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Forbes billionaires list 2015 highlights: Youth, technology and women

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Technology is big business

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In case it wasn’t clear from the mentions of Gates, Zuckerberg and Spiegel technology is seemingly the key to getting rich quick. Newcomers on the list included: Uber founder Travis Kalanick who has a $5.3bn fortune; Kim Bum-Soo, founder of mobile chat service Kakao Talk with $2.9bn; Airbnb founder and CEO Brian Chesky with $1.9bn; Spiegel and his co-founder Bobby Murphy $1.5bn apiece; Netflix founder Reed Hastings $1bn.

It should be noted that Kalanick’s wealth has been secured despite the bad press Uber has received for its taxi-booking service, which caused chaos in London when taxi drivers went on strike in protest of the platform and its lack of regulations. Following that, Kalanick revealed the firm would be working with governments to help economic growth, and also disclosed plans to created 50,000 European jobs.

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Elizabeth Holmes flies the flag for women in business

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Many reports have surfaced to show that women believe they cannot make it to the top of companies, while others have shown they possess the right skills but they’re not using them.However, 31-year-old list newcomer Elizabeth Holmes, founder of painless blood-testing company Theranos, has been declared the youngest self-made woman with a fortune of $4.5bn not bad for a university dropout.

A 19-year-old Holmes abandoned her studies at Stanford University’s School of Engineering in 2003 to launch her medical company, which was inspired by her own fear of needles, with the cash she had saved for her education. She went on to raise $400m, employ 500 people employed and achieve a company valuation of $9bn.

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