Atlassian Corp. agreed last week to acquire video-messaging startup Loom for $975 million, just short of the $1 billion “unicorn” valuation that would have put its co-founder and Thiel fellow Shahed Kahn in illustrious company. Eleven of the 271 recipients of the Thiel Fellowship have founded unicorns so far, an impressive accomplishment that doesn’t even take into account the inspiring innovations of other fellows and the many exciting projects yet to mature.
In 2011, Peter Thiel launched a controversial education program to pay college students $100,000 to drop out. The program was widely criticized with many noting the hypocrisy of Thiel, who holds philosophy and law degrees from Stanford University. Former Treasury Secretary and Harvard University President Larry Summers said of the fellowship: “I think the single most misdirected bit of philanthropy in this decade is Peter Thiel’s special program to bribe people to drop out of college.”