16-year-old AI founder has startup valued at 8 figures and is skipping college

Since debuting a beta version of her AI software in 2021, the 16-year-old has raised more than $450,000 from multiple backers.

Published on Oct 10, 2023 at 1:43PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Oct 10, 2023 at 5:47PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain
16-year-old AI founder has startup valued at 8 figures and is skipping college

Most teenagers sit in their rooms playing their gaming consoles or spending countless hours on social media.

But not Pranjali Awasthi.

This 16-year-old is spending her time on much bigger pursuits.

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The teenager has been working hard to make search engines better with the use of AI, and she’s even skipping college to prioritize it.

Awasthi realized her ambition during the pandemic when the then-high schooler was forced to study virtually.

This allowed her to intern at Florida International University, where she worked up to 20 hours a week in the research labs.

Her role there was to extract data and write literature reviews, which is how she came up with her grounding-breaking idea.

During her time interning, Awasthi realized how difficult it was to find what you’re looking for when using search engines.

Thinking AI could offer a solution, the teenager went on to found Delv.AI, which uses machine learning to extract data.

Then a year later, Awasthi attended Hack Week in Miami, where she met investors from Back End Capital.

And these investors were impressed, to say the least.

The teen was offered a 12-week residency, HFO, to hone her tech skills in exchange for a small stake in her future company. 

After a real-life sandbox proved successful, she debuted a beta version of Delv.AI online in 2021.

Since then, the teenager has raised more than $450,000 for her start-up from multiple backers.

Experts have valued her business at around $12 million, so it comes as little surprise Awasthi doesn’t feel that school is for her any more.

But Awasthi’s parents are concerned about their daughter’s education.

While they ‘compromised’ on her not finishing school, they had to accept that Awasthi would not be applying to college anytime soon.

“My parents are Indian, so academics are a priority for them… [but] I have a lot of responsibility on my plate and passion for what I’m building,” Awasthi said.

A lot of responsibility is an understatement, as the 16-year-old is now running her own company.

She’s already hiring her own employees too.

Keep your eyes on this girl, because she could be the world’s next tech billionaire.

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