Tech billionaire Elon Musk tops 2016 list of start-up founders’ favorite founders

Elon Musk tops 2016 list of startup founders’ favorite leaders

Elon Musk is the leading man of Silicon Valley — by far.

The founder of Tesla and SpaceX is the most admired tech leader of start-up founders, according to a recently released survey of more than 700 founders from First Round, a seed stage venture capital firm that also hosts events and offers resources to help start-ups launch.

Elon Musk
Photo by Bloomberg.

Musk is the choice of 23 percent of the survey respondents. That's more than double the total of the second-most admired tech leader, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Bezos claims 10 percent of his peers' votes, and the millennial founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, takes the third spot with 6 percent. The late, revered Steve Jobs receives 5 percent of the vote.

With his electric-car company Tesla, Musk is at the vanguard of the effort to transform the automobile from running on fossil fuels to operating on solar-powered batteries.

Tesla is part of the first generation of cars built with the hardware to allow autonomous driving. The cars won't actually drive themselves yet, though, because they require software that is highly regulated and not yet publicly available.

Musk also runs SpaceX, which designs, manufactures and produces rocket ships. The ultimate goal of SpaceX is to make it possible for humans to live on Mars.

For entrepreneurs hustling to change the world, Musk's grand ambitions to leave a mark on the course of human history make him the ultimate idol.

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