A while back, I mentioned the Thiel Fellowship, a unique program by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel to spur young innovators to drop out of school to try to launch a business based on their ideas. The first class of fellows has been named.
In return for their gamble, Thiel, whose billions also come from investing in Facebook, provides the 24 fellows with a $100,000 grant and mentoring assistance. Several hundred people applied for the grants, which have been awarded to, among others, an 18-year-old hoping to extract minerals from asteroids and comets and a 19-year-old who wants to apply unschooling tenets to higher education.
These young fellows — recipients must be under the age of 20 — are in a class by themselves.
Consider the bio of 17-year-old Laura Deming: “She wants to extend the human lifespan for a few more centuries—at the very least. She started working in a biogerontology lab when she was 12, matriculated at MIT when she was 14, and now at 17 plans on