Friday, August 10, 2012

Ever Heard of The Thiel Fellows??..

..Until today, (for me) NO!

Last year Facebook investor and billionaire, Peter Thiel set forth to give a select few $100,000 each to create careers for themselves and become successful without attending college. Thiel's view is that college puts students in debt and rarely does much for success in life.

Huffington Post reports on how "Theil Fellows" have faired since dropping college and setting out on their own with a $100,000 start up:

Last Fall, Facebook investor Peter Thiel gave 24 young adults $100,000 each to drop out of college.

The Silicon Valley billionaire did so in part to prove a point: You don’t need a college degree to start a business or change the world. In fact, the rising costs of higher education and the burden of student loans can hurt your chances at success, he argued.

Nearly a year later, reports are surfacing about what the so-called “Thiel Fellows” have been up to.

Paul Gu, for instance, originally teamed up with another fellow to work on an e-commerce company, and has since moved on to launch a website that allows users to invest in peoples’ future earnings.

James Proud, another fellow, sold his company, Giglocator, earlier this summer. A New York small business owner reportedly paid at least six-figures for the service, which allows users to find and buy concert tickets based on their music interests. Proud, age 20, told VentureBeat that selling his business gives him freedom to “continue to work on things and not worry about money.”

“You increasingly have people who are graduating from college, not being able to get good jobs, moving back home with their parents,” Thiel said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “I think there’s a surprising openness to the idea that something’s gone badly wrong and needs to be fixed.”

Other Thiel Fellows reported working on projects geared more towards solving global problems than creating the next Internet sensation. Eden Full, 19, won a $260,000 social entrepreneurship award earlier this year for her efforts to improve social energy in developing countries. Gary Kurek, 19, started GET Mobility Solutions, whose mission it is to advance mobility technology for the physically disabled.

Thiel announced in June that the foundation has selected its next crop of Thiel Fellows, 20 gifted people under 20 who will also receive $100,000 each along with two years of mentoring. The latest class reportedly attracted 1,000 applicants from 20 different countries. There are now 43 fellows total, 39 men and 4 women, according to the Times.

WOW! Although this site isn't quite the type for extraordinary brilliance, I know a few of y'all are brilliant enought to take a stab at becoming a recipient of $100k to give you that needed boost. Click HERE to check out the Thiel Fellowship website.

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