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15 Multi Billion Dollar Firms That Started In A Garage Featured

30 December 2014
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Mattel

Mattel

Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler founded Mattel out of a garage in Southern California as picture frame company in 1945. To get the most out of their materials, they started using picture frame scrapes to create dollhouses. Soon their dollhouses were selling better than their picture frames so they turned their emphasis to toys. Today Mattel, Inc. is the highest-grossing toy company in the world.

Address: Southern California

The Weezer

The Weezer

In its early years, the American alt-rock band playing in a garage rented in Amherst, Los Angeles.

Disney

Disney

About 45 minutes down the road from Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA, there’s a house in Los Angeles where The Walt Disney Company got its start. In 1923, the house belonged to Walt Disney’s uncle, Robert Disney. Walt and his brother Roy moved in with their uncle and set up “The First Disney Studio” in the one-car garage out back. There they started filming the Alice Comedies which was part of the original Alice’s Wonderland. Today, Disney is the highest-grossing media conglomerate in the world.

Address: 4651 Kingswell Ave, Los Angeles, California

Google

Google

As Stanford Graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started what’s now known as Google from Susan Wojcicki’s garage in September 1998. Soon the project was interfering with their schoolwork, so they tried to sell it to Excite for $1 million. Excite rejected the offer and now Google is the most trafficked site in the world.

Address: 232 Santa Margarita Ave, Menlo Park, California

Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard

In 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP in Packard’s garage with an initial investment of $538. Their first product was an audio oscillator and one of their first customers was Walt Disney, who purchased eight oscillators to develop the sound system for the movie Fantasia. The HP Garage in Palo Alto is known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley and HP is now one of the largest companies in the world.

Address: 367 Addison Ave, Palo Alto, California

Lotus Cars

Lotus Cars

In 1948, at the age of 20, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman started Lotus Cars by building the first Lotus racing car in stables behind The Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London. Chapman used a 1930s Austin Seven and a power drill to build the Lotus Mark I. Today Lotus Cars is one of the premier racing car manufacturers in the world.

Address: 472 Hornsey Rd, London N19 4EF, United Kingdom

Nike

Nike

Nike (from 1964 to 1978 - Blue Ribbon Sport) was founded by student-runner and his coach. Their business idea was simple and straightforward. They purchased 300 pairs of sneakers from Asian manufacturers and sold them under its own brand. In this initial stage, the company could not afford to even rent a garage.

Patagonia Clothing

Patagonia Clothing

In 1953, at age 14, Yvon Chouinard became interested in mountaineering. At age 18 he bought the necessary equipment, which set in the garage of his parents. The company began to produce and sell special hooks for $1,50 each. By 2012, Patagonia Clothing had a turnover of $500 million, becoming one of the most recognized names in the production of clothing for outdoor activities.

The Beatles

The Beatles

Before the formation of The Beatles, John Lennon was a member of a group called The Quarrymen, along with several friends at school. When the parents of one member of the group could not longer endure their noise, future superstar were forced to postpone rehearsals in an old bomb shelter in the backyard.

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