Thiel Fellowship

Thiel Fellowship

20 Under 20 Documentary Highlights Entrepreneurial Potential of Education Dropouts

The recent documentary on CNBC, 20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow program, highlights an exciting shift in technology and education and it’s creating quite a stir. This program started when a visionary from Silicon Valley named Peter Thiel decided to undergo a search for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Mr. Thiel started a fellowship program where he offers the winning fellows $100,000 to drop out of college to pursue cutting edge business and technology opportunities.

The documentary tells the stories of the young men and women who are competing for the coveted prize. The most notable requirement of this program is that in order to become a Thiel Fellow you must walk away from your education to focus on entrepreneurship full time. There’s no secret that many successful entrepreneurs abandoned college to work on their passion full time. People like Michael Dell of Dell Computers, Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Walt Disney, Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are just a few super successful examples who dropped out of school.

Some major breakthrough ideas are in the forefront and presented by finalists competing to become Thiel Fellows. The winning Thiel Fellows include Connor Zwick, who left Harvard behind to revolutionize America’s education system, Noor Siddiqui, who plans to lift one billion people out of poverty, and Tony Ho and Anand Gupta who think they’ve found a way to help doctors catch cancer before it’s too late. Read the rest of this entry »



To College or Not to College: What to do When $100,000 is on the Line

College is not always the best option for everyone. We often hear this, and for most people, it brings to mind someone who will do better learning a trade or skill. However, Taylor Wilson is an exception to this standard. At 18, he has already built a working reactor and plans to build nuclear fusion reactors. Here’s the kicker: he doesn’t plan on going to college and he’s received a $100,000 grant not to do so.

“I’ve got some technology that will really change the world, so college right now is not the best option for me,” Wilson said.

The grant Wilson received is called the Thiel Fellowship, created by Peter Thiel for individuals under 20 years old. Thiel is an investor in Silicon Valley who thinks that students shouldn’t be pursuing an expensive university education, but should instead be learning about and developing breakthrough technologies. Thiel seems to think that by encouraging students not to go to college he will inadvertently also be lowering the unemployment rate and amount of student debt that face many 20-somethings.

“You increasingly have people who are graduating from college, not being able to get good jobs, moving back home with their parents,” he said. “I think there’s a surprising openness to the idea that something’s gone badly wrong and needs to be fixed.” Read the rest of this entry »





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