Peter Thiel is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. In 1998, Thiel cofounded PayPal, which he sold to eBay in 2002, and founded the global macro fund Clarium. In 2004, he co-founded Palantir Technologies. That same year, he made the first outside investment in Facebook; he currently serves on its board. Thiel co-founded and manages Founders Fund, a leading venture capital fund that has pioneered new methods of venture financing that benefit founders. Through Founders Fund, as well as through private investing, Thiel has aided the growth of companies such as SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zynga, RoboteX, Spotify, Practice Fusion, and ZocDoc. In 2012, he co-founded Mithril Capital Management, an international technology investment fund. He also established and funds the Thiel Foundation, which defends freedom in all its forms and also co-funds the Human Rights Foundation’s annual Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. Thiel is the creator of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, which nurtures the tech visionaries of tomorrow. He is an advocate for the Intimate Privacy Protection Act and claimed to have funded at least one lawsuit against Gawker Media Group which he alleged violated the privacy of private individuals, including his own. “It is ridiculous to claim that journalism requires indiscriminate access to private people’s sex lives,” he wrote in a New York Times Op-ed in 2016. “As an internet entrepreneur myself, I feel partly responsible for a world in which private information can be instantly broadcast to the whole planet.”
In 2012 he taught a class at Stanford University on startups called CS183 and subsequently published the book based on the class notes called, “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” (2014) co-written with blogger Blake Masters. In 2016 he spoke at the Republican National Convention and is a technology advisor to President Donald Trump. His articles have appeared in Policy Review and the Wall Street Journal. Thiel continues to maintain a passionate focus on anti-aging research and discovery stating it is an “under-studied and under-invested” area of research. He is the recipient of the 2010 Innovation Award from The Economist and in 2013 he won the TechCrunch “Crunchie’ Award for venture capitalist of the year.