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Five successful businesses that started in a home garage

From online fashion retailers, technology startups, and media companies, the humble home garage has been a launch pad for some of the most famous companies in the world.

Here are five highly successful companies that were founded in home garages.


Apple’s founders, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne developed the first Apple computer in 1976 in the garage of 21-year-old Steve Jobs’ parent’s house. Jobs and Wozniak wanted to make computers small enough for people to have in their homes or offices. Apple is now the most successful international tech giant in the world.

Although Steve Wozniak did clarify that their garage was not the birthplace of their designs, he says that:

“The garage was something for us to feel was our home. We had no money. You have to work out of your home when you have no money.”

Despite this, the modest garage in Silicon Valley has now been named a historic site.

Sam Ovens

In the ultimate rags to riches story, NZ local Sam Ovens quit his first graduate job after only three months to focus entirely on fulfilling his dream of being an entrepreneur. After four years of failed business prospects and spending all the money he had, Sam started a business consulting firm and turned it into multi-million-dollar e-learning business.

Sam now works out of Manhattan, teaching people how to start and grow their own businesses. Nine people have become millionaires and thousands of people quit their jobs to pursue entrepreneurship after his classes.


Walt Disney came to Hollywood in July 1923, to try and find a job in the movie industry as a live-action film director. When he had no luck, he decided to go back to his roots – to cartoons. Walt and his brother Roy moved in with their uncle and set up what is now known as ‘The First Disney Studio’ in the one-car garage out back.

There, they created the original Alice Comedies, which was part of the original Alice’s Wonderland. Fast forward to today and Disney is the highest grossing media company in the world.


In the garage of young college drop out Bill Gates, the multinational technology corporation Microsoft was born. With limited resources and space, Microsoft honed in on the software market and licensed their first programming software for a mere $80,000.

Years later, 80 per cent of computers worldwide use the Microsoft operating system, and co-founder Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world. In 2014, the company paid homage to its humble roots by founding the Microsoft Garage as a project for engineers to explore their own new ideas for technology.


After quitting her ‘boring’ corporate job in 2009, Jane Lu went on to launch Showpo in 2010, an e-commerce business selling everyday fashion items.

From a laptop and two racks of clothes in her parent’s garage in Sydney, Australia, Jane grew her business to an online global fashion empire that has millions of social media followers. She now uses her platforms to encourages more women to be involved in entrepreneurship.

What will you start in your garage?