Knoxville native awarded $100K grant for tech startup

With a newly acquired $100,000 grant, Knoxville-native Joey Krug is forging ahead with the company he left college to co-found in 2014.

The 20-year-old entrepreneur last week was awarded the funds through the Thiel Fellowship, a philanthropic program formed by Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Krug says the $100,000 award helps fund Augur, a platform for trading prediction markets — like stocks, sporting events and all sorts of uncertain outcomes.

He tells WGIL working on a startup is fun, but full of challenges.

“Since I’ve been here from the beginning, I remember what it was like in 2014 when I was in (San Francisco) for awhile,” Krug says. “There were six of us in a house with three bedrooms and a basement. We had, like, no funding. I remember that. Now, we’ve done a crowd-funding campaign where we raised around $5 million.”

After graduating Knoxville High School, Krug enrolled at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He stayed there for all of a year before leaving to found Augur. He lives in his hometown now.

The Thiel Fellowship is specifically awarded to people who skip or drop out of college. On top of the money, the Augur team has access to the network of more than 60 companies that have benefited from the Thiel Fellowship.

Augur is made up of a dozen people from around the world. Krug’s duties include writing code for the platform’s back end and overall company development.

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