Two Indians among 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellows

Washington, May 11 (IANS): Two Indian young entrepreneurs are among 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellows chosen to "pursue innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship from the ground up, and begin to build the innovative companies of tomorrow."

The Indian winners are New Delhi resident Ritesh Agarwal, 19 and Palo Alto, California resident Diwank Singh Tomer, 19, according to an announcement from the San Francisco based Thiel Foundation.

Ritesh is one of the youngest entrepreneurs from India to raise angel investments. He runs OYO Inns, a chain of affordable, tech-enabled inns, and Oravel, a rising popular alternative to hotels in India.

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

Tomer stopped out of his college in India to work on an online platform for learning to code, the announcement said.

Aside from his love of poetry, he is an exceptional hacker and engineer who was awarded the Mozilla WebFWD fellowship for his efforts to improve learning online.

He has since moved to the Bay Area to further his efforts and is currently working on a collaborative learning platform.

Over two years, each fellow receives $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation as well as mentorship from the Foundation's network of tech entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, thought leaders, futurists, and innovators.

Projects pursued by the 2013 class of fellows span numerous cutting-edge science and technology fields, including robotics, computer science, telecommunications, education, photonics, game development, cyberdefence, biotechnology, health IT, law, neuroscience, fashion, and personal manufacturing.

Announcing the third set of young entrepreneurs to be awarded 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowships PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel said the past fellows "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."

Over the last two years, they "have launched more than thirty companies, and raised more than $34 million in outside funding, including venture investments, company sales, revenue, grants, sponsorships, and awards," said Jonathan Cain, president of the Thiel Foundation.

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