Real Leaders

Dietrich Mateschitz: Founder of Red Bull

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Dietrich Mateschitz is an Austrian billionaire businessman who co-founded the Red Bull energy drink company, and holds 49% of the company’s shares. His net worth, as of August 2016, is estimated to be $14.7 billion.

Mateschitz was born in Austria to a family of Croatian ancestry. As the international marketing director for German company Blendax he traveled around the world for his job, living in many countries. It was this exposure to multiple cultures and local customs that gave him the idea for a new product, Red Bull, now associated with extreme physical and mental endurance.

After tasting a syrupy Thai drink sold for a quick boost, Mateschitz partnered with Chaleo Yoovidhya to produce their own drink. They invested aggressively in marketing – including its famous sponsorship of Felix Baumgartner’s 120,000-foot skydive in October 2012.

He is co-founder of the Wings for Life foundation that supports spinal cord research together with Heinz Kinigadner. Since 2014 the foundation has organized the Wings for Life World Run to raise funds.

In the U.S., immigrants are almost twice as likely to become entrepreneurs as native-born U.S. citizens. Immigrants represent 27.5% of the countries’ entrepreneurs but only around 13% of the population.