$100.000 fellowships to outliers taking down the walls of universities, credentialism, and elitist hierarchies to have impact on the world.


Every year, 10 exceptional talented pioneers, younger than 25yrs old, will receive a $100.000 grant to bypass what slows them down and to fight the status quo.


The Magnificent Grants team will be on standby to actively support the fellows in a 2 year program. Free from substantive interference or agendas of investors or academia. The fellows will all meet once a year and will see each other on a regular basis to help each other out to widen, deepen and launch ambitious ideas.


We seek candidates who apply unreasonable sense of urgency to extraordinary intellectual zoom range and fluidity, tackling audacious problems impacting the world.


We will analyze written applications leading to interviews in person. The questions aim for a maximum of 2000 words (4 pages).


Barend Van den Brande

Barend founded Magnificent Grants in 2023.

As a founder of Hummingbird Ventures, an early stage global VC fund backing outlier entrepreneurs overlooked by brandname investors, Barend brought a very different playbook to VC, already returning 3 Hummingbird funds >10x.

Identifying talent in fundamentally different ways than other investors, Barend subsequently launched Nomads, one of the leading fund-of-funds investing $300m in below- the-radar funds outperforming well-known larger players.

Barend passionately practices architecture since he was in college, without any formal training, designing and building a growing portfolio of spaces from scratch, working around tectonic friction, spatial stutter and poetic flow.

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Sidar Sahin

Founder & CEO of Peak Games, sold for $1.8B to Zynga in 2020. Before, Sidar was a co-founder of Trendyol, majority-owned by Alibaba. Sidar dropped out of college when he was 20 to launch his first startup.

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Salar al Khafaji

Founder & CEO of Terraform, automating on-site construction with robotics. Previously founded Silk, sold to Palantir in 2016, led commercial R&D projects at Palantir, mostly in the data science/ML space and with industrial clients. Dropped out of M.Sc. Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam.

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Firat Ileri

Firat is the General Partner at Hummingbird Ventures. He is involved with BillionToOne, Kernal Biologics, Layer and Aspire ao. He previously worked with Frontier Car Group, Gram Games, Peak Games and Merlin prior to their acquisition. He fast-tracked through his student years, entering MIT at age 16, receiving a Master of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

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How does the Grant work?

A Magnificent Grant is a two-year $100.000 grant to jumpstart the journey of a new generation of innovators and builders . We do not claim titles in any projects nor take equity in your company.

Do I need to drop out?

Yes, we need you to drop out of your current college, school, job.

What is the age limit to apply?

Anyone aged 25 years or younger.

Do I need to be on the verge of launching a product or incorporated a company already?

No, but your chances of being selected go up when you show demonstrable progress toward realizing your vision.

Is there an application deadline?

Yes, October 31, 2023.

How many Grantees do you select?

Anywhere from 5 to 15 per batch.

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