Does school prepare students for life?
Not necessarily, young entrepreneur Andrew Hsu might say.
“At Stanford, I took every business course I could get my hands on. But I’ve actually found interestingly, that they weren’t that useful,” says the 20-year-old, who holds three college degrees in in Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Chemistry. “There was tons of stuff that I had to learn on the fly.”
After having left grad school, Hsu launched his own startup, Airy Labs, where he develops social learning games for kids. Last week, Airy Labs secured $1.5 million in seed funding. Hsu is what you would call a wunderkind, and one of the Thiel Fellows who received $100,000 from Paypal founder Peter Thiel, to launch a startup. “My background isn’t normal,” he admits, “but starting a start-up very young is quite common in Silicon Valley.”
Teens in Tech, located in Palo Alto, not far away from Hsu’s office, seems to prove this. The Teens in Tech Incubator Program helps teenagers launch their own startup. Over the course of eight weeks, young entrepreneurs learn all they have to know about economics, marketing and fundraising. At his ripe old age, Hsu is now a mentor involved with this group, helping to prepare teenagers for this competitive and fast-moving industry.