Jump To Peter Thiel's Stats
Peter Thiel, the superstar Silicon Valley investor, has uniformly dismissed university as a waste of time and especially money, and even offered students cash to drop out. A lot of that has to do with the fortune he's amassed that totals in the neighborhood of $2,824,000,000.
Thiel, 44, plans to teach at Stanford this spring though, sharing pearls of entrepreneurial wisdom in a class called "Computer Science 183: Startup." The course is already overbooked, with Thiel's return to his alma mater sparking both enthusiasm and skepticism on a campus increasingly obsessed with start-up success.
Thiel, who co-founded online payment processor PayPal and later reaped billions with bets on gilded names like Facebook, LinkedIn and Zynga, is known for his maverick ways, even emerging recently as the main financial backer for libertarian presidential contender Ron Paul. Thiel has argued that the brightest young minds should strike out on their own and start companies rather than take on crushing debt to pursue a college degree.
Despite his vocal philosophy, Thiel himself holds both a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a law degree from Stanford. Last year, Thiel started a fellowship that offered $100,000 to 20 budding entrepreneurs between the ages of 14 and 20 who would drop out to focus on their ventures.
The course description in the Stanford Spring curriculum offering reads, "Inner accounts from the early days of startups including PayPal, Google and Facebook will be used as case studies. The class will be taught by entrepreneurs who have started companies worth over $1B and Vcs (venture capitalists) who have invested in startups including Facebook and Spotify."
First, you have to be admitted to Stanford.