According to Vator News, Facebook-backer and PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel, is offering teens $100,000 to put school on hold to focus on developing innovative tech ideas.
Thiel announced his new “20 Under 20” program, which will award grants of $100,000 to 20 entrepreneurs under the age of 20 for developing interesting new tech business ideas.
The two-year program, which was announced at a TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco, will begin accepting applications early in the third quarter. The Thiel Foundation website says the program is open to anyone under the age of 20 who wants to pursue an entrepreneurial interest in any tech field, although Thiel is partial to artificial intelligence, space exploration technologies, biotech, and aerospace engineering.
But the under-20 mandate essentially requires applicants to forego college, if not dropout altogether. Thiel refers to it as “stopping out of college,” but let’s face it–if some 18-year-old suddenly hits it big with the next Facebook or iTunes, he or she probably isn’t going to care too much about that nebulous degree in philosophy (sorry liberal arts majors, but you’re the easiest to pick on).
Thiel explained that while in college, students “do learn a lot, but the don’t really learn much about entrepreneurship.”
Personally, I find this a little disconcerting. Why does a teenager have to choose between college and entrepreneurship? Why not establish the same grant for college seniors under the age of 25 under the condition that they must finish school first?
Photo by Thiel Foundation.