Danielle is a co-founder and general partner of 1517.
Erik is joined on this episode by Danielle Strachman (@DStrachman) and Mike Gibson (@William_Blake), co-founders and general partners at 1517 Fund. They also both worked extensively on the Thiel Fellowship.They discuss:- The story of the genesis of the Thiel Fellowship.- The lessons learned from running the Fellowship.- Their idiosyncratic paths to running a venture capital fund.- The signals they relied on to find the right applicants.- How to change how higher ed works in the US.- The lessons that the US can learn from other countries when it comes to college.- How students can have a conversation with their parents about not going to college.- Whether something like the Thiel Fellowship can scale.- The lessons that homeschooling has for other forms of education.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Grace Chen is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.
Danielle Strachman is all about building relationships, taking big steps one foot at a time, and non-coercive independent learning. Today, she shares how she went from being a tutor to a Principal and Innovations Academy Founder at the early age of 28 to joining the Thiel Fellowship, founding the Thiel Summit Series and now her own venture, 1517. She is on a mission to open education and knowledge to everyone and giving future leaders, contributors and inventors the leading edge they need to create a better tomorrow.
In this episode, you’ll hear about: -Why Danielle and Michael decided to focus solely on younger founders, regardless of whether or not they attended university -How starting a venture fund increased her empathy for entrepreneurs, particularly through fundraising efforts -Danielle’s experience starting a charter school in San Diego, and why it was easy to fall prey to “imposter syndrome” during that time -Her experience as an instrumentalist growing up and how that helped her learn to lead, direct, and give feedback to her peers -Why previous execution is critical for applicants to the Thiel Foundation and for entrepreneurs looking for investments from 1517 Fund -The correlation between alternative schooling and entrepreneurship Stay tuned to the end of the episode, where Danielle shares why founders should read personal development books and her current interest in sensor-based technology.
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Creator Details

Oakland, California, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
2 hours, 18 minutes