Alienware: Frank Azor and Nelson Gonzalez

With no formal training in business or computer design, Nelson Gonzalez and his cofounders decided to do what almost no other company was doing in the mid-1990’s: make personal computers specifically for gaming. They started as a tiny custom shop in Miami, and eventually began building PC’s for avid gamers, who were willing to pay top dollar for higher speed, better graphics, and a brightly-colored chassis that looked like the head of an Alien. Despite ongoing challenges with sourcing parts and getting loans, Alienware became one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. In 2006, it was purchased by Dell for an undisclosed amount, and remains one of the most popular gaming PC’s in the country.

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