Press Release – On November 16, the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge will present an evening with Peter Thiel: American entrepreneur, hedge fund investor and philanthropist. He will share his thoughts on catalyzing innovation in technology.
Thiel has been involved with some of the most dynamic companies to emerge from Silicon Valley in the past decade. His first start-up was PayPal, which he co-founded in 1998, led as chairman and CEO, and sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. PayPal now has 90 million active accounts.
After PayPal’s acquisition, Thiel founded Clarium, a global macro hedge fund manager. In 2004, he made the first outside investment in Facebook, the social networking hub that now has more than half a billion active members. He also serves on its board. As a founder and managing partner of Founders Fund, as well as through private investment, Thiel has invested in next generation technology companies including Palantir Technologies, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Causes, Quantcast, RoboteX, Halcyon Molecular and many more.
Thiel is known for his warnings of a coming technology deficit with severe economic consequences. His current work aims to accelerate innovation to prevent such a crisis by identifying and funding promising technology ideas, and by guiding successful companies to scale and dominate their industries.
Recently, he launched the Thiel Fellowship to foster young technology visionaries. The Thiel Foundation will award 20 people under the age of 20 cash grants of $100,000 to further their innovative scientific and technical ideas. Applications for the Fellowship will be accepted until December 15. More information is available here.
Following Thiel’s presentation, Ken Zolot, senior lecturer in MIT’s School of Engineering and leader of “The Founder’s Journey” class in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will host a question and answer session with the audience.
The evening will be sponsored by Microsoft New England Research and Development, a research and software innovation campus located in the heart of Cambridge. Co-chairs of the event are MIT Enterprise Forum Innovation Series committee members Pearl Freier, founder of Cambridge BioPartners; and Jon Pierce, founder of Betahouse and founding member and trustee of The Awesome Foundation.
When: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
- 5:30pm: Networking mixer & appetizers
- 6:15-8:00pm: Program
- 8:00-9:00pm: Networking reception
Where: MIT Stata Center (Building 32), Kirsch Auditorium, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge, MA
Registration and information: http://www.mitforumcambridge.org/events/nov-innovation-series-peter-thiel/
Pricing: Forum members: $25, Non-members: $45. Students from all universities are free with college ID. Pre-registration is encouraged.