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OZY Geniuses at Work

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Why you should care

Because these are some true young rising stars.

OZY was first to this story, putting you ahead of the curve. View More OZY Originals

OZY is holding the second annual OZY Genius Awards, event sponsored by JPMorgan Chase. Ten college-aged students will win up to $10,000 to pursue their dreams. Have a bright idea? Apply by January 20th to tell us about it.

Think you had a good summer vacation? Well, these young OZY geniuses did. Last summer, OZY awarded $10,000 to several brilliant young people so they could pursue big projects over the course of three months. Inspired by the story of a young Harper Lee, whose friends pooled together money to allow her to take a year off, job-free, to write To Kill a Mockingbird, we wanted to sponsor projects that required time, thoughtfulness and a little bit of startup energy.

So, in the tradition of MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows, artists’ residencies like Yaddo and MacDowell and startup incubators like Y Combinator and AngelPad, we found some millennial stars who deserved a bit of mentorship and cultivation. From hundreds of applications pitching novels, films, apps, startups and more, we chose 10 people working on everything from YouTube channels built for conflict resolution to policy research on Korean pension funds to a cheaper way to build prosthetic limbs.

We loved the work these young people produced so much that we wanted to feature it right here — because, after all, we’re in the business of identifying the new, next future talent of the world. Take a look, and be a little jealous of these kids who have the best “What I Did Over Summer Vacation” stories we’ve ever seen.

OZY editors

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