Stock markets go up and down, people are getting richer and poorer, but who are the billionaires that are using their power, knowledge and money to contribute to transforming the world as we know it. We bring you our top 5 billionaires that are doing just that.
1. Bill Gates
Although Bill Gates is primarily known for being the principal founder of Microsoft, he is continuing to add to his legacy through his philanthropic work post-Microsoft. Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) is a $1 billion fund led by Gates and backed by billionaire friends, Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Virgin’s Richard Branson to name a few. The purpose of the fund focuses on tackling climate change on an immediate timescale by investing in technologies with the potential to reduce annual global greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 500 million metric tons. Global emissions currently measure about 40 billion metric tons a year.
Startups with these technologies can often find it difficult to scale, either because the engineering challenge is too big or the business environment that can support the companies is non existent which is why these companies need “patient capital”. For this reason, BEV are willing to allow 20 years for a return on their investments.
2. Richard Branson
Virgin tycoon Richard Branson still has his sights set on the sky but a little further than the clouds. Virgin Group founder, Branson, has reached a new frontier, developing commercial spacecraft under British spaceflight company Virgin Galactic. Although it’s still in the developmental stages, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo craft had a successful trip reaching the edge of space for the first time.
This venture is the most successful of its kind by far, as the space race continues.
3. Elon Musk
He made the electric car cool. Tesla co-founder Elon Musk isn’t ready to stop at cars. Musk has been working on developing an all-electric heavy-duty truck known as the “Telsa Semi” with production planned for the end of 2020. Included in the Semi-standard would be Tesla Autopilot that allows semi-autonomous driving on highways. The battery-operated vehicle can be charged using a solar-powered “Tesla Megacharger” charging station.
Like Branson, Musk also has interests in space. In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, a US aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company. His current mission is to reduce space transportation costs to enable colonization of Mars
4. Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison is known for founding computer technology company, Oracle in 1977 with just $2000 funding, half of which came from himself. Since then, Ellison has shifted his focus to finding a way to live forever. He has become fascinated with prolonging human life and has invested millions into researching the hormone DHEA, which some scientists think slows the process of ageing.
5. Tej Kohli
Tech entrepreneur Tej Kohli is a global business leader renowned for his long term investments in technologies and his commitment to philanthropy. Kohli’s current interests lie in machine learning and developing artificial intelligence for the world’s benefit. According to Tej Kohli, machine learning can even be used to improve healthcare, using US-based biotech firm, Detraxi, pioneers of research into artificial blood, as an example of the long term benefits we could see from the development of machine learning. This research could help organ preservation worldwide as Tej Kohli supports “fewer people will die due to a lack of blood”.
When he’s not on the lookout for his next investment opportunity, he’s focusing on his mission to end corneal blindness through his charitable collaboration with LV PrasadEye Institute in Hyderabad and the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute.
We are excited to see how these billionaires progress with their latest projects and how they will transform many lives.