• 7 Iconic Companies that Started in a Garage

    May 1, 2016 | Blog
  • Our climate makes our garages more than just a place to stow the family car.  It’s a great space that is an extension of the home, and it can be a wonderful place to build something, realize an idea… or even start a dream business.

    These 7 iconic American companies were launched in the humble garage.


    Perhaps the company that comes to mind first when thinking of garage-launched companies, Apple was started in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Jobs’ parents’ garage in Cupertino, CA. Fifty hand-built Apple I computers became the foundation for a technology powerhouse that would change the way we communicate by launching the iPhone in 2008. Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world.


    The king of internet search, Google started as a research project of two grad students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Home base in their early days was a friend’s garage, and the company came to life in 1997-1998. Google also ranks among the most valuable companies in the world, and has become so well-known that “google” has practically become a noun for searching the internet.


    Bringing book ordering to world wide web in 1995, Amazon started in Jeff Bezos’ garage but would grow to become the largest internet retailer in the world. No longer limited to books or even just physical merchandise, Amazon also sells streaming and downloadable products, cloud computing storage, ebooks, and more.


    While boarding with his uncle in 1923, Walt Disney’s first “studio” with his brother Roy was the garage. From early cartoon film series to the globally-beloved entertainment brand, Disney’s garage roots (just 10 minutes from Disneyland in Anaheim, CA) eventually produced one of the most recognized brands of all time.


    One of the most desirable motorcycle brands around, Harley-Davidson launched in a shed in 1903 in Milwaukee, WI. Harley-Davidson history is filled with innovation, military utility, racing victories, and bad boy/girl reputation. No motorcycle brand has achieved the iconic cultural status that is held by Harley-Davidson.


    In 1945, Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler launched a company that combined their names into Mattel, the toy brand responsible for cultural icons like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Fisher-Price, American Girl dolls, numerous board games, and more.

    Does your garage inspire you to innovate, or create something new? Tell us your stories of building something amazing or important in your garage.