Investor Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal with Elon Musk, and when they sold it in 2002, they took their millions and moved on.
Elon Musk boldy started his own rocket company SpaceX, as well as Tesla Motors, an electric car company. I used to read Space News, the trade paper of the satellite, launch, and space industry, and I followed the ups and downs of the Falcon rocket for several years, always rooting for the private company that could make space travel accessible in my lifetime.
It was a giant leap from IT to rockets, but Mr. Musk has big ideas, and though his Musk Foundation doesn’t have much online presence, it purports to provide grants in support of “Renewable energy research and advocacy” among other philanthropic concerns.
After PayPal, Mr. Thiel seems to have stuck with Internet related investments using his Clarium Capital, investments including Friendster and Facebook. He’s been wildly successful, but compared to rockets and futuristic electric cars, it’s been …. can I say …more conventional?
But in 2005, he co-founded and became a partner in the Founders Fund, which invests in “ground-breaking idea” companies. SpaceX was a recipient of some $20 million in funding from them. [The Founders Fund takes submissions here].
And on December 2 of this year, the Founders Fund and New Enterprise Associates announced the winners of the second annual TechFellow Awards. These awards are pretty much chip body/IT related, even for the category of Disruptive Technology, a title more deserving for cold fusion than anything else I know of.
But now, it appears that Mr. Thiel is getting the bug for even bolder projects.
An article entitled Internet guru embraces sci-fi future by Marcus Wohlsen of the Associated Press reports that the hedge fund entrepreneur is looking to “fund breakthrough technology”. From the article:
As venture capital in Silicon Valley chases the next big mobile app or group discount service, Thiel was asking for them to fund technological breakthroughs that some believe in fervently and others see as sheer fantasy.
He even has a name for it: Breakthrough philanthropy.
Instead of just giving to help the less fortunate here and now, Thiel encouraged his fellow moguls to put their money toward seemingly far-fetched ventures that he believes could improve the lives of everyone for good.
A controversial figure for sure, but one who wants to do something big, and has the capacity to follow through.
These are the people we need on the side of cold fusion energy research.
There is no bigger break-through technology than cold fusion.
Cold fusion is the technology that will redefine the human race on Earth AND space.
In the words of Mr. Thiel: “Do we try to pursue ideas that are weird and have optimism about the future, or do we give up on all new things and compromise?”
I’m wondering if he’s up to the cold fusion challenge.. Let’s find out!
I don’t have a phone number, but I’m sending this guy some stickers!