Blockchain Entrepreneurs Win $100K Thiel Fellowship

Announcements, News | June 26, 2018 By:

The Thiel Foundation has announced the names of four blockchain entrepreneurs who were accepted into the 2018 class of Thiel Fellows.

The Thiel Foundation is a private foundation created and funded by billionaire Peter Thiel, known as a co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook. The Fellowship program, which launched in 2011, encourages talented young people to pursue big ideas and start companies instead of attending college. To date, companies created by Thiel Fellows are worth more than $3 billion combined, not including Thiel fellow-created ethereum, a blockchain platform whose cryptocurrency ether has a market cap of about $45 billion.

Among this year’s recipients are Mechanism Labs co-founder and CEO Aparna Krishnan, Vest co-founder Axel Ericsson, MyCrypto CTO Daniel Ternyak, and Polkadot co-founder Robert Habermeier. Each recipient will be given a $100,000 grant over the next two years to help them build their current and future projects. They will also receive mentorship from the Foundation’s network of technology founders, investors, and scientists.

“The environment for entrepreneurs is the best it’s ever been,” said Jack Abraham, executive chairman of the Thiel Fellowship. “This year’s class proves that there’s still a hunger for individuals seeking unconventional approaches.”

Allyson Dias, director of the Thiel Fellowship, said the purpose of the fellowship is to help young aspiring entrepreneurs to find innovative approaches to tackle real-world issues.

“College isn’t for everyone, and it certainly isn’t for everyone fresh out of high school,” said Dias. “Leaving behind the safety of the classroom and choosing to build a business instead isn’t easy or glamorous. But our Fellows have found what we suspect to be true more broadly: young people learn best by doing things in the real world.”