The Thiel Fellowship

Two years. $100,000. Some ideas just can't wait.

The Thiel Fellowship gives $100,000 to young people who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom.

A different path for everyone

College can be good for learning about what’s been done before, but it can also discourage you from doing something new. Each of our fellows charts a unique course; together they have proven that young people can succeed by thinking for themselves instead of competing on old career tracks.

Freedom to get stuff done

Pursue ideas that matter instead of mandatory tests. Take on big risks instead of big debt. How you spend your two years in the Fellowship is up to you — we’re here to help, but we won’t get in the way.

Our network is yours

The hardest thing about being a young entrepreneur is that you haven’t met everyone you’ll need to know to make your venture succeed. We can help connect you — to investors, partners, prospective customers — in Silicon Valley and beyond.

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"Thanks to the Thiel Fellowship, access to some of the nation’s most successful businesspeople is quick and easy."

− The New York Times

"Not long ago, dropping out of school to start a company was considered risky. For this generation, it is a badge of honor, evidence of ambition and focus."

− The Wall Street Journal

"Thiel’s fellowship pays kids a stipend that liberates them to work on ways to improve the world, rather than saddling them with debt. They get mentorship, workshops, connections to resources, and an alumni network without a formal alma mater."

− TechCrunch

"... the single most misdirected bit of philanthropy in this decade."

− Former Harvard President Larry Summers