Sometimes, it seems like garages get all the credit for starting businesses. Everyone knows about the garage that birthed the first Apple computer, or the garage where HP initially got its start. However, when you start looking into it, you’ll also find that there are also plenty of companies that got their initial start in basements. Read through these interesting companies that started in basements, then consider a few of the most technically charged ones.
In 1938, Stanley Kaplan realized that there were many immigrant families in the Brooklyn area that were underprepared for the upcoming NY Regents Exam. To help kids prepare for these upcoming standardized tests, he created a tutoring service in his parents’ basement. It was massively successful, and that success held steady; he eventually sold the company to The Washington Post Company, and in 2018, the company’s annual revenue was $1.5 billion.
You might not recognize the name “Epic Games,” but you almost certainly recognize the name “Fortnite,” which is the company’s most popular title. However, did you know that Epic Games started in 1991 when Tim Sweeney started to design video games in his parents’ basement? The company’s original name, Epic MegaGames, helped to make him sound like a well-established corporation. With the help of Fortnite and the company’s many other hits, Epic Games has a valuation of $15 billion.
If you’ve never had to gather data and information on your own, you probably don’t know how massively helpful Qualtrics is for that. The company is well-known for being able to help academics conduct field research. However, it got its start when Ryan Smith convinced his brother Jared to quit his job at Google and help build the company’s technical side. It proved to be massively popular, with a modern valuation of $11.1 billion.
This network security company didn’t start in a parent’s basement; in fact, it started in the basement office at Stanford University. The company was initially a computer science class research project, and after they won the Stanford BASES Entrepreneurs Challenge, they received $150,000 in capital to develop it further. It’s now owned by HP, and it had $39 million in funding before that ownership transaction took place.
Accounting software is massively important, but it’s something you probably don’t think that much about. That definitely wasn’t the case in 2004 when founder Mike McDerment started FreshBooks. For the first few years, he had only 10 customers, each paying $9.99 per month, and he worked out of his parents’ basement to make sure he used as little as possible to run the business. Of course, it grew from there, and nowadays, the company invoices over $8 billion across its five million users each year.
eCommerce is an important part of many businesses’ success; for some businesses, it’s the only tool they have to make sales. Bold Commerce helps companies make the most of their eCommerce tools, and it all started in a basement. In fact, after its founding in 2012, the company cycled offices through three different basements to help keep costs low. One of the basements even had only a moisture barrier sheeting, rather than finished walls.
Basements have done a lot to further technology in every way. Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, you want a second office in your home, or you just want an additional living space, making sure your basement is suitable may be an important part of that process. Make sure you give your basement the care and concern it deserves, and it’s sure to repay the favor.