Drew Houston: Y Combinator’s Most Successful Alum

In 2007, Drew Houston co-founded Dropbox with Arash Ferdowski. Little did he know that a simple solution to a common problem would turn him into a billionaire years later. At only 32 years old, Houston is currently on Forbes’ list of the World’s Billionaires.

His rise to the top was not quite unusual. Like many successful tech startups, the idea for Dropbox was born out of necessity. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Houston’s frustration with having to carry USB flash drives and emailing files to himself in order to access them when he needed it was what brought about the idea of a cloud-based storage system where people can just upload files and access them through computers, mobile phones, or tablets that are connected to the internet. Dropbox got the attention of Y Combinator which provided seed funding for the company. Dropbox was founded in 2007 and formally launched the following year. It has since become Y Combinator’s most profitable investment to date and is considered one of the best Silicon Valley startups by many business media and tech industry insiders.

Prior to Dropbox, Houston already got a feel of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. He co-founded an online SAT prep company called Accolade while he was still working on his bachelor’s degree at MIT and he has also worked as a software engineer and developer at a number of tech startups.

Houston is also part of the tech powerhouse FWD.us which is a collaboration between some of the tech industry’s brightest minds in support for reforms in the immigration and education policies in the United States among many things. Aside from Houston, FWD.us was co-founded by big names such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Joe Green (President), Ron Conway, and many other tech entrepreneurs.


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