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.
What is the Fellowship?
The Thiel Fellowship is a two-year, $100,000 grant for young people who want to build new things instead of sit in a classroom.
How does the grant work?
Fellows receive $100,000, spread out over two years. We do not take equity in your company.
How many Fellows do you select?
Between 20 and 30 each year.
Is there an application deadline?
No - we accept rolling applications and review them as they come in. If you're working on something cool, apply now.
Do I need a pitch deck to apply?
No, but it helps. A short deck or prospectus is a great way to state clearly and concisely what you're working on.
What is the age limit to apply?
Everyone aged 22 or younger is eligible to apply.
Do I need to have a company or is an idea enough?
You don't need to have incorporated a company or built a full product yet, but at a minimum you'll need to demonstrate meaningful progress toward an interesting concrete vision.
Can I apply to the Fellowship if I'm still in school?
Yes - though if you're selected you'll need to stop out in order to accept the Fellowship.
Do I need to drop out to accept the Fellowship?
Do you only award Fellowships to software engineers?
No. Many of our fellows are programmers, but others have started nonprofits, launched media companies, and built hardware. We look for people who can make cool things that scale.
Do I need a team to apply?
No - we review and accept applicants as individuals. Most Fellows do build teams during their Fellowship - small groups of people working towards the same vision are the people who get stuff done.
If I receive the Fellowship, do I need to move to San Francisco?
No, although depending on what you're working on you should probably consider it.