17 People Making Way More Money After Leaving Finance for Start-Ups

Wikimedia Commons
12 of 14

Jimmy Wales worked at a future and options trading firm. Then he created a search engine for guys, Bomis, before founding online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales, the creator of Wikipedia, didn't begin his career on Wall Street, but he was a financial professional. He started out at a future and options trading firm, Chicago Options Associates.

Here's how Wikipedia describes his transition to entrepreneurship: "Inspired by the remarkable initial public offering of Netscape in 1995, and having accumulated capital through 'speculating on interest-rate and foreign-currency fluctuations,' he decided to leave the realm of financial trading and became an Internet entrepreneur."

His first venture was a "guy search portal" full of female images, Bomis. He used money from Bomis to launch the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.