Entrepreneurs, what will you do with your money when you become billionaires?
All of us are struck by the success of hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world. Anyone can reflect and wonder what a successful entrepreneur will do with his fortune. We know that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have donated 99% of their fortune to social projects, but… What will Mark Zuckerberg, Travis Kalanick (Uber) or Brian Chesky (AirBnb) do with their money when their shares are liquidated or with the payment of dividends from their companies when they have them?
We also know (controversy aside) that Amancio Ortega donated a significant amount of money for the acquisition of state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Many of the successful entrepreneurs have told us that their main motivation is to improve the world and the lives of millions of people. But how do they do it? Where are the tangibles? How do they contribute to the betterment of the world? There are so many questions and so few answers.
But perhaps the most interesting example is Xavier Niel, founder of the Iliad Group and the well-known company Free Internet. He managed to enter the telecommunications market.
This morning was inaugurated the academy 42 Madrid together with the Telefonica Foundation, one of the social projects of Xavier Niel.
Xavier Niel, L’Enfant Terrible of the French Digital World, is a self-taught entrepreneur. According to Forbes, he is today among the TOP 20 fortunes in France. With his Freebox, Xavier revolutionized a market dominated by the former Telecom monopoly: France Telecom (in Spain known as the Orange brand).
His two flagship projects are: Station F, the world’s largest incubator with more than 1,000 startups. It is a project where entrepreneurs, investors and corporate venture meet daily for the development of innovative projects.
The other project is 42, disruptive education for programmers.
The origin of 42 was a counterweight to the French education system, which did not train the programmers needed by innovative companies and startups. But above all, it did not allow talent without resources to develop.
42 was created in Paris in 2013. It was the first revolutionary computer programming school, free and open to all, including those excluded from the traditional French education system.
The school has no teachers, no official diploma and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is based on “peer-to-peer pedagogy” and on “learning by doing” (project-based learning).
After 6 years, there are already more than 20 schools in the 42 Network around the world and it is growing every year; it is part of a group of associated campuses in France, Belgium, Morocco, Finland, the Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Armenia, Japan, Colombia, Spain, Canada and Italy.
Finally, this initiative is coming to Spain thanks to Fundación Telefónica, which is financing the first school in Madrid. Today Fundación Telefónica presented 42 Madrid, the most revolutionary and pioneering programming campus in Spain, located in the heart of Telefónica (the Norte 3 building in Las Tablas, Madrid). It has 5,000 square metres and a capacity for 900 students.
The good reception of 42 Madrid has led Fundación Telefónica to take on a new challenge: the expansion of the project. In 18 months, it plans to scale this revolutionary and successful pedagogical model and take it, in addition to the existing campuses in Madrid and Sao Paulo, to Malaga, Barcelona, Bizkaia, Valencia and, hand in hand with private and public entities that share the commitment to digital education as an element of progress and social cohesion.
There is no doubt that we have an answer to the question of what Xavier Niel does for the welfare of others through his Station F and 42 projects.
As Aristotle said, “Of all the varieties of virtue, generosity is the most esteemed.” And we hope that many “billionaires” contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem so that innovative projects can be funded by crowdfunding platforms such as Fellow Funders.