Elon Musk (b.June 28, 1971), is a South African scientist and a a computer programer who came to fame and fortune by co-founding the online payment system PayPal. After PayPal was sold to eBay, Elon moved on to start and run several exciting companies. Elon is the CEO & Chief Technology Officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), which is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space ultimately by a factor of ten. SpaceX launched Falcon 1 into orbit on September 28, 2008, which was the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket. They are also the preferred launch provider for the Google Lunar X PRIZE. Elon will offer rides to anyone competing in the prize at cost, which is a great deal. One of my favorite parts of the Board meeting was getting a tour of the SpaceX facitility from Elon himself.
Elon is also the Chairman of Tesla Motors, a builder of electric vehicles and a high luxury electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster.
Elon is also the Chairman of Solar City, solar energy system design, financing, installation and related services.
Before PayPal, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2 Corporation in 1995, a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the media industry, with investments from The New York Times Company, Knight-Ridder, MDV, Softbank and the Hearst Corporation. He served as Chairman, CEO and Chief Technology Officer and in March 1999 sold Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million in an all cash transaction.
Mr. Musk’s early experience extends across a spectrum of advanced technology industries, from high energy density ultra-capacitors at Pinnacle Research to software development at Rocket Science and Microsoft. He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a business degree from Wharton and originally came out to California to pursue graduate studies in high energy density capacitor physics & materials science at Stanford.