7. Research in Motion: Mike Lazaridis
Two months before he would have graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in electrical engineering, Mike Lazaridis was approached by General Motors with a $600,000 contract to develop a network computer control display system. Lazaridis dropped out to pursue it.
That GM contract enabled Lazaridis and two others to launch RIM. Today, Lazaridis is reportedly worth $800 million.