A Tech Apprenticeship to Rival Peter Thiel's?
And so, one evening a year ago, the two colleagues were chatting in a café and hatched the idea for E[nstitute]. They parted for the evening, but at 4 a.m. Sarhan got a text message from Ittycheria telling him she couldn't sleep she was so excited … and would he meet her to talk further at 7:30 am? (More: The Baby Boomer Entrepreneur)
They gathered their contacts — 31 entrepreneurs from 15 companies — and began developing an educational curriculum for the students. They raised money, advertised their plans — and were stunned when nearly 500 applications poured in.
After sifting through them, they chose 11 fellows and found them a place to live. (Ittycheria lives with them as a chaperone.) They range in age from 18 to 23, and come from all over North America: New York, New Jersey, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, California, and Toronto, Canada.
The students are paid a weekly stipend of $250, and have their housing, transportation, and food covered by E[nstitute]. The students are in their first month of working at their respective startups, plowing through writing assignments, and attending lectures and weekly dinners with experts. They're also getting to know the big city and meeting some of New York's most celebrated entrepreneurs.
"Kids need to learn," said Sarhan. "It just doesn't all have to happen in the classroom."