Known as the mentor to the PayPal mafia of entrepreneurs, Peter Thiel is a leading advocate of young people exploring alternatives to a college education. This year he launched the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, a two-year mentoring program that provides $100,000 in grants towards building the fellows businesses in biotech, technology, finance, education and more. In 2004, Thiel made the first outside investment in Facebook and now serves as a board member. Thiel currently serves as President of Clarium Capital Management LLC and Managing Partner of The Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund.
More About Peter Thiel
For some people in some careers, some colleges may be worth the price they charge. But millions of other people are paying more than quadruple what their parents paid 25 years ago (plus inflation) for a vague credential, not much knowledge or skills, and a crippling amount of debt.
Peter Thiel does not believe that freedom and democracy are compatible and that todays politics will never foster a free market and unadulterated capitalism. Thiel cites cyberspace, outer space, and seasteading as alternative frontiers to achieve an ideal libertarian society.
For Thiel, the bubble that has taken the place of housing is the higher education bubble. A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed, he says. Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States.
Fellows pursue innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow. During their two-year tenure, each Fellow will receive $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation as well as mentorship from the Foundations network of tech entrepreneurs and innovators.