The Thiel Foundation today named 20 people into the 2018 class of Thiel
Fellows. The Fellowship program, which launched in 2011, encourages
talented young people to pursue big ideas and start companies instead of
“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
Fellows receive $100,000 and mentorship from the Thiel Foundation’s
network of technology founders, investors, and scientists.
“College isn’t for everyone, and it certainly isn’t for everyone fresh
out of high school,” said Allyson Dias, director of the Thiel
Fellowship. “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.”
To date, companies created by Thiel Fellows are worth more than $3
billion combined, not including Thiel fellow-created Ethereum, a
distributed computing platform whose cryptocurrency Ether has a market
cap of about $50 billion as of June 22.
About the 2018 Thiel Fellows
André Bertram (Toronto, Canada)HelpWearMedical
deviceAndré is CEO of HelpWear, a company creating a 24/7
at-home, clinical-grade ECG monitor worn on a patient’s wrist or arm.
Andrew Sampson (Dallas, GA)Rainway, Inc.Game
streamingAndrew is a co-founder and CEO of Rainway, a
web-based game-streaming platform that lets users play their favorite PC
games anywhere, across a variety of different devices.
Aparna Krishnan (Chennai, India / Muscat, Oman / Berkeley, CA)Mechanism
LabsBlockchainAparna is a co-founder and CEO
of Mechanism Labs, the world’s first open source research lab. It
tackles pressing problems in blockchain through cryptoeconomics,
currently focusing on incentive design and alternative consensus.
Axel Ericsson (San Francisco, CA / Stockholm, Sweden)VestBlockchainAxel
is a co-founder of Vest, a company building software for Ethereum and
other blockchains that enables users to earn interest on their
Daniel Ternyak (Minneapolis, MN)MyCryptoBlockchainDaniel
is the CTO of MyCrypto, and is helping to facilitate the transition to a
decentralized society by bringing accessibility to Ethereum and other
Divyaditya (Divy) Shrivastava (Madhya Pradesh, India / Lewis Center,
OH)Software, hardwareDivy is creating technology
that helps firefighters respond faster and more accurately to the exact
location of an emergency.
Erin Smith (Lenexa, KS)FacePrintHealth
ITErin founded FacePrint, an AI tool to diagnose and monitor
Parkinson’s disease and commonly misidentified neurological disorders
using video technology and early-stage facial muscle indicators.
Gemma Busoni (San Salvador, El Salvador / Los Angeles, CA)Discovr
LabsVirtual Reality / Augmented RealityGemma
is a co-founder of Discovr Labs, which uses VR/AR immersive technology
to deliver the most effective education and training experiences.
Greg Tseng (Weston, MA)DiluvianPrivacy
technologyGreg founded Diluvian, a company that has developed
new privacy technologies to help everyone better protect their personal
and business information.
Jamie Cox (Oxford, U.K.)FlareInternet
infrastructureJamie is a co-founder of Flare, which is
building technology to turn any internet-connected device into a cloud
server and eventually build the infrastructure for a new decentralized
Joey Varikooty (Edison, NJ)Amber AgricultureHardwareJoey
is a co-founder of Amber Agriculture, a company leveraging the latest in
analytics and automation to manage, protect and market grain.
Joshua Browder (London, U.K.)DoNotPayArtificial
intelligenceJoshua is the founder and CEO of DoNotPay, the
world’s first robot lawyer, which aims to make the law free, automated
and instant for consumers.
Josh Sakhai (Great Neck, NY)Ephemeral TattoosConsumer
biotechnologyJosh is a co-founder of Ephemeral Tattoos, a
company developing a suite of semi-permanent tattoo inks—applied by
tattoo artists— that disappear completely on their own.
Julián Ríos (Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico)Higia
TechnologiesWearablesJulián is a co-founder
and CEO of Higia Technologies, a company developing an accessible and
non-invasive wearable device for breast cancer risk assessment.
Kimberlie Le (Edmonton, Canada / San Francisco, CA)Terramino
FoodsFood technologyKimberlie is a co-founder
and CEO of Terramino Foods, which uses fungi-based protein to replicate
the taste, texture, and nutrition of seafood and meat.
Liam Berryman (San Mateo, CA)NelumboEnergy
efficiencyLiam is a co-founder and CEO of Nelumbo, a company
that has developed a new materials platform that is able to
significantly increase the energy efficiency of any refrigeration system.
Meghan Sharkus (Oregon, WI)ExpressionMedMedical
accessoryMeghan is a founder and CEO of ExpressionMed, a
company that creates supplemental adhesives for wearable devices in
chronic care, allowing people with diabetes to wear their devices
longer, more comfortably, and without pain or residue upon removal.
Robert Habermeier (Bethesda, MD)PolkadotBlockchainRobert
is a co-founder of Polkadot, a project that aims to reshape the existing
internet structure into a completely decentralized web.
Shak Lakhani (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada)Avro
Life ScienceBiotechnologyShak is a co-founder
of Avro Life Science, a company developing skin patches for generic drug
delivery. Avro’s easy-to-use patches are made from a novel polymer and
allow multiple medications to work faster and last longer.
Tapa Ghosh (Portland, OR)VathysComputer
processorsTapa is the founder and CEO of Vathys, a company
creating machine learning chips that operate 10x faster than current
ABOUT THE THIEL FOUNDATION
The Thiel Foundation supports science, technology, and long-term
thinking about the future. For more information, see thielfoundation.org.
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