12 Billion Dollar Companies That Started In Garages

When we think of the most successful companies in the world, we seem to have this vision of them already having huge great big offices and employees upon start up.

When in fact, so many businesses start in either the founder’s bedroom or home garage. Doesn’t that seem so crazy, yet inspiring to think about?

The fact that some of the most successful, and highest valued, companies in the world, started in a garage. A room that’s so small and non-important, most of us are able to have access to something similar.

Want to know 12 billion dollar companies that started in garages? This article shows just how much success can be achieved with ‘little resources and funds’. They started with nothing but a dream, a genius idea, and a willingness to put in the work.

Check out the list below, and see how many you guessed correctly!

1. Microsoft

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft way back in 1975; within a small garage as their workspace, and very little resources to help them. The first operating system they built, they were able to license for a sum of around $80,000.

They then went on to tackle more advanced software projects several years later, which was when Windows was born.

Microsoft is always advancing and bringing out new, exciting products. Bill Gates’ net worth is now estimated to be almost $100 billion, and he is the 2nd richest person in the world.

2. Dell

Michael Dell is another famous entrepreneur who dropped out of college. He started building computers custom built to order back in 1984 in his garage.

It was then only 1 year after this that he decided it was time to drop out of college; and move to North Austin to expand the company from his own office. Which he was able to obtain through his first-year profit.

Dell has now become one of the strongest competitors in the market and also one of the highest-grossing, which makes Michael’s determination and risk taking all worthwhile.

3. Google

Larry Page and Sergey Brin Created Google in 1998, in a garage in California that was let out to them by Susan Wojcicki.

It took them five months to create Google, after which they said had begun taking up too much of their time and they actually tried selling the company to Excite for a measly $1 million.

Google is now worth an estimated $350 billion, which is absolutely incredible.

As of 2017, Larry Page and Sergey Brin are two of the richest people in the world, with net worths upwards of $30 billion.

4. Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, and was originally just a small online bookstore. At the time he founded Amazon, he was operating out of his home garage in Bellevue, Washington.

It wasn’t actually until a year later that he was able to sell his first book. But soon after the business began to grow and it has now become the world’s largest online retailer.

Bezos went from selling books, to selling whatever he wants. In 2018, Jeff Bezos’ net worth is $135.5 billion, making him the richest person in the world.

5. Apple

Apple computers began in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak making a sale of 50 units of Wozniak’s Apple I to a local retailer. Jobs ordered all the parts for the computers, and they built all 50 in just 30 days with the help of their small team.

They slowly increased their technology and introduced new systems, and Apple have now become the largest and most valuable technology company in the world.

Although Steve Jobs is no longer with us, he helped transform the world, and his legacy lives on through the success of Apple.

6. Hewlett Packard

HP originally started out as a small technology club called ‘Silicon Valley’, which was founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in 1939.

The two originally only had $538 to invest, which back then was worth a lot more than it would be today, and they started off by selling quite a wide variety of products.

Hewlett Packard then began to specialize more into the tech market, and it was able to become the success it is today; one of the largest computer companies in business.

7. Yankee Candles

Michael Kittredge was only 16 years old when he started creating his own candles in his garage. His candles were originally meant as just a gift for his mother on Mother’s Day, which he made by melting crayons.

However, neighbors of his began to show interest and when he started selling them, two of his classmates joined him to help.

The company was founded in 1969 and grew very large very quickly, and in 1999 Michael decided to sell it on. Yankee Candles is one of the largest and most popular candle manufacturers out there.

 8. Disney

Yet another company you might not realize was actually founded in a garage, Disney. Walt Disney, his brother Roy and his uncle Robert started filming Alice’s Wonderland comedies in Robert’s garage back in 1923.

It’s unbelievable how far they’ve come since then; they’re now the highest grossing media conglomerate worldwide.

 9. Harley Davidson

Ever wanted a Harley? In 1901 William S. Harley designed plans to power a bicycle with a small engine. Arthur Davidson, a friend of Williams, worked with him to build these motorbikes in a small wood shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Harley-Davidson was officially founded in 1903, and now every motorbike enthusiast wants their own Harley.

10. Maglite

In 1950, Anthony Maglica started working on a lathe with just $125 in savings. In 1974 it was incorporated as Mag Instrument, where Anthony would deliver the individual components needed for flashlights to the manufacturers of them.

Although, it was only a few years after that he thought he could make more durable flashlights than the ones his clients were creating using his components.

So he went out on his own to create them, and starting selling flashlights under the brand, MagLite in 1976. It’s now the main brand dominating the flashlight market.

11. Mattel

Mattel was founded in a garage in south California, back in 1969. Harold Matson and Elliot Handler, the founders, used picture frame scrapes to build dollhouses.

The dollhouses became very popular, and ended up selling better than their picture frames, so they turned their attention over to the toy industry. Mattel, Inc is the highest grossing toy manufacturer to date.

12. Lotus

Lotus Cars was founded Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman in 1948, and he actually began by building his first Lotus car in a stable next to ‘The Railway Hotel’ in Hornsey, London.

Chapman was only 20 years old when he started building Lotus cars, and they’re now incredibly popular sports cars and competitive racing cars.


Here’s a quick recap of the 12 billion dollar companies that started in garages:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Dell
  3. Google
  4. Amazon
  5. Apple
  6. Hewlett Packard
  7. Yankee Candles
  8. Disney
  9. Harley Davidson
  10. Maglite
  11. Mattel
  12. Lotus

Source: Wealthy Gorrilla

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