Three Canadian companies among 2018 Thiel Fellows


The Thiel Foundation has named 20 people into the 2018 class of Thiel Fellows, including three Canadian Fellows.

The Fellowship program, which launched in 2011, encourages young people to work on their startup ideas instead of attending college. Fellows receive $100,000 over two years and mentorship from the Thiel Foundation’s network of technology founders, investors, and scientists.

“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.”

The Canadian winners include:

  • André Bertram, CEO of HelpWear (Toronto, Ontario): HelpWear is a company creating a 24/7 at-home, clinical-grade ECG monitor worn on a patient’s wrist or arm.
  • Kimberlie Le, CEO of Terramino Foods (Edmonton, Alberta and San Francisco, CA): Terramino Foods uses fungi-based protein to replicate the taste, texture, and nutrition of seafood and meat.
  • Shak Lakhani, co-founder of Avro Life Science (Richmond Hill, Ontario): Avro Life Science is developing skin patches for generic drug delivery. Its patches are made from a novel polymer and allow multiple medications to work faster and last longer.
  • “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.”

    Jessica Galang

    Jessica Galang

    Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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