Title: Managing partner, Founders Fund; chairman, Clarium Capital; founder and chairman, Palantir; former co-founder and CEO, PayPal
Born: October 11, 1967, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Education: BA in philosophy, Stanford University; joint degree, Stanford Law School
Early Marker: Thiel was one of highest-ranked under-21 chess masters in the U.S.
Big Idea: Serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and hedge fund manager, Thiel remains at the epicenter of a group of former colleagues turned Silicon Valley investors known as the Pay Pal Mafia. His management advice is as valued by start-ups as much as his funding. He is a noted conservative libertarian now behind controversial intelligence data analytics company Palantir.
Wave of the Future: Tech disruption