Most of us are familiar with Mark Zuckerberg’s story — brilliant Harvard student who dropped out sophomore year to create Facebook, a move that changed the face of social media entirely. What a mouthful, right?


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However, the dropout entrepreneur archetype didn’t start with Zuckerberg. In fact, many entrepreneurs carry surprisingly limited higher education credentials. Their accomplishments go beyond degrees, and can instead be measured by the global impacts they have made. The visionaries shown in the slideshow are recognized for their million dollar ideas, and had the nerve, talent, and skill, to bring them to life.

All of the entrepreneurs in our list have taken the gutsy and lesser-taken path, forsaking degrees and choosing to bank on their own ideas. However, what was once a risky move has come to be seen as a formula, and some are trying to reproduce similar results by attempting to test out the formula.

In 2012, billionaire and venture capitalist Peter Thiel funded 20 promising young talents, paying them each $100,000 to drop out of college for at least two years to become a “Thiel Fellow.” So is success really as easy as giving bright minds the money to fuel their ambition? The verdict is still out on that one.

In the meantime, check out the wildly successful entrepreneur dropouts that struck gold.

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