Pioneer is an attempt to find the most brilliant people in the world, wherever they are, and to identify cheap and scalable interventions that might help them achieve their goals. It’s trying to scale the non-intuitive parts of Silicon Valley that help so many startups and industries grow.
Daniel Gross understands well what it means to be an outsider. He was not born in the US and did not go to an Ivy League university, yet, somehow, destiny made him end up in Silicon Valley. Some years later after applying to YCombinator, he sold his company to Apple.
This story was a bit of a coincidence, in his own words, and now he wants to change this process, make this less of a coincidence. Finding the next talents around the world and giving them the conditions to make their ideas grow is what Pioneer is looking for.
Our goal is to provide the necessary funding, guidance and community in order to nurture those minds into the great scientists, artists and entrepreneurs of the future.
While Pioneer will provide money to people, it’s not about the money at all. They hope to make individuals understand it’s not about their environment, that anyone can do amazing things, no matter where they are and what kind of family they came from.
How the program works
You can apply with any idea you have. If you convince other people your project is worth it, they will vote for you and you get points. Who gets the most points at the end of the tournament becomes a Pioneer. Yes, it’s like a game!
If you need one more reason to apply, there is a board of experts that will help you if you become a Pioneer. And these are not your regular mentors, some names are Marc Andreessen, Mathilde Collin (Front’s CEO), Patrick Collison (Stripes’s CEO), Nat Friedman (Github’s CEO), Laura Deming, Saku Panditharatne, and many more.
Who can apply?
Pioneer is open to all. There is no country limit. There is no expertise limit. Do anything you want with the money: spend it on books, a new computer or coffee. You only need a webcam and an internet connection to apply.
If you find it interesting, apply! Applications are open until February 10th, 11:59 pm PST. I already applied, and I will be making my project public very soon, hope to see you there :-)