Thiel fellow, 19, plans crowd-funding platform

schulerAt 19, James Schuler a veteran of startups
The $100,000 Thiel Foundation fellowship James Schuler just won allows young entrepreneurs to drop out of college to pursue their business ideas – except he never got there in the first place.

Before graduating from Byram Hills High School in Armonk, N.Y., last year, the 19-year-old co-founded a health care transaction smartphone application and website.

After graduation, he immediately entered Y-Combinator, a Silicon Valley startup incubator in which Schuler and his co-founders spent three months using a $170,000 grant to grow Eligible, the health care transaction company.

He resigned from active involvement with that company in August and already is on to his second venture,, a crowd funding platform for political candidates and nonprofit organizations that will launch in a few weeks.

While at Y-Combinator, Schuler met Peter Thiel, a financier and co-founder of, who suggested he apply for the 2013 Thiel Fellowship class. The fellows are expected to pursue scientific and technological projects that will lead to innovative companies. They then will return to their studies after two years.

Announced May 9, Schuler is one of 22 young people who won the “20 under 20” Thiel Fellowships.

Schuler will travel to San Francisco on June 1 for the Under 20 Summit, where he will make a short speech and hold a breakout session for young entrepreneurs who want advice on their start-ups. will keep Schuler out of school for the next two years, though he doesn’t long for classrooms.

“What I taught myself outside of school was 10 times more important than what I ever learned in school,” said Schuler, a self-taught software programmer whose other high school passion was the pole vault.

The Thiel Foundation does not expect its fellows to produce quickresults, said Mike Gibson, vice president for grants. Even if Schuler’s venture fails, the foundation takes a long view.

“It’s really impressive that he has a track record of building things, and we expect him to continue doing that,” Gibson said.

Schuler said his goal for is to give the electoral process back to ordinary citizens while providing the public a way to fund nonprofit organizations and candidates they support. was inspired by, a crowd funding website that does not allow donations for causes.

“I was on Kickstarter and I was kind of frustrated with politics, and I said, ‘Why can’t there just be a Kickstarter for politics where we could choose the leaders?’ ” Schuler said.

He said he’s already lined up charities and political candidates to use his service but would not disclose the clients ahead of the launch.

One challenge during the next two years will be driving traffic to in order to generate donations that produce the website’s profit. Schuler said FundElevator .com will promote the site through public relations and other methods.

“If you don’t see a profit within two years, then you usually don’t have something people want,” Schuler said.

Still, Schuler’s not worried or nervous.

“If for whatever reason Fund Elevator fails … I just go on to a new company,” he said.

Source: Delaware online = Ernie Garcia The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News


ForbesHow One Startup Raised 10 Times Its Original Crowdfunding GoalForbesRunning a successful crowdfunding campaign isn't easy. The odds are heavily stacked against you, as very few end up succeeding. "Statistically, up to 89% of campaigns fail. Kickstarter has the highest [...]

ForbesThe Ultimate Pre-Launch Crowdfunding ChecklistForbesCrowdfunding is not limited to the platform where you launch your campaign. Instead, it has become a valuable way to transform your idea into a mainstream business. In order to head in that direction, you must execute a number [...]

Eater LondonFat Macy's Launch Crowdfunding Campaign to Open Restaurant in PeckhamEater LondonFat Macy's — a food social enterprise which aims to train young Londoners living in temporary housing — have launched a crowdfunding campaign. Their aim is to raise £55,141 to fund a [...]

Realnoe vremyaEveryone pools: Elvira Nabiullina to look closer at crowdfundingRealnoe vremyaIts Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors Yulian Lazovsky told Realnoe Vremya that crowdfunding platforms will need to create a capital of at least 10 million rubles within the cooperation [...]

Crowdfund InsiderStartwise, a New Crowdfunding Platform using Reg CF Goes Live with Revenue Sharing OfferingsCrowdfund InsiderToday, Startwise, the newest FINRA approved Reg CF platform, has officially launched a marketplace where you can invest in companies you care about for as litt [...]

U.S. News & World ReportNo Cash for Hate, Say Mainstream Crowdfunding FirmsU.S. News & World ReportThe block on mainstream crowdfunding is just the latest blow to far-right activists operating online. In the last 24 hours, neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer had its domain regi [...]

TechCrunchUK's Prodigy Finance raises $240M to crowdfund students from emerging marketsTechCrunchUK fintech startup Prodigy Finance has raised a whopping $240 million funding round, certainly one of the largest by a UK company this year. The company provides loans to internationa [...]

Devon LiveCrowdfunding campaign launched to save adopted Romanian puppy who needs £8000 for vital surgery to save its lifeDevon LiveSam has started a crowd-funding campaign to try to help meet the £8000 cost of the surgery. It's a tall order, but every little helps. Sam had been [...]

DreamHost Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Cover Legal Costs in DOJ FightWeb Host Industry ReviewDreamHost has set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 for its legal fight against the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ is attempting to force DreamHost to provide it with websi [...]

Crain's Cleveland Business'Smaller' gifts can go long way for Clinic's crowdfunding platformCrain's Cleveland BusinessFor an institution accustomed to securing multimillion-dollar donations, Cleveland Clinic's latest fundraising effort has some relatively [...]

CFB Finance

Lst Val
+/- Val
+/- %


  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |