The Grantees

Harry O'Connor

Harry dropped out of high school to work full-time on building humanoid robots, aiming to make them as common as the car. He spent the last four years developing a new kind of AI control system which takes the same inputs humans have and directly controls the robot, allowing it to adjust the way it walks depending on the terrain presented. This means it can walk almost anywhere humans can, unlike current competitors. Harry thinks we are close to a ChatGPT moment in robotics where we see reinforcement learning go to another level. Already now, he gets things done in ways that would require an old Boston Dynamics years and tens of millions of dollars. Harry won two awards in the BT Young Scientist competition - the same one as the Collison brothers - and was recently awarded the Emergent Ventures fellowship. Immediately after selection, Harry signed his first SAFE pre-seed investments for $250k.

Molly Mielke

Molly is obsessed with finding and supporting outlier talent. She started her first micro VC fund at the age of 22. Consequently, she used the little earnings she had to write <$5k grants to young people (<25) pursuing ideas that show early promise of someday becoming a company (e.g. funding for research, building a prototype, or paying living expenses).

Satvik Agnihotri

Satvik believes in the transformational power that exists in systems level coordination. In grade 11, he worked on an advisory project for Shell’s innovation team, initiating his curiosity into supply chain. Over time, Satvik focused on transportation networks and, under the guidance of industry experts, built himself a rigorous understanding of domestic trucking in the USA, and the network to actualize change. He is currently building analytical tools for enterprise trucking carriers to re-engineer their fundamental operating networks, and strongly believes strongly in one’s ability to execute through a commitment to specific goals and strong leadership.

James Lin

Most biologists despise or don’t have the aptitude for quantitative work, and world-class computational talent brain-drains into AI and big tech. James wants to change the field of biology through computation and machine learning. He recently founded Kaido, a biodefense company. There are only two labs in the world researching genome recoding. Though both labs are world-class, James believes there is a great opportunity for computational biologists in the field. He raised $200k in philanthropic grants, hired researchers, wrote the majority of the first literature review, started model design and engineering, and met with hundreds of engineers and researchers from the best labs in the world (Church, Doudna, etc.) and all over industry (biomanufacturing, defense, agriculture, etc.) to collaborate on research pathways. Hard to imagine a biosecurity team out there not in touch or engaging with James.

Marley Xiong & Raffi Hotter

Studied Computer Science & Biology at McGill, left to work on neurotechnology at Google X, left again to start a 26-person microcampus in New Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic. They want to change the field of neurotechnology, building a neural interface decoding visual imagery directly from the brain. Building a brain scanner that will turn your thoughts and memories into images. If you can build a brain scanner with merely one-centimetre spatial resolution, sampling once a second, you’re already at 1.000 bits/s of bandwidth - orders of magnitude above existing human capabilities like speech (~10 bits/s) or typing (~3 bit/s). Our thinking: since they’re tackling such a huge problem, they might not exactly solve this one, but they might come across a very interesting application along the way. Unsure how fast they could have a working device, but 100% on the inspiration scale.

Luke Marks

Luke is 16 years old and wants to drop out of high school. Smart, passionate, open-minded. He sincerely asked for feedback, not many candidates get to this point. His goal is out of the ordinary: “make progress on digitizing a copy of his mind and accelerating it at the speed of light (in photonic informational form) in an arbitrary direction to escape the light cone of anything originating from Earth after that point.” Luke isn’t the first builder to be obsessed about longevity and death, but we’ve not met anyone who thinks it’s a matter of time before superintelligence comes close to wiping out humanity. We love how people go beyond education or second-hand knowledge: in Luke’s words "Language models have been my primary tutor as of late, which I use by invoking teaching simulacra of the most fantastic variety.”

Adarsh Hiremath

Dropping out of Harvard before starting junior year, Adarsh founded Mercor, which is using AI to automate the entire global hiring stack, from sourcing to vetting to payment. They believe that as LLMs and AI get better, the cost to vet talent will approach zero. Mercor recently raised $3.6M from General Catalyst after bootstrapping to $1M+ in ARR, 100.000+ users, and a 14-person team. We never had so many people endorse a founder. When classmates made fun of his speaking style in middle school, he decided to take public speaking classes. Soon, he became addicted, and not much later was the first in history to win all three national debate tournaments in the same year. He feels his obsession with ‘switch side debate’ - hardwired his brain to think from first principles, entertain even the craziest viewpoints, and always consider the broader social and political implications of his work.

Sara Kemppainen

Dropped out of the Sciences Po / Columbia University dual degree program to dive into the world of start-ups, Sara first was Head of Program at Slush, Europe’s premier start-up conference. Supported by Fifty Years, she built ground-up two grant programs to support early-stage research in underfunded and deeply impactful areas of science, raising nearly $2M in philanthropic donations. One in women's reproductive health and another in bio x climate research. Repro Grants is a 'fast grants' program that awards $25k-$100k to ambitious research projects aiming to deepen our understanding of female reproductive biology. Not only was most pharma testing geared towards administering and optimizing medication on male mice during the last century, but the USA today inhibits crucial research based on ill-directed MAGA voices acting on ethical dubious grounds against IVF and female reproductive biology.

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