10 Siblings That Started Successful Businesses Together

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Finding the right partner to operate a business can be a challenge. Co-managing requires complementary skills and good communication. Such is not often the case when a business is family-owned, where separating personal issues from business matters presents an even greater challenge. So when a company that is run by siblings succeeds, it’s no small matter. We’ve put together a list of ten examples of siblings that overcame the odds and started successful businesses together:

  1. Catherine and David Cook – Co-created the website MyYearbook.com in 2005, at the ripe old ages of 15 and 16 respectively. The social discover site now boasts around 20 million members, and the Cook siblings recently sold it for a nice round figure of $100 million.
  2. Ernest and Julio Gallo – These two brothers co-founded E&J Gallo Winery in 1933, after Prohibition had ended, with less than $6,000 in start-up capital -which they had borrowed. It is today the largest family-owned winery in America, worth billions.
  3. Walt and Roy Disney – Founded Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923.In the midst of the Depression, six years later, they reincorporated into Walt Disney Productions, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  4. George and Ira Gershwin – From 1924 until George’s death from a brain tumor in 1937, these songwriting brothers made musical magic – and history – together that would last forever. Together they scored over two dozen Hollywood and Broadway productions, such as An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess, A Star is Born; Strike Up the Band, and Funny Face.
  5. Bob and Harvey Weinstein – Founded Miramax Films in 1979, which was known for its distribution of independent and foreign films during the period the brothers owned the company. It was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 1993, after which the Weinsteins garnered even more success before leaving to start up another venture of their own.
  6. Max, Mannie, Charlie, and Eddie Brandenstein founded MJB Co. in 1889. It was originally named the M. J. Brandenstein Co., but was changed to avoid sibling rivalries and to hide the fact that the brothers were German Jews. MJB Coffee is still one of the biggest coffee makers in the U.S.
  7. Georges, Armand, Paul, and Maurice Marciano – These four Moroccan brothers, raised in France, moved to California to co-found GUESS, the clothing line brand in 1981. Their trademark black-and-white ads won them numerous awards, and helped earn them a huge share today in the fashion industry.
  8. Stephen Messer and Heidi Messer – This brother-and-sister team co-founded Linkshare, which, according to their website, is a leading provider of full-service online marketing solutions specializing in the areas of Affiliate Marketing, Search Marketing, and Lead Generation. Linkshare is now owned by Rakuten, which acquired it in 2005 for $425 million.
  9. Roy and Bertrand Sosa – Established NetSpend, a leading provider of reloadable prepaid debit cards and related financial services for a market which the brothers believed was under-served by traditional banks and lenders. They parlayed their initial $750 investment into a market value  of over a half-billion dollars.
  10. Moses and Aaron – According to our records, this sibling duo co-founded Exodus, a rather successful moving business, quite some time ago. It lasted for just three months, but the business guidelines Moses introduced to his clients are still in practice today.
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