Mr. Thiel is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and author. He was a co-founder and CEO of PayPal, a company that he took public before it was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. Mr. Thiel subsequently co-founded Palantir Technologies in 2004, where he continues to serve as Chairman. As a technology investor, Mr. Thiel made the first outside investment in Facebook, where he has served as a director since 2005, and provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, and dozens of technology companies. He is a partner at Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has funded companies including SpaceX and Airbnb.
Mr. Thiel holds a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Outside of business, Mr. Thiel is a regular public speaker on topics of technology and economics and has taught a series of lectures on startup companies at Stanford. In 2011 he started the Thiel Fellowship, which funds young entrepreneurs, and leads the Thiel Foundation, an organization dedicated to the advancement of technological progress and long-term thinking. Mr. Thiel is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.