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2013-05-10

Young Indian entrepreneur wins prestigious Thiel Fellowship

Oravel.com founder Ritesh Agarwal, a VentureNursery Season-1 acceleration programme graduate has made it to the list of the prestigious Thiel Fellowship winners 2013 in the US. The 19-year old Agarwal will get a $100,000 two-year fellowship.

Oravel.com founder Ritesh Agarwal, a VentureNursery Season-1 acceleration programme graduate has made it to the list of the prestigious Thiel Fellowship winners 2013 in the US. The 19-year old Agarwal will get a $100,000 two-year fellowship.

Ritesh is the only Indian resident on this list of “20 under 20” years of age globally who set up Oravel.com when he was 18.

Agarwal is one of the youngest entrepreneurs from India to raise angel investments from India's first angel backed accelerator, VentureNursery in 2012. He runs popular Oravel.com, a popular stays alternative to hotels in India and OYO Inns, a chain of affordable, tech-enabled inns

As a Thiel Fellow, Agarwal will use technology to bring affordable and standardized accommodations to emerging economies across the world, starting with India.

As part of the selection process, Agarwal was in the US for three weeks, including 15 days at the Silicon Valley, Stanford University and Mountain View which included working closely with Thiel Fellowship team, top Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists (VCs) and entrepreneurs. He also presented a paper at the World's Largest Tech conference ‘Tech Crunch Disrupt’ in New York.

“Being part of Thiel Fellowship is a humbling experience. I never thought I could make it, because of the exceptional quality of talent and passionate and driven entrepreneurs, mostly in their teens. I made it because of the sheer process and quality of execution achieved at Oravel.com,” said Agarwal.

Following a rigorous process evolved by the Thiel Team only the best one per cent were flown to San Francisco by the Thiel Foundation. Twenty who made it to the Fellowship shall receive $100,000 from Thiel Foundation and mentorship and support of Peter Thiel and the community including Sean Parker, Co Founder, Facebook and Napster; Elon Musk, Co-Founder of 3 billion dollar companies--Tesla, Paypal, Space X.

Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager who co-founded PayPal and served as its CEO said, “When we created the fellowship more than two years ago, our intention was to help a small number of creative people learn and accomplish more than they might have otherwise. To their great credit, they have exceeded our expectations, and inspired people of all ages by reminding them that qualities like intellectual curiosity, grit, and determination are more important than a degree in determining success in life.”

 

 

 

 

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