The Thiel Fellowship – Launching Your Project

with Danielle Strachman

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The fellowship wants to see people who are so hungry that they’re working on their projects now.

Danielle Strachman

Thiel Fellowship Program Director, Cofounder of Innovations Academy

Lessons Learned

The fellowship should help you do what you're already doing, not start something you've never done.

The projects that inspire us the most are those that are going to effect most people.

We look for passion.


Lesson: The Thiel Fellowship with Danielle Strachman

Step #7 Passion: The fellowship wants to see people who are so hungry that they’re working on their projects now

The projects that definitely inspire us the most are the ones that are going to affect the most people. I know for myself personally, I think just having that mission and having a human connection is really important and we look at that a lot when we're applying.

At the same time we want to be cautious, because we know that it's an application period and some people might say, "Oh, well all I have to do to win this Thiel Fellowship is say that I'm going to help a lot of people. That will look good and I'm going to do this to look good, rather than really, really care about it."

So one of the things we look at during the application period is, what type of traction is this person making? Have they been able to talk to the people that they want to benefit? Have they been able to talk to customers that might use their product? Are they really passionate at moving forward right now?

Our tag-line is, "Some ideas can't wait." We want to see some people who are just so hungry that they're working on their projects now, regardless of whether they're in school or not, and that the fellowship would really be helping them to do what they're already doing, rather than getting them started on something they've never done before.

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