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

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


Founded by technology entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel in 2011, the Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program for young people who want to build new things. Thiel Fellows skip or stop out of college to receive a $100,000 grant and support from the Thiel Foundation’s network of founders, investors, and scientists.



A different path for everyone


“Knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”

- Plato

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 following a traditional track and competing on old career tracks.


Freedom to get stuff done


“My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school”

- Margaret Mead

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


“That major that she majored in don't make no money / But she won't drop out, her parents'll look at her funny”

- Kanye

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.

As seen in

— The New York Times

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

— TechCrunch

“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.”

— Wall Street Journal

“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.”