When George Sivulka was 12, he was building lasers that could light fires. At 16 he had an internship at NASA. By 22, he was hanging out with Peter Thiel, talking for hours about artificial intelligence and philosophy. Thiel, thoroughly impressed, wrote one of the first checks for Hebbia, Sivulka’s AI-powered search engine. Instead of relying on keywords, Hebbia, founded in 2020, can process more-complex requests. Sivulka gives the example of someone in private equity sifting through hundreds of pages of company filings to find a business’s risk factors; Hebbia could analyze the document and return risk factors, even if the answers didn’t contain the user’s keywords. Investors are banking on the prodigy, with Hebbia raising $30 million in a July Series A led by Index Ventures. Now 24 years old, Sivulka walks us through his journey from selling refurbished computers on eBay to raising millions for his startup.
The Wunderkind Who Won Over NASA, Stanford and Peter Thiel
George Sivulka on cold-calling scientists at 15, shaking down his college for more units, and raising $30 million for his AI-powered search engine.
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