Aaron Levie, CEO, Box

Back in 2005, Levie was a college dropout with a few thousand dollars to his name and an “unsexy” startup idea for an online storage and collaboration company. Today, he is the undisputed prince of the young enterprise pack. Levie, a cofounder of Box, has brought cloud storage services to 4 million users. Venture capitalists are falling over themselves to write him a check: The company has succeeded in raising an estimated $284 million in financing. 

VentureBeat: How would you respond to the contention that the enterprise is not a “sexy” space?

Aaron Levie: The expectations we now have around tools in our personal lives have permeated the enterprise: We want simpler technologies, tools that are more social, and solutions that work from wherever we are. This is causing a massive wave of disruption in the enterprise space being led by startups — like Zendesk, Yammer, Asana, GoodData, Domo — that can out-innovate their legacy incumbents. And that’s sexy.

VentureBeat: What’s the biggest trend in the enterprise?

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Levie: Mobile. We’re about to go from roughly 750 million knowledge workers to more than 1.3 billion. That’s because mobile innovation is putting more computing power into more hands than ever before. Jobs that were off the grid are now becoming digital and connected. There is an incredible opportunity for us to build software that entirely rethinks work and collaboration from a mobile first perspective.