Tomas Barreto said no to Microsoft. After two summers working in the software giant’s accounting division, Barreto turned down an offer for full-time work. Instead, he went in search of a start-up where he could play a bigger role, and perhaps get a bit more recognition for his contributions.
The same year, Barreto met Dylan Smith, a classmate who founded Box.net, a cloud-computing software start-up that ranks 152 on the 2010 Inc. 500 list. The two hit it off and soon Smith offered Barreto a job at Box.net, which was based in Palo Alto. Barreto decided to make the move. “One of the biggest selling points for me was having that level of impact and ownership, giving me a lot of the skills I needed to grow,” says Barreto who’s now 24. “I’d have more of the ability to make decisions from a product and engineering standpoint and have the resources to become a manager, which I am now.”