Scholarship for Young Entrepreneurs
13 May 2013 at 11:22 am
Young US entrepreneurs aged under 20 have been encouraged to drop out of high school or university to dedicate two years working towards enhancing their entrepreneurial idea as a part of a $100,000 scholarship offered by philanthropist and entrepreneur, Peter Thiel.
Over two years, each fellow receives $100,000 from the US-based Thiel Foundation as well as mentorship from the Foundation’s network of tech entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, thought leaders, futurists, and innovators. The class of 2013 “20 Under 20” Thiel Fellows has been announced, with students aged between 17 – 20 from around the world named as a part of the program.
According to the foundation, the Thiel Fellows are given a “no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education.”
They are then mentored by a network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs who provide guidance and business connections that the organisation says can not be replicated in any classroom.
Founder and funder Peter Thiel is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. In 1998, Thiel made e-commerce easier, faster, and more secure by co-founding and leading PayPal, which now has more than 113 million active financial accounts. In 2002, he sold PayPal to eBay and founded a global macro fund called Clarium.
“The Thiel Fellowship has really evolved over the past two and a half years, from a small pool of idiosyncratic people willing to take a risk on our crazy idea into a robust and effective community of friends,” the Thiel Foundation’s vice president for grants Mike Gibson said.
“It’s been exciting to see how dramatically the network effects have expanded over time. The fellowship mentor network now has more than 250 experienced professionals, and the ?rst two classes of fellows have quickly become each other’s best resources,” Gibson said.
Projects pursued by the 2013 class of fellows span numerous science and technology ?elds, including robotics, computer science, telecommunications, education, photonics, game development, cyberdefense, biotechnology, health I.T., law, neuroscience, fashion, and personal manufacturing.
“The Thiel Foundation supports innovative scienti?c research and new technologies that empower people to improve their lives, champions organisations and individuals who expose human rights abuses and authoritarianism in all its guises, and encourages the exploration of
new ideas and new spaces where people can be less reliant on government and where freedom can ?ourish.