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20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow

20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow

  • Premiered: 
    August 13, 2012
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CNBC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter:
  • Tags: business, invention, entrepreneur

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Plot Synopsis

20 UNDER 20: TRANSFORMING TOMORROW captures the stories of young men and women who are competing for one of 20 cash grants from the Thiel Foundation in 2012. Each year since 2011, Silicon Valley visionary Peter Thiel searches for the next generation of entrepreneurs, and he's willing to give them the money and the mentors to transform their dreams into reality -- but only if they walk away from college. The Thiel Foundation awards cash grants of $100,000 to 20 people younger than 20-years-old so that they can further their innovative scientific and technical ideas. Plus, the Foundation gives them access to Theil's network of tech entrepreneurs and philanthropists -- including key personnel at PayPal, Facebook, Palantir Technologies, Founders Fund, and the Singularity Institute -- so that these young world shakers can learn about creating disruptive technologies. The 20 Thiel Fellows for 2012 include: Anand Gupta (20 years old; Palo Alto, CA), who wants to harness the power of biomedical images, in the hope of unraveling biology's mysteries while accurately diagnosing disease; Charlie Stigler (19; Los Angeles, CA), who founded Zaption to develop new paradigms for computer interfaces in teaching and coaching; Chris Olah (19; Toronto, Canada), who was a core-developer of the Malthus RepRap, a 3D printer, and is now working on ImplicitCAD, in an attempt to reinvent computer-aided design; Clay Allsopp (20; North Carolina), who dropped out of Berkeley after 10 weeks to develop software that allows non-technical folks to build apps on smartphones and tablets; Connor Zwick (19; Wisconsin), who started Flashcards+ and now wants to bring an iPhone tactile gaming controller to market; Dylan Field (20; Penngrove, CA), who stopped out of Brown to develop online creative tools; Ilya Vakhutinsky (20; Fair Lawn, NJ), who is creating a more open and transparent health care system; Jimmy Koppel (20, St. Louis, MO), who is developing techniques based on static program analysis to automate software modifications; Kettner Griswold Jr. (20; Potomac, MD), who founded Evolutionary Solutions with fellow Paul Sebexen to develop a revolutionary method of DNA synthesis that will revolutionize the field of synthetic biology; Noor Siddiqui (18; Washington, DC), who is exploring ways to the world responds to persistent poverty through commercial surrogacy, alternative education models, and mobile technology; Omar Rizwan (18; New Jersey), who pulls together big datasets to visualize social and economic trends and improve decision-making; Paul Sebexen (19; Staten Island, NY), who founded Evolutionary Solutions with fellow Kettner Griswold Jr. to develop a revolutionary method of DNA synthesis that will revolutionize the field of synthetic biology; Ritik Malhotra (19; San Jose, CA), who founded Greply, a venture-backed startup tackling large search problems; Ryan Lelek (19; Chicago, IN), who founded Curly Cloud and is on a mission to improve computers and mobile devices; Semon Rezchikov (18; New Jersey), who is creating tools for faster design iteration and computational models for more sophisticated designs; Spencer Hewett (20; Philadelphia, PA), who founded noQ and wants to use microchips to rid the retail world of checkout lines and shoplifting; Tara Seshan (20; Connecticut), who wants to create tangible tools that unite public health and technology; Taylor Wilson (18; Nevada, AK), who is trying to solve the world's problems with nuclear technology; Tony Ho (20; Bay Area, CA), who is developing computer vision for biological images; and Yoonseo Kang (19, Mississauga, Canada), who founded Open Source Ecology and is currently working on the Global Village Construction Set, the 50 machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Embassy Row