10 World Famous Companies That Started In A Garage | Long Island

Posted by Matthew Miller on Dec 9, 2015 4:47:09 PM

Do you have a great idea that you want to take to the world? Perhaps you’ve have been dreaming of building your own business but don’t know where to begin, and I mean literally “where” to begin? Every big business had to start out somewhere, right?  

Often we can be confined by the notion that we first have to rent a specific space or location in which to begin creating our great idea or business. However, as the age of innovation expands exponentially, the humble garage has become the ultimate launch pad for the budding entrepreneur. What better way than to create a custom garage and make it happen!

So, it should come as no surprise that quite a few well-known, multi-BILLION dollar companies that had humble beginnings, were built from the ground up out of their owner’s garage.

10 Most Famous Companies That Started In A Garage | Long Island

1. Amazon

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 as an online bookstore. At the time, it was completely run out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington. He sold his first book in July 1995 and issued his IPO two years later in 1997. Today it’s the world’s largest online retailer.

amazon company started in garage

2. Apple

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, ages 21 and 26 respectively, started Apple Computers by selling 50 units of Wozniak’s Apple I Computer at $500 apiece to a local retailer. Jobs took the purchase order to a parts distributor and ordered the parts. “The Steves” and their small team hand-built 50 computers in 30 days from a garage in Cupertino, CA.Today, Apple is the most valuable technology company in the world.

apple company started in a garage

3.  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.

disney started in a garage 

4. 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.

 google started in a garage

5. Harley Davidson

In 1901, 21-year-old William S. Harley drew up plans to create a small engine to power a bicycle.

Over the next two years, Harley and his childhood friend, Arthur Davidson, built their motor-bicycle out of their friend’s 10 by 15-foot wooden shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was the equivalent of a garage because they didn’t have cars. They officially founded Harley-Davidson in 1903 and today it’s the most well-known motorcycle brand in the world.


6. 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.


7.  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.


8. Maglite

In 1950, Tony Maglica moved from his war-torn home of Croatia back to America. Knowing very little English, he settled in Los Angeles and took jobs wherever he could find them. In 1955, after saving $125, Tony put a down-payment on his first lathe. Then he started working out of a garage to manufacture precision parts. He incorporated Mag Instrument in 1974 and released their first flashlight in 1979. Today, Maglite is the standard issue flashlight for all police officers in the US.


9. 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 scraps to create doll houses. 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.


10. Yankee Candle Company

In 1969, at 16 years old, Michael Kittredge made his scented candle in his garage out of melted crayons as a gift for his mother. The neighbors took notice and expressed interest in buying Kittredge’s candles, so he started mass-producing them.

Four years later, Kittredge outgrew the garage so he moved the Yankee Candle Company to an old mill in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Today it’s the largest manufacturer of scented candles in the US.


What’s the Point?

Everything starts as nothing. So whether you’re already a business or an inspiring entrepreneur hoping to follow your own path to success or perhaps you are already working in your own garage on the next big thing, these stories of companies that rose from obscurity to be multi-million (or billion) dollar industries can be a big inspiration.

The humble garage has long been the historical starting point for many of the world’s greatest ideas and inventions that have shaped our world. They may very well help you realize that in creating the ultimate launchpad space in your garage, your dreams of entrepreneurial success can also become a reality.

If you are a budding entrepreneur or home business owner residing in the Long Island area, Prestige Garage are offering you an exclusive No Obligation FREE In Home Design Consultation to help you organize your garage space as the launchpad for you next big idea.  Call (631)-488-1477 to book today and you could be be well on your way to making your dreams of success a reality.

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Topics: Garage Design Tips

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