A college education is not required for successful entrepreneurship. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, created a college dropout entrepreneur fellowship, investing $100,000 into 24 young, talented students. The fellowship asked 24 young adults to quit college to pursue their passion. Peter is an angel investor who is against the assumption that all adults need a college education to pursue a career successfully. His company, the Thiel Foundation, will be providing $100,000 to 24 college dropouts over a period of two years so that they can go directly into enterprise.
The program was so successful with its first class of fellowship that the foundation announced a second class of fellows in 2012. Now more people will be pursuing entrepreneurship full-time, without having to waste time and money on a college education.
The inaugural class of the fellowship has covered half its journey – and they are already making their name. Although most of the companies led by these students are revenue generating, the Thiel foundation does not have any ownership stake in the companies. Moreover, some of the 24 entrepreneurs are already leaving a lasting impression on the world around them. One such dropout, Dale Stephen, founded Uncollege.org, which is an alternative-education website. The organization promotes education without college. Since college does not permit for creative minds to expand beyond the structured college education, UnCollege.org calls for an alternative education model. UnCollege.org is offering Hackademic Camp, a week-long camp with California Bay’s top startup and tech companies, offering their special knowledge to attending students. Those enrolling for the camp will be able to get inside exclusive Silicon Valley parties, among other perks.
Another college dropout, Deepak Ravindran, co-founded Innoz, a wireless communication company. He shared some tips recently to help young entrepreneurs. He has already done it with his wireless communication venture and now he wants other aspiring entrepreneurs to know the path. Here is Deepak’s understanding of a successful startup for college dropouts:
- Deepak stresses understanding the importance of revenue. He wants young entrepreneurs to think about revenue from day one. For a company focusing exclusively on tech, it will be impossible to sustain for a long time without revenue.
- Proper media coverage is one of the most important things for a startup. Deepak believes sufficient media coverage is a great tool to take off the early pressure.
- Start-up businesses will have to find a pivotal point to grow fast. Innoz launched Tranz to monetize. This photo sharing application became Innoz’s pivotal point, strengthening the company.
- Deepak stressed the importance of persistence and the important role it plays in any business’s success.
- Deepak populated his company offices with employees from his college and home state, Kerala. Leveraging an immediate network may provide exceptional benefits to companies.
- Deepak’s final tip is to decide about scale in the very beginning, setting goals according to your business’s ambitions. Deepak set global targets right from the start.
If you need more inspiration, here is a list of famous college dropout millionaires. You don’t need an education after all.