been featured on CNBC, NBC, The Daily Review, Larry King Live More Magazine, Red Book, weekly columnist at the New York Daily News and recently as one of the judges on the hit U.S. TV reality series Shark Tank on ABC (Famous Entrepreneurs, 2014). She was considered a D student at school but was able to use her inner creativity to maker her millions (Inc. Magazine, 2014). Read More

Stephen R. Covey was an American educator, author, businessman and motivational speaker. His most popular book was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective PeopleRead More

Mark Cuban was born on July 31, 1958, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Indiana University in 1981 with a degree in Business. After college, Cuban moved to Dallas, Texas and created a computer consulting business called “MicroSolutions” which transformed him into a millionaire when he sold the business to CompuServe in 1990. In 1995, Mark and his business partner Todd Wagner began working on an idea (that later became known as Broadcast.com) in order to stream live events over the Internet. This innovative duo sold their company to Yahoo.com in 1999 for billions of dollars in Yahoo! stock. Mr. Cuban went on to purchase the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks basketball franchise for $285 million on January 14, 2000, dramatically changing the team for the better. Mark’s brilliant ability to lead this organization and mold the Mavericks into an evolving superior force led the team to reach the NBA Finals in 2006 for the first time in franchise history. Read More

Michael Saul Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell Inc. which is one of the most famous sellers for personal computers. In 1992, he was 27 when he became the youngest CEO to have his company ranked in Fortune magazine’s list of the top 500 corporations. Today, Dell Inc. has more than 100,000 team members on board and serves IT needs of different groups of people arranging from multinational corporations, small businesses, governments, to home users. Dell’s broad range of IT services has helped people worldwide achieve different goals very efficiently.
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Ryan Devlin and Todd Grinnell, Co-founders Todd Grinnell and Ryan Devlin traveled to Liberia a few years ago and saw for the first time the devastating effects of severe acute malnutrition. After a few years of hard work, Grinnell and Devlin launched “This Bar Saves Lives” in 2013. These bars would be sold in the U.S and at the same time help alleviate hunger in Liberia.. For every granola bar sold, their non-profit partners Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions and Save The Children help produce and deliver a packet of life-saving food to a child in need. Read More

Walt Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer,international icon, and philanthropist, well known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O. Disney, he was co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, which later became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world. The corporation is now known as The Walt Disney Company and had an annual revenue of approximately $36 billion in the 2010 financial year. Disney is particularly noted as a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created some of the world’s most well-known fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself provided the original voice. During his lifetime he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. Disney also won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the U.S., as well as the international resorts Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris, and Disneyland Hong Kong.

Joseph Francis is the founder and creator of the “Girls Gone Wild” entertainment brand.  Despite an eventual path which led to lawsuits and a mass of controversy that ended in bankruptcy for his company, he was able to develop and catapult the “Girls Gone Wild” brand that was well known even among folks that did not personally indulge in the co-ed shenanigans.  With his strategic use of direct response marketing, such as infomercials, he transformed his female escapade from an idea into a company that grossed 20 million dollars in the first two years.  Joseph Francis and “Girls Gone Wild” is a perfect example of the entrepreneurial life cycle in which one moment you can be flying beautiful barely legal teens to privately owned islands and the next be bankrupt and a figment of many young male adult memories. Read More


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