SAN FRANCISCO–Peter Thiel believes technology will make the world a much better place. He’s simply frustrated at how long it’s taking. The billionaire entrepreneur is best known for co-founding PayPal, and, more recently, for his very early investment in Facebook. He founded Clarium Capital Management, a hedge fund, created the philanthropic Thiel Foundation, and co-produced the irreverent 2005 comedy Thank You for Smoking. In May, the Thiel Foundation announced the first 24 recipients of a fellowship that awards $100,000 each to youth under 20 years old–essentially encouraging them to drop out of college to become entrepreneurs. The Founders Fund, where Thiel is a managing partner, has invested in aerospace, robotics, and biotechnology, in addition to consumer Internet companies including Slide and Spotify. Thiel’s unorthodox take on philanthropy, and keen interest in the pace of technological change, led him to organize a “Breakthrough Philanthropy” event last year at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. Just as entrepreneurs pitch venture capitalists, tech-oriented nonprofits were given a few minutes each to tell the audience why ideas like artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, life extension, and seasteading deserved their financial support. CNET interviewed Thiel early last month in his offices in San Francisco’s Presidio to talk… Read full this story
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