Joe Gebbia

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Joe Gebbia
113017-Airbnb London Press Tour-Joe Gebbia-0555 (cropped).jpg
Joe Gebbia in 2017
Joseph Gebbia Jr.

(1981-08-21) August 21, 1981 (age 40)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
EducationRhode Island School of Design
OccupationDesigner, entrepreneur
Known forCo-founder of Airbnb

Joseph Gebbia Jr. (born August 21, 1981) is an American billionaire designer and Internet entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Airbnb,[1] and is chairman of Samara, Airbnb's design studio, and of, the company's non-profit foundation.[2] As of October 2021, his net worth was estimated at US$11.4 billion.[3]

In 2009, Gebbia was listed in BusinessWeek's Top 20 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs.[4] In 2010, he was named in Inc. Magazine's Thirty under Thirty, and 2013, he was named in Fortune Magazine's Forty-under-Forty.[5]

Early life[]

Joe Gebbia was born August 21, 1981, in Atlanta, Georgia,[6][7] the son of Eileen and Joe Gebbia.[8] He has one sister, Kimberly.[8] He attended Brookwood High School in Snellville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. He graduated in 2005 from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Industrial Design.[9][10] It was at RISD that he met Brian Chesky, who would later become his roommate and co-founder of Airbnb. While studying in the Northeast, Gebbia complemented his creative pursuits and studies at RISD with business coursework at Brown University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[11]


After graduating from RISD, he moved to San Francisco.[12] Gebbia got a job at Chronicle Books in San Francisco,[13] while Chesky moved to Los Angeles. Gebbia convinced his friend Brian Chesky to move to San Francisco in 2007 to start a business together. When they both quit their jobs, their landlord raised their rent and so they were in need of money.[14] Knowing the Industrial Design Society of America conference was coming to San Francisco and many hotels were booked,[15] Gebbia believed they could rent out airbeds in their apartment to conference goers. They marketed this idea by creating a website called "AirBed & Breakfast."[14] This was the foundation of Airbnb. Another of Gebbia's roommates, Harvard graduate and technical architect Nathan Blecharczyk, became the third co-founder in February 2008. [4]

After failing to get the funding for the new company, the team designed cereal boxes, "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains," based on the 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain and sold them at the conventions.[16] When Gebbia shared their work with Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, he was impressed with the tenacity involved in the endeavor, admitting them to the program as a result. He gave them their first round of seed funding in 2009.[17]

In May 2017, Gebbia launched a modular office furniture business called Neighborhood. The furniture was created for Bernhardt Design, a furniture company that has worked with emerging designers.[18]

He holds board and advisor roles as a member of the board of directors at Airbnb,[19] a member of the board of trustees at Rhode Island School of Design,[20] and an investor at Nebia.[21]


Gebbia sits on the board of trustees of his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).[22] In 2014, he donated US$300,000 to RISD to establish a US$50,000 term scholarship and an endowed fund.[23] In June 2016, Gebbia joined The Giving Pledge, a commitment to giving the majority of their wealth away in their lifetime.[24]


Gebbia supported Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in his 2008 Presidential Campaign.[25] In 2017, he spoke at the Obama Foundation Summit.[26]

Personal life[]

He resides in San Francisco, California.[23][3]


  1. ^ "Joe Gebbia". Airbnb. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  2. ^ "Airbnb has announced that they will provide 20,000 Afghan refugees free temporary housing globally". masslive. 2021-08-24. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  3. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Joe Gebbia". Forbes. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2009: AirBnB". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  5. ^ "Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Founders of AirBnB". 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  6. ^ Forbes Corporate Communications (2 March 2015). "Forbes' 29th Annual World's Billionaires Issue". Forbes.
  7. ^ "Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia". CNBC. 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  8. ^ a b Joe Gebbia - Brookhaven City Councilman Archived 2017-02-17 at the Wayback Machine retrieved May 8, 2016
  9. ^ "Founders - Airbnb".
  10. ^ "Gebbia Thinks Big". RISD. Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  11. ^ "RISD". Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2016-05-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Joe Gebbia". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  14. ^ a b "Starred: The Email That Launched Airbnb". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  15. ^ "AirBed & Breakfast for Connecting '07". Core77. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  16. ^ "19_Airbnb". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  17. ^ Fairweather, Alistair. "Brian Chesky: The homeless entrepreneur". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  18. ^ "Airbnb Cofounder Joe Gebbia's Next Project? Furniture Design". Co.Design. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  19. ^ Wolverton, Troy. "Airbnb is facing an unprecedented threat from the coronavirus. Here are the veteran execs on Airbnb's board of directors who will be critical to CEO Brian Chesky's success or failure". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  20. ^ "Leadership | About | RISD". Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  21. ^ Chin, Tyler (2020-01-22). "What If Apple Made a Shower Head? It'd Probably Look Like This". Gear Patrol. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  22. ^ "Board of Trustees - Leadership - About - RISD".
  23. ^ a b "Airbnb Cofounder Supports RISD Scholarships - News - About - RISD".
  24. ^ "Airbnb Cofounders Join Buffett and Gates' 'Giving Pledge'". Fortune. June 1, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  25. ^ "The business of politics". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Obamas, Prince Harry Headline Summit This Week: Here's How To Watch". DNA. Retrieved 7 December 2021.

External links[]

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