Why This Brampton Youngster is Leaving University


Every year, 20 new fellows from around the world are given the rare opportunity to work on their business idea with 100K grant & mentorship. This year, a record number of four Canadians, including Brampton’s own Harry Gandhi, were awarded the coveted Thiel Fellowship. The only condition is, they must not be in school during the two-year program. That’s exactly why this Brampton youngster is leaving university.

Gandhi, 22, attended Turner Fenton Secondary School’s IB program and went on to study Biotechnology/Economics at the University of Waterloo. He’ll be leaving school to work on his startup company, Medella Health. As one of the three co-founders at Medella Health, Gandhi is working on helping people manage their diabetes in a non-invasive way. The idea is to create a contact lens that can continuously monitor diabetes without having to take multiple blood samples.

All 20 fellows selected for the 2015 year

All 20 fellows selected for the 2015 year

The fellowship comes from the billionaire co-founder of Paypal and Palantir Technologies, Peter Thiel. Sticking to his entrepreneurial roots, he formed the Thiel fellowship, which encourages university students drop out of school and pursue their own ventures. The fellows have the opportunity to participate in regular workshops, summits, dinners and retreats, while being mentored by a community of investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs who, according to their website, “provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom.”

Initially, it was limited to individuals under the age of 20. However, this year, the fellowship was opened up to people over the age of 20 to diversify the cohort.

Other Canadians on the list include:

  • Cathy Tie (18, Toronto, Ontario, Canada), co-founder and CEO of Ranomics
  • Liam Horne (19, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada), CTO of PiinPoint
  • Simon Tian (20, Montreal, Quebec, Canada), founder and CEO of Neptune

What do you guys think about this local youngster’s decision ? Leave a comment below