If This is The End Will Pretty Pictures Be My Only Legacy?
Every entrepreneur has a unique journey, but in the case of Sequoia Blodgett, hers began while lying in a hospital bed.
Sequoia got really sick in March of 2014 and was hospitalized. About a month before that, a close friend wanted her to shoot content for his life coaching business. She has a B.A. in Film/Television Production and worked as a music video director for a number of years, so this request was not out of the blue. Sequoia has worked with multiple mainstream artists, directed commercials, shot fashion photography and was the senior video producer for Clear Channel’s ad agency, Creative Services Group.
But back to the hospital... While lying there Sequoia started reflecting on her life.
“I thought to myself, if this was the end, would I be happy with the fact that all I did was create pretty pictures?”
At that moment, she called her life coach friend and told him about her idea to create a business called 7AM, a mobile app community that focuses on enhancing intimate relationships. The idea came from her fascination with life coaching and the psychology behind human relationships.
The business is a three‐tier platform that slowly eases people into helpful relationship advice and tips. The first tier consists of curated video based content from celebrities and influencers that the users can relate to. The second tier focuses on community engagement. There are pre‐programmed questions, which rotate weekly and are answered by experts. Users then chime in and give their feedback or opinions. If the user wants to speak to someone personally, they have access to a third tier, live relationship coaches. This is a personal one‐on‐one text/chat session.
Sequoia received a small seed round of funding for her business after coming in 2nd place on pitch day at Draper University. She was the only person in her class to secure a solid deal. Tim not only gave her money upfront, but also agree to match another investor down the line.
A New Life at Draper University
Sequoia chose Draper University by complete happenstance. In July of 2014, she was teaching photography as the basis of branding at an all girls tech and entrepreneurship camp at Palo Alto High across the street from Stanford. Due to the location, a lot of the attendees were kids of really famous VCs and CEOs in the entrepreneurial community. While in attendance, one of the instructors mentioned
Draper University. Completely fascinated by the program, Sequoia looked into the school, applied and was accepted.
Sequoia attended Loyola Marymount University, a private Jesuit school in Los Angeles. The biggest differentiation between Loyola and Draper was time. She feels that she accomplished just as much as in four years at LMU as she did in seven weeks at Draper.
“I got a new life when I came to Draper, I knew what I wanted to do with 7AM but I didn’t know how to do it. While in attendance, I was taught so much about business and exposed to people from all walks of life. It was almost like someone saying, ‘You want an MBA, here it is in seven weeks and better yet, you can start executing what you have learned right away.’”
Like most alumni, Sequoia also developed relationships with people who are a continued support system for her. It was a gratifying experience and opportunity so she stuck around and now works as an entrepreneur‐in‐residence helping others the same way she had been helped ‐ all while building her business.
“If you are looking for a program that will totally change your life and cause you to think differently, Draper is the place for you. There is no judgment and being different is encouraged. It’s not just a place where you can accelerate your ideas, but it’s also a people accelerator where you can expand your mind, tackle your fears and grow to be bigger and better in every way.”