US: Entrepreneur pays students to skip college

In an apparent hunt for the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates (both famous college dropouts), Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, will pay 24 college-aged students US$100,000 not to attend college for two years. Instead, the students will spend their time developing business ideas in areas such as biotechnology, education and energy, writes Kayla Webley for Time.

Of the 400 entrepreneurial-minded applicants, the 24 winners are all 20-years-old or younger. They will work - where else? - in Silicon Valley, with a network of more than 100 mentors who will help develop their ideas. The fellowship programme, which plucked students from institutions such as Harvard, Stanford and MIT has been controversial given that Thiel openly admits he is hoping the winners will learn more in those two years working than they would have by being in school.

This is not the first time Thiel, who received his bachelor and law degrees from Stanford, has been outspokenly opposed to higher education. In April, he told TechCrunch that he sees higher education as the next bubble, comparable to previously overvalued markets such as technology and housing.
Full report on the Time site

This action is tantamout to creative destruction and a throwback to primordial history of entreprenurial development. This is the dawn of a new era in which entreprenurial developemtn require sophisticated education. The era of trial and error is no longer in vogue. Instead of interrupting the educational life of those students, the army of unemployed American youths can be engaged and channelled towards those ventures.

Dr Akeem Ayofe Akinwale