Ritesh Agarwal, the 19 year old founder of Oravel.com has won the Thiel Fellowship for 2013 along with 19 others globally.
The Orissa born Agarwal will now be mentored by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and the community which includes Sean Parker, the Founder of Napster and Elon Musk of Tesla.
Peter Thiel is one of the most successful entrepreneur, investor from the Silicon Valley. He is one of the first outside investors in Facebook.
Twenty entrepreneurs who made it to the fellowship will receive $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation. Ritesh was the only Indian resident in the list of 20 entrepreneurs.
Majority of candidates came from the USA, including drop outs from Harvard, MIT and other elite universities of the USA and the Silicon Valley.
Agarwal’s Oravel.com, founded in 2011 when he was 18 years old, has become a popular destination for short and midterm rentals for bed and break fast joints, private rooms and serviced apartments.
Ritesh was in the US for three weeks where he spent time in the Valley, Stanford University and Mountain View.
Agarwal’s Oravel went through the startup accelerator program offered by Venture Nursery in July 2012 and had raised seed funding from angel investors.
Another Indian who made it to the fellowship is Diwank Singh Tomer, 19. Tomer, a college drop out is a hacker and engineer who won the Mozilla WebFWD fellowship. He has moved to the Bay area to work on a collaborative learning platform.