CNBC Joins Billionaire Investor Peter Thiel As He Searches For the Next Generation of Geniuses

20 Brilliant Entrepreneurs…With 20 Game-Changing Ideas…Each under the Age of 20

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 18, 2012— They are brilliant innovators and budding entrepreneurs. They are mavericks – the next Einstein, Edison, Jobs and Zuckerberg. They are a band of captivating characters whose bold ideas will shatter assumptions, break down barriers and reinvent entire industries. They are nothing short of extraordinary…and they are barely old enough to vote.

Now, they're vying for the chance of a lifetime as billionaire investor and Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel searches for the next generation of geniuses. It's a high-stakes competition with a controversial twist -- and CNBC takes you behind the scenes.

In a two-part CNBC special event, "20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow," premiering August 13th & 14th at 10PM ET, CNBC captures every step of this amazing journey, telling the stories of the extraordinary young men and women each striving for a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship. They are out-of-the-box thinkers with big ambitions and big ideas -- and if they win, Thiel will give them the money and the mentors they need to make their dreams a reality.

But there's a catch: to walk away with a Fellowship, they need to walk away from college. It's a decision that will change their lives... and maybe even the world.

“The world’s hardest problems aren’t going to solve themselves. If you have a great idea, the right time to work on it isn’t four years off—it’s now,” said Thiel. “We’re looking forward to giving a new class of Thiel Fellows the time, mentorship, and support to bring their most innovative dreams to life.”

“CNBC reports daily on the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving the global economy and we have no doubt that one day these young men and women will be among them,” said Susan Krakower, SVP, Strategic Programming and Development, CNBC. "Their passion, dedication and ingenuity are precisely what’s needed to change the world and 20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow celebrates that spirit."

CNBC’s “20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow” also features Silicon Valley stars Sean Parker and Elon Musk, who share their thoughts on innovation, entrepreneurship and the culture of Silicon Valley.

Meet the fellows, join the conversation, and get access to exclusive interviews with some of the world’s most acclaimed thoughts leaders in the “5 Minutes with a Visionary” series featured on the “20 Under 20” Tumblr blog. You can explore the world of “20 Under 20” via our interactive Facebook App. Enter CNBC’s very own “20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow” Facebook contest by submitting your idea for the most revolutionary innovation needed in the next 10 years for a chance to win a trip to an exclusive Thiel Foundation event and pitch your idea in person. For more information, including slideshows and previews, visit: Follow us on Twitter @cnbcsmart and take part in the social conversation using hashtag #20under20.

“20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow” was produced exclusively for CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, by Embassy Row.

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