100 World Class South Africans: Mark Shuttleworth

2013-05-16 12:13

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Pushing boundaries for the greater good

A few days after turning 38, Mark Shuttleworth made the Forbes list of the 10 Youngest Power Men in Africa.

It all started with him installing the first internet connection in his university residence at UCT in 1993.

After graduating, the young software developer founded Thawte, an internet security company, which he sold to American software giant Verisign for a whopping R3.5 billion.

He could have retired, but by age 30 he’d founded HBD Venture Capital, an investment company, and the Shuttleworth Foundation, which funds people with innovative ideas that may change society.

And because for people like Shuttleworth, the sky’s the limit, he became the first African in space.

After a year of hard-core astronaut training, he hitched a ride to the International Space Station in 2002 as part of a Russian mission, where he did Aids and gene research, and chatted to Nelson Mandela by radio.

Back on Earth, he toured SA schools promoting science and maths.

Today, Shuttleworth’s still spreading the love –his Ubuntu free, open-source software is used by industry, the military, police, banks and schools, so that everyone can use computers.

He’s the anti-Bill Gates, if you will.

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