Project Description

Mark Shuttleworth

Place of Birth

Welkom, Free State, South Africa


Technology, social and economic development


Mark Shuttleworth is a South African entrepreneur and space voyager. Shuttleworth founded several companies and investment firms including Thawte Consulting in 1995, Here Be Dragons Venture Capital (HBD) in 2000, and Canonical Ltd. in 2004. When Thawte was acquired by VeriSign in 1999 Shuttleworth became a billionaire — the selling price was in the region of ZAR3.5 billion. In 2002 he became the first African to fly into space. His considerable wealth has been widely distributed to projects that include education initiatives, venture capital undertakings, and open-source operating systems.

Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Shuttleworth

Philanthropy and Sponsorship

Mark Shuttleworth is known for great entrepreneurial vision and innovative ideas in the field of IT. After becoming a billionaire overnight by selling his pioneering consulting firm Thawte, Shuttleworth started redistributing his wealth.
His strong focus on the technology sector stemmed from a childhood love for computer games and everything related to the Internet; this led to the entrepreneur investing millions into open-source operating systems through the Ubuntu project. The project produces high-end operating systems available free of charge across the globe.
His continued philanthropic endeavours also include nurturing interest in the fields of science and technology, and expanding them. He formed HBD Venture Capital – a firm that concentrates on investing in local companies with the potential to expand internationally. HBD stands for Here Be Dragons: an ancient way of marking unexplored territory on maps.