WHAT’S COOKING IN PALO ALTO? Stanford Students Are Leaving in Droves to Join a Hot New Mobile Payments Startup


UPDATE 06/27/13: Clinkle just raised a $25 million seed round including Peter Thiel and Andreesseen Horowitz — read about it here.

According to the Huffington Post, 20 Stanford University students have left school to join Clinkle, a mobile payments company which aims to simplify the smartphone payment process.

A majority of the students are from the computer science department, and several professors are also funding and advising the company. 21-year-old CEO Lucas Duplan has been away from Stanford for more than two years incubating the idea.

Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook are all developing e-wallet concepts, but Duplan seems unfazed — he says Clinkle plans to employ 60 people by the summer.

On the one hand, Duplan sounds like he’s got balls of steel. On the other — whatever happened to bootstrapping? Do you really need 20 engineers before you even have your first product out? I guess this is the way you become big man on campus at Stanford…making all your friends drop out of school. If nothing else, Duplan will have some great stories to tell sorority co-eds if he flops and is back on campus in another two years.