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Teenage Brit wins $100,000 tech fellowship


British teenager Andrew Brackin has been awarded $100,000 (£62,000) to go and live in San Francisco and work on his own technology idea.

Peter Thiel, the co-creator of PayPal and one of the first investors of Facebook, has sponsored 20 young people to stop studying and set up a new and innovative business.

However, the offer comes with a catch – Andrew (pictured above) must agree to skip university and avoid any formal studying for at least two years.

Andrew was selected out of thousands of applicants from across the US and 48 other countries. He said: “It was essentially the Apprentice on steroids.

I got through the semi-finals where there was a Skype call and interviews and then the finals where they flew us out to California and we had to present our ideas on stage in front of all these important people from Silicon Valley.”

The finalists had to present their ideas before an audience at the Yerba Buena Centre in San Francisco, where Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPad.

Andrew is the only the second winner of the Thiel Fellowship, which was set up by Peter Thiel to pay for 20 teenagers each year to set up a business. The foundation pays each winner $100,000 over two years, which can be used for living expenses and business costs.

The teenagers that are selected will receive help and advice from Thiel and other top business people in Silicon Valley, the area of California which is linked to Google, Facebook and Yahoo!

Andrew said: “I feel that many people go to university without really thinking about what they want to do.

“There are other options for people who know what they want and don’t necessarily need a degree to get there.”

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