Gap Year 2021

Take a gap year from school. Get up to $100,000 to start a company of your own.

Contrary HQ

August 10, 2021

Last year, in the height of the pandemic, we launched Gap Year 2020.

It was a call to action to the next generation to build – to take that idea that had been germinating in the back of their minds and put it on full display.

The feedback from the community was immediate and overwhelmingly positive.

Forbes, The New York Times, and many others profiled Gap Year 2020, and it resulted in hundreds of applications from across the globe and several startups backed.

But it’s become clear over the past 12 months that gap years aren’t ephemeral – they’re structural and here to stay.

So this year, we’re back for round two, investing up to $100,000* in up to 5 companies who choose to build.

Contrary's gap year investment program will support members 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 investment team.

We have no industry preferences and are also interested in funding international students, irrespective of visa status. A large portion of our portfolio companies were started by immigrants, and we don’t want physical location to get in the way of a startup.

The only requirements are that teams commit to working on their company full-time from September through spring of 2022, and that at least one member of the team is taking a gap year to build the company (dropouts are welcome).

Teams can apply by filling out the application here.

All applications are due by 8/31, and are 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

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

Disclosure: Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute legal, business, investment or tax advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Contrary LLC (“Contrary”) nor does such information constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services. Information provided reflects Contrary’s views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Contrary shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. Companies mentioned in this article may be a representative sample of portfolio companies in which Contrary has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Contrary. No assumptions should be made that investments listed above were or will be profitable. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or the actual experience may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in these statements. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Contrary (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for Contrary to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at

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