As the first members of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, the beginning selection of young entrepreneurs will pursue innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow, all with the help of Peter Thiel, the technology innovator who co-founded Paypal and invested early in Facebook.
On Wednesday, the chosen students were all handed $100,000 to get their businesses started as well as, cease and desist with their plans of a higher education. Thiel has been featured in the media speaking about the “education bubble”, with the cost of education far outweighing what you actually reap in return, he believes that a piece of paper and a boatload of debt can be overcome. Student developers like 18 year old, John Burnham who wants to use space-industry technology to resource extraction or 18 year old, Faheem Zaman who created a mobile payment system for the developing market are hoping that success will come calling. After all, there is no guarantee that after college, a position at a fortune company will be there waiting nor is there anything that says the Thiel 20 Under 20 entrepreneurs will be victorious. Both ventures have their ups and down; entrepreneurship versus a college education is always a tricky decision for the young generation to make. With $100,000, they were just given a great start in the race.