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Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social news site Reddit, announced he is currently recruiting wannabe entrepreneurs to create the next big thing and he plans on mentoring the lucky winners from start to finish.
“I’m looking for three bold pioneers who are going to send me the best pitch they got,” Ohanian tells FOX Business. “So, whether you’re in your 20’s, 30’s or 80’s, I want to see what you got.”
The three lucky candidates will be flown out to Silicon Valley to spend one-on-one time with Ohanian, who is married to tennis champ Serena Williams, at his venture capital firm Initialized Capital.
“[They] will actually do office hours for me. And I will give them advice, feedback, and guides on how to build their business,” he says.
Ohanian teamed up with 1850 Brand Coffee to launch the “Bold Pioneer” contest but warns contestants that the startup world isn’t for everyone.
“Actually, while I do encourage everyone to learn to code and consider starting a startup and finding these sort of easy ways to get something out in the world and get feedback on it, I’m also realistic with the fact that it’s a lot,” he says.
Ohanian’s Reddit, which is now the third most visited site in the US, was founded with his college roommate Steve Huffman. The duo sold it for an undisclosed amount to Conde Nast 16 months after it launched and at the age of 23, he was already a multi-millionaire.
“I was being offered more money in my bank account than my family made their entire working lives and that seemed crazy to me,” he says.
And while he doesn’t regret the move, despite Reddit being valued at around $1.8 billion today, he plans on making sure other entrepreneurs, who are in a similar position, have the full perspective on things before they sell.
“I certainly wouldn't begrudge them for taking that. And I certainly don't regret it because it opened up everything. I mean I'm very grateful for the life I have today and all that. And, in many ways from that decision and I got a second chance,” he says.
In 2015, Ohanian and Huffman returned to Reddit full-time and were offered equity, but Ohanian decided to step back from the company in February of this year to return to focus on solely on investing.
“Now, I get to take the perspective of creating a one billion dollar company and bring it to founders who I hope will create dozens of billion dollar companies and I get to advise them and I get to support them in ways that I wish I had when I was starting out.”