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Facebook Investor Giving Away Twenty $100,000 Small Business Grants

Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook and a current board member, is planning to give away twenty $100,000 small business grants to teenagers who have promising ideas for business technology. The program is called "The Thiel Fellowship: 20 Under 20".

The purpose is to help foster the next generation of tech visionaries. The cash grants will be used to invest in young talent and alleviate some of their barriers, such as high college costs that can often distract young people as they try to create businesses.

Through his organization, Thiel Foundation, the grants will be awarded by the end of 2011 and the winners of the funds will be advised and mentored by Thiel's partners at his venture capital firm.

Thiel comments, “We need to encourage young Americans to take more risks,” Thiel said. "Traditional education steers young people away from entrepreneurship and into steady jobs. While they are able to get certain types of jobs with it, the problem is they can’t actually do anything that pays less in the short term and may have more value in the long run.”

Though applicants may already have scientific, technical, or nonprofit ideas, the fellowship will not be limited to those with developed innovations. Teams of up to four may also apply.

Applications will be available in October 2010 and due later in the fall. The actual start date will be in early 2011.

For more details, interested ones should visit:

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