With March Madness in full gear, sports fans and enthusiasts start packing bars and clubs around the nation with speculative chatter. Who is the best team? Who is the best player? Our creativity and memory rapidly dives through stats, numbers, and highlight reels of our favorite players and teams. When I was a kid I used to fantasize of creating a dream team – the Avengers of basketball – complete with superstar players that complement each other. We pull from our favorite heroes in sports – the ones whose posters we’ve hung up on our bedroom walls – or even the ones we enjoy playing as in sports video games like NBA 2k14. Creating that all-star team is always a very fun process: analyzing superstars and top talent, discovering a way to gather them to work together, build chemistry, and finding a way to win every game and battle you engage in.
If creating a basketball dream team is this much fun, why not apply the same fantasy to the startup world? Therefore, I’ve decided to curate my own dream team complete with a starting five lineup, 6th man, and head coach.
Indeed, this dream team list is subjective as I created it largely on the bold impact and world-changing visions of founders who have inspired employees and other entrepreneurs alike; They’ve had tremendous social and economic impact; an obsession with innovation, and the performance of their companies over time speaks for itself. These founders created and nurtured healthy, sustainable organizations that now have a combined market value of more than $20 billion and together have directly employed more than a million people.
Yet those numbers only touch the surface. Each of their companies sits at the nucleus of a thriving ecosystem that has cultivated and nurtured dozens if not hundreds of other enterprises. So the power of each of these organizations extends far beyond its own walls.
From pop-culture to elite Venture Capital circles these individuals have changed the entire entrepreneurial playing field. They transcend geographic boundaries and cultures and have meandered their way through multiple industries effortlessly. They are our modern day heroes boldly changing the world. So without further adieu, let’s begin the dream team starting five player introductions.