Is there a big thing you have long dreamed of doing? Launching a new product, solving a problem in our society, founding a new social organization, or heck, starting a new political party even? If you are a current university student yet pausing your studies and chasing your dreams is what you really want to do, Jamie’s Gap-Year Program is exactly what you are looking for.
Why am I giving you $1,000,000?
"I co-founded my first startup, Intumit, with a group of college friends at the age 21. Looking back, that was the single most important decision I made in my life. The experience completely altered the trajectory of my life. Today, I can be where I am, doing the things I love and making the impact I want to make, simply because I started early in a domain that I am truly passionate about. If it weren’t for my friend and co-founder, Louis Chen, who put up the initial capital, I would have never had the chance to embark on this journey. Hence, to pay it forward, I want to put up the capital and give you the chance of doing the same.
Founder, AppWorks & CEO, Taiwan Mobile
$1,000,000? Really?What's the catch?
There is no catch. All admitted Jamie's Gap-Year Fellows will be equipped with these power-ups:
One million NT dollars to be spent towards anything you want to spend on, no questions asked, no strings attached
Personalized guidance & assistance from our team
Mentorship from Jamie
All Jamie's Gap-Year Fellows will have a safe space, both physically & mentally, to build without distractions or pressure.
You can take a full year or as long as you need to build your project
Weekly: 1-1 check-in with program director
Bi-weekly: peer support & review sessions to share progress, updates, challenges and learning
Periodically: coach sessions with Jamie, casual gatherings and exercise sessions
Who can apply?
Those who are passionate and ready to undertake a meaningful project that contributes to society.
You must be 21 years old or younger and a current university student when you apply
You are ready to take a leave of absence from school (or take part in a self-learning program such as the one at NTU D-School) for 1 full year and dedicate yourself completely to this program
It is your sole responsibility to make sure your family and friends, and other people who care about you are good with your decision
Really? There must be something you're asking of me.
This program is not for everyone and we will be extremely selective. But once you are admitted as a Jamie's Gap-Year Fellow, your only responsibility is to make the most out of your gap year and the million dollars in your hand. You do not need to pay Jamie back the money at any point in life. (He’d appreciate it if you can pay it forward some time in the future when you have the resources.) You also are not obligated to perform any tasks for Jamie. The program is all about you and you only.
01. Who is Jamie again?
Jamie (林之晨) is the Founder of AppWorks, now Taiwan leading startup accelerator and venture capital firm that has been credited as the catalyst behind the recent renaissance of our startup ecosystem. He came back from New York to launch AppWorks back in 2009, when the popular belief was Taiwan stood as a startup desert and things were close to impossible to revive. Yet Jamie believed that vibrant startup activities are crucial to a country's long-term resilience. It was important enough he decided to dedicate his life towards rebooting it for Taiwan. A decade later, through the joint effort of AppWorks and many other ecosystem contributors, we can now confidently say the startup scene is going very strong -- some would even say we are now a Startup Island. In 2016, Jamie co-founded AppWorks School, a free school that has helped hundreds of young talents pivot to more successful tech careers. Since 2019, he has been doubling as CEO of Taiwan Mobile, the country's 2nd largest telecom company, aiming to set examples on how a large corporate can excel at ESG, at working with startups and at regional expansion. So in a nutshell, Jamie optimizes his life towards maximum impact. He thinks the biggest reason why he can be doing a lot of the things he does at a relatively young age compared to his peers, is because he started earlier -- he co-founded his first startup, Intumit, with college friends when he was only 21 years old. Therefore, to give future Jamies a chance to start early and go through what Jamie went through and have an impactful life, in 2023, he decided to launch Jamie's Gap Year Program.
02. I may be drafted to the military if I postpone my studies. How can I still join this program?
Some universities have programs, e.g. NTU D-School 探索學習計畫, for students that want to take a gap year. Otherwise, you can discuss with your department on maintaining your enrollment status for the year while you participate in Jamie's GYP. If applicable, you can also consider getting your military training done across 2 summers before you apply or spend the first phase of your program on military service.
03. Do I have to build something specifically for Taiwan?
No, you can build anything as long as it's good for human society.
04. Do I have to be based in Taiwan?
Yes, we prefer fellows that are based in Taiwan so we may build a network and see your achievements. In the future, we might expand to other countries.
05. Do I have to be Taiwanese?
No you don't. As long as you're based in Taiwan, you're eligible.
06. Do I have to pay tax for the NT$ 1 million grant?
Yes, since the grant is considered as income and therefore you will need to include it when you file your annual tax returns. As the program is spread across 2 calendar years, the grant will also be given in such way.