Oravel founder Ritesh Agarwal selected for the final round of “20 Under 20” Thiel Fellowship

Ritesh19 year old Ritesh Agarwal has quite a story. Internet and technology doesn’t care for age and this youngster having found a penchant for how the web works, started working very early in his life, at a tender age of 13. And by 17, he had started his first company- Oravel. Oravel started as an Airbnb clone but the model has undergone a twist and post receiving a seed round from Venture Nursery, the company will be out with its new model soon.

This youngster has been selected for the “20 under 20” Thiel Fellowship which makes him one of the very few Indians to have been shortlisted. Currently amongst the top 1% of the candidates that applied, Ritesh will be making his journey to the States for a 20 day stint post which he’d come to know whether he has been selected amongst the 20.

The Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program wherein fellows receive $100,000 and mentorship from the foundation’s network of tech entrepreneurs, investors and scientists (this includes the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Elon Musk and obviously Peter Thiel).

The Fellowship was established by venture capitalist Peter Thiel to give people under age 20 an alternative to college for pursuing innovative ideas in science and business. In majority of cases this means dropping out of school but there are bigger things in store for these candidates. Ritesh went to college for a very short duration and never turned back; to be precise, he attended college for 2 days.

Ritesh has been selected after a rigorous process of 4 rounds – first screening, 2 rounds of applications, communications with the Foundation Jury and a long interview with a Thiel Foundation Mentor from a senior Management at Facebook.

As a company, Oravel has grown by leaps and currently lists 3,500+ Places on its marketplace from across the country. The site is currently under maintenance but will be launching around the 15th of April with an added inventory model and more.

Ritesh will be leaving for the US for a Thiel Foundation sponsored trip on the 10th of April’13 for a 3 week period which will help Oravel to make a lot more headway.

Read more about the Theil Fellowship and follow Student Story to keep up with all that is happening in the student entrepreneurship space in India.

Jubin Mehta

Jubin Mehta

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