Contrary Sabbatical 2022

Take a year off from school or work. Get up to $250,000 to start a company of your own.

Contrary HQ

July 28, 2022

For the past two years, we’ve run programs focused on identifying and supporting ambitious builders before their startups even exist.

The feedback - both internal and external to our community - was overwhelmingly positive. We received thousands of applications and backed several startups including Zepto, now the fastest growing startup in India.

Zepto CEO Aadit Palicha said, “When my co-founder and I were still finding our bearings, Contrary kickstarted our entrepreneurial journey by writing the first cheque.” Just 2 years later, they’ve raised hundreds of millions of dollars and hired over a thousand teammates.

So this year, we’re excited to launch Contrary Sabbatical, a program designed to help you quit your job or drop out of school to build an iconic startup of your own.

And we’re upping the stakes - investing up to $250,000 in up to 5 founders who choose to forge their own path.

The Details

Anyone can apply. Tech employees: quit your job. Students: take a break from school. The only requirement is that you commit to spending a full year with pure focus on your company.

We will support Sabbatical founders like any other portfolio company: with connections to operators who have scaled companies from zero to thousands of employees, a diverse network of potential hires, and tactical advice from our team.

We have no industry or geographic preferences, including international founders. Many of our portfolio companies were started by immigrants, and we don’t want physical location to get in the way of a startup.

We’ll invest in companies through a standard SAFE (no discount, no MFN clauses), on a generous valuation depending on your level of progress (e.g number of users, technical milestones achieved, etc.).

Teams can apply by filling out the application here.

All applications are due by 8/31, and will be considered on a rolling basis. If you need to make a decision imminently, please also note that in your application, and we’ll fast-track it.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to reach out at

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