9.13.2005

Fantastic VC idea

What a great idea. I would LOVE to partner with venture capitalists in order to create the conditions where my students could take a shot at starting a company. A lot of discussion of the usefulness/uselessness of college assumes that the "content" in classes or even the genre of the "class session" is the most important facet of college. I think the benefits of university still lies in the attitudes they can foster, the connections they can facilitate, and the way they can help individuals clear away social pressures to immediately plug into the dominant ideology/infrastructure (I'm not implying universities don't have one, ore that they don't mirror social ideologies--only that they are still places where "thoughts can sit next to one another").

*snip*
The sophomores were just one of eight groups selected for three months of summer seed funding from Y Combinator, a startup incubator founded by Paul Graham, a writer and programmer known for creating the first web application.

Graham, a startup evangelist who sold his company to Yahoo in 1998, came up with the idea of paying students to program instead of working a summer job after giving a talk about startups to Harvard University computer science undergraduates.

He advised them to get their funding from angel investors who got rich in technology themselves.

"Then I said jokingly, but not entirely jokingly, 'But not from me,' and everyone's faces fell," Graham said. "Afterwards, I had dinner with some of these guys and they seemed amazingly competent and I thought, 'You know, these guys probably could start companies.'"

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