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Thiel Fellow abandons the foundation and $100K after “crisis of faith”

Cosmo Scharf, cofounder of the startup Visionary VR and VRLA, an expo event for VR developers and enthusiasts, just announced that he won’t be taking any more money or mentorship from the Thiel Foundation after being chosen to be part of its 2016 class of aspiring entrepreneurs.  In a Medium post, the former USC student … Continue reading “Thiel Fellow abandons the foundation and $100K after “crisis of faith””

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Cosmo Scharf, cofounder of the startup Visionary VR and VRLA, an expo event for VR developers and enthusiasts, just announced that he won’t be taking any more money or mentorship from the Thiel Foundation after being chosen to be part of its 2016 class of aspiring entrepreneurs. 

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In a Medium post, the former USC student explained it this way:

Aware of Thiel’s support of Trump when I accepted the fellowship, I experienced a crisis of faith. Who would say no to free money? But the results of the election have only further deepened and solidified the moral dissonance gnawing away at me.

I cannot justify being associated with someone who helped a psychopathic, sexist, racist, bigoted, xenophobic, poisonous demagogue rise to power.

Scharf says the money he’s already been given will be donated to charity.

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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