The “world’s youngest” self-made billionaire has spoken about his path to success.
When he was just 13-years old, Austin Russell filed for his first patent.
Although his teenage years had scarcely begun, he had invented a product that helped recycle sprinkler water for gardening.
Then at 17, he set up Luminar, a company that offers light detection technology to give drivers a 3D view of roads.
In addition to building his company, the young entrepreneur studied at the Irvine Beckman Laser Institute at the University of California.
His studies brought him to Stanford as well where he studied physics briefly.
A Thiel Fellowship was awarded to Russell, which is a grant of $100,000 (£74,000) awarded by billionaire Peter Thiel to support young business people.
And now at 25, he became a billionaire overnight by taking his Luminar Technologies lidar sensor technology business to the NASDAQ market.
And as of this week, Forbes reports that $2.4 billion (£1.78 billion) is worth Russell’s 104.7 million shares.
“He said to the magazine, “It was extremely stressful, grueling… all we’ve had to go through every day, scaling this up.
“And of course, having a chance to get out there now and get into the public markets and scale through this IPO SPAC is unbelievably rewarding.”
He added: “I’m still relatively young, but a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into it.
“And I was lucky enough to be able to retain a stake that was good enough.”
“Russell added in an interview with CNBC: “It’s completely surreal and it makes complete sense and the dichotomy of it is difficult to explain, but this has always been the intention.
We set up the company to be a profitable long-term enterprise and to foster the future of autonomy for all of these car manufacturers. For the long-term, we are in it.’