|University of California, San Diego, B.A.||1997|
While the eight-person staff of GoPro was enjoying the success of their first HD HERO camera in 2009, founder and CEO Nick Woodman realized one thing: to support his vision, he was going to need a bigger staff. But before Woodman could think bigger, he had to start out small.
After receiving a degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, Woodman founded an online promotions company, Fun Bug. In 2001, Woodman sold Fun Bug and took off surfing and traveling the world. The decision inspired more than the personal – Woodman’s passion for surfing sparked the idea to create the now-popular wearable and gear mountable camera and in 2002, Woodman founded GoPro. After years of research and planning, the company released its first product, the GoPro HERO, a 35mm film-based camera that was worn on the wrist.
Made up of some of Woodman’s friends and family members, the early GoPro team established the company as a true innovator by continually iterating on the product, moving from a film-based camera to a digital still and video camera. A lifetime extreme sports enthusiast, Woodman was learning how to race cars when he was compelled to move the camera from his wrist to the top of his car. This simple idea led to an array of camera mounting devices – for everything from helmets to surfboards, and even dog collars.