Muscat alumna wins pres­ti­gious Thiel Fel­low­ship

Times of Oman - - ROUND-UP -

MUSCAT: Aparna Kr­ish­nan, an alum­nus of the In­dian School Al Ghubra (2015 batch), Oman is among 20 peo­ple cho­sen world­wide for the pres­ti­gious 2018 Thiel Fel­low­ship by the Thiel Foun­da­tion (USA).

The Fel­low­ship pro­gramme, which was launched in 2011, en­cour­ages tal­ented young peo­ple to pur­sue big ideas and start com­pa­nies in­stead of at­tend­ing col­lege.

Fel­lows re­ceive $100,000 and men­tor­ship from the Thiel Foun­da­tion’s net­work of tech­nol­ogy founders, in­vestors, and sci­en­tists. To date, com­pa­nies cre­ated by Thiel Fel­lows are worth more than $3 bil­lion com­bined, not in­clud­ing Thiel fel­low-cre­ated Ethereum, a dis­trib­uted com­put­ing plat­form whose cryp­tocur­rency Ether has a mar­ket cap of about $50 bil­lion as of June 22.

Oman has been home to Aparna through her en­tire school­ing. Aparna was a bright young achiever from ISG, hav­ing con­sis­tently se­cured high in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion in aca­demics as well as in Olympiads and hackathons. Cu­ri­ous about math­e­mat­ics and its ap­pli­ca­tions from an early age, she ex­plored Ru­bik’s Cub­ing and Vedic Maths in de­tail and par­tic­i­pated in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions. She has been a leader in clubs pop­u­lar­is­ing and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the adop­tion of Blockchain tech­nol­ogy amongst stu­dents and com­pa­nies glob­ally. She has taken a lead role in ed­u­cat­ing and em­pow­er­ing women in this blockchain space through con­fer­ences such as SHE256 women in the blockchain.

She is pas­sion­ate about Blockchain. She is the co-founder of ‘Mech­a­nism Labs’, the world’s first open-source re­search lab, fo­cus­ing on spear­head­ing the blockchain tech­nol­ogy based on crypto eco­nomic re­search. Through the open source lab, Aparna as­pires to fos­ter col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween re­searchers and en­able in­no­va­tion in a way that has not been pos­si­ble be­fore. Her lab is go­ing live shortly. With this year’s award, Aparna joins the elite crypto com­mu­nity’s most no­table Thiel Fel­low- Ethereum co-founder Vi­ta­lik Bu­terin, who re­ceived the Fel­low­ship in 2014.

Aparna has also pro­vided train­ing in Blockchain to sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions in coun­tries in­clud­ing Oman, Mex­ico, In­dia, Hong Kong and the USA.

“The en­vi­ron­ment for en­trepreneurs is the best it’s ever been,” said Jack Abra­ham, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of the Thiel Fel­low­ship. “This year’s class proves that there’s still a hunger for in­di­vid­u­als seek­ing un­con­ven­tional ap­proaches.”

“Col­lege isn’t for ev­ery­one, and it cer­tainly isn’t for ev­ery­one fresh out of high school,” said Allyson Dias, direc­tor of the Thiel Fel­low­ship. “Leav­ing be­hind the safety of the class­room and choos­ing to build a busi­ness in­stead isn’t easy or glam­orous. But our Fel­lows have found what we sus­pect to be true more broadly: young peo­ple learn best by do­ing things in the real world.”

Thiel Foun­da­tion sup­ports science, tech­nol­ogy and long-term think­ing about the fu­ture. It is founded by Peter Thiel, an en­tre­pre­neur and in­vestor in sev­eral suc­cess­ful tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies.

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