5. Sergey Brin
Country of origin: Russia
Occupation: Co-founder and director of special projects, Google
His advice to immigrant entrepreneurs: "Success will come from simplicity."
During a wave of resurgent anti-Semitism, Brin's family left Moscow for America in 1979 when he was 6 years old. They settled in Adelphi, Md. Brin followed in the footsteps of his father, a mathematician and economist, by earning a B.A. in mathematics and computer science in 1993 at the University of Maryland. From there, it was on to Stanford University where Brin received a masters of science and Ph.D. It was at Stanford that he met Larry Page. The now-legendary duo later came up with the idea for Google, launching the search engine in 1998. When the company went public in 2004 (opening at $85 per share), Brin became a billionaire overnight. His net worth is now $22.5 billion.
These days, Brin continues to innovate. Google teamed up with fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week earlier this year. The models in her show captured their runway experience wearing Google Glass, technology-driven eyewear that allows users to take pictures and send messages. The product has generated lots of interest in the tech world. In September, his company also announced its newest project, Google for Entrepreneurs. It's aimed at connecting business owners with local programs and online resources to help their companies get off the ground.
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In 2007, Brin was included in a CNN Money feature that asked several prominent entrepreneurs to share how they were able to achieve such success and stay ahead of the curve. He stressed how keeping things simple at Google -- focusing on a few small projects and doing them really well -- has helped the company become a household name: "Technology has this way of becoming overly complex, but simplicity was one of the reasons that people gravitated to Google initially . . . success will come from simplicity."