Taking a Leap into Entrepreneurship at Draper University

Student Post – October 30, 2014 – For the past year or so, my gut has been urging me to derail from the traditional engineering career path and dive into the world of entrepreneurship. Fortunately, a couple months ago I left a job at SpaceX to join aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world for an fully-immersive, action packed, 6-week crash course in entrepreneurship at Draper University of Heroes.

Draper UniversityTake a Leap and Challenge Yourself

I came into this entrepreneurship program with an open mind and a very optimistic outlook of my future. We are now 3 weeks in and I can say with assurance that the program has far exceeded any of my previous expectations. I have come to realize that Draper University (DU) is unlike any business school in the world. You are not only forced out of your comfort bubble but encouraged to fail and fail again until you succeed. Creativity, progress and change are encouraged over more traditional methods of thinking in order to foster entrepreneurial minds. Tim Draper’s goal is inspire the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and based off of the first half of the program, the DU team is definitely making it happen.

Steve JurvetsonLearn from the All-Stars in Silicon Valley

Each week at Draper University brings new adventures along with lots of fun. The program is split into a series of different theme topics starting with vision and followed by others like power and survival. These themes are presented through a variety of creative mediums including exciting collaborative activities and lectures by some of the most successful people in the world. These guest speakers include many well-known entrepreneurs, startup investors, and even a former Blue Angels lead pilot. You're probably wondering what an elite aerobatics pilot could teach about starting a business? Let's just say that when it comes to entrepreneurship, nothing is cut and dry.

You cannot learn how to become an entrepreneur by simply reading a book. Instead, you must experience everything first-hand or carefully listen to people who have failed and learned from their mistakes. This is what makes a program like Draper University so unique and valuable. You don't just theorize about the right or wrong way to do something; you just do it. I remember walking past a sign inside Hero City, the co-working space at DU, and seeing a traffic stop sign that read, “STOP THINKING, START DOING.” This is exactly what the DU program is all about.

Fast Track into the Silicon Valley Startup Network

Despite what I may have said previously, learning by doing is only a small part of the overall Draper University experience. Even more powerful are the networking opportunities the program has given me. Having 24/7 access to some of the best and brightest minds from around the globe, gives one the ability to constantly share personal experiences and bounce ideas off one another.

Getting numerous different perspectives on a single problem has helped me quickly eliminate many bad business ideas and also build upon several great ideas. The level of collaboration and camaraderie I’ve seen at DU in the first three weeks is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks have in store for us.

~ Guest post by Komal Choong who is from India and was part of DU's Summer 2014 Class.