Peter Thiel Funds College Dropouts to Start Companies

The 22 individuals will get $100,000 (€77,000) over two years

Well-known Facebook Investor Peter Thiel has announced that he will once more fund a group of young students that want to drop out and start a business.

It is a well-known fact that many tech leaders are college dropouts and while formal education didn’t work for them, many of them are now millionaires or billionaires, Forbes writes.

One famous example is Facebook's own CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. The list includes other important members of the tech community, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Under this premise, Thiel Foundation launched a program called “20 Under 20” about three years ago.

This year, they selected a group of 22 that includes college dropouts and current high-school seniors. Each of these will be backed with $100,000 (€77,000) over the next two years, which can be used for building their business, but also for living expenses.

The admitted individuals come from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, China, Singapore and Canada, although applications came from 49 countries.

“When we created the fellowship more than two years ago, our intention was to help a small number of creative people learn and accomplish more than they might have otherwise,” the billionaire said.

“To their great credit, they have exceeded our expectations, and inspired people of all ages by reminding them that qualities like intellectual curiosity, grit and determination are more important than a degree in determining success in life,” Thiel continued.

Those who were admitted in the program have impressive resumes of things they have achieved in the tech business so far, despite the fact that they are quite young.

At only 17, Thomas Sohmers is the youngest of the group. However, he’s known to be a hardware hacker and technology geek that’s been working in a research lab at MIT since he was 13.

He was involved in developing augmented reality eyewear and laser communication systems.

He’s just one good example as to what the group has to offer to the world and it doesn’t take long to figure out why Thiel would bet on them.

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