Venture capitalist who back tech startups are increasingly looking to fast track young talent. Earlier this week Peter Thiel, one of the first investors in Facebook, announced he will offer grants of $100,000 to promising kids who leave college to create a startup. It’s not dropping out, said Thiel, “It’s stopping out”.
NYU, obviously, is not too keen on this whole drop out, stop out thing. But next week the school is hosting a startup week, organized by tech@nyu, to introduce students to entrepreneurs and investors in the New York tech scene.
“I don’t want students after they have been corrupted by the outside world,” says Lawrence Lenihan, CEO of First Mark Capital, who is also an adjunct professor at NYU and an advisor to tech@nyu. “The kid in school now has better insight into where the tech market is going than I do.”
The students will get a chance to meet Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley and Chris Dixon of Hunch. On Friday they’ll have the opportunity to impress these founders when they’re given special access to the inner workings for 30 of New York’s hottest tech firms, along with copious amounts of caffine and snacks.
“We live in a day and age where it’s incredibly easy to start a business,” says NYU Prof. Adam Penenberg, who is advising tech@nyu. “Sure most of these startups will fail. But the kids who go through that have a big advantage over their peers.”
That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.