Spring 2019 Pitch Day + Summer Hero Training!

April 2019 Draper Newsletter

Welcome to Startup Universe!

As we wrap up our first Industry Specific Hero Training program focused on Blockchain, Space & Robotics, AI and Immortality we look back on the wonderful memories created and the big success of a 9.7 NPS. As with building anything, it takes an army to make your vision come to life and incredible people to be ALL IN. We thank our amazing programs team who worked endless hours, as well as our entrepreneurs who never gave up. Now go forward, and remember to DRIVE. BUILD. and PURSUE progress and change, and to of course have fun!

Watch the Spring 2019 Hero Training Demo Day now!

General Summer Hero Training: June 16th — July 20th, 2019

  • We are looking for incredible entrepreneurs to attend our summer program! Did you know that the best entrepreneurs to come through our program have come from referrals? Know a superhero entrepreneur who would be a great fit? Email us or have them apply directly.

Alumni Pop Up, Singapore 2019

Our alumni are 70% international! Join our global community of entrepreneurs!

Alumni Spotlight:

Ryan Moon, Hero Training Fall 2014

Ryan Moon

Ryan accepted a new role as Head of WeWork Labs Korea. Ryan founded fintech startup ‘Newsystock’ in 2012, which was acquired by Dayli Financial Group in 2015.

Learn More

Guillaume Rolland, Hero Training Fall 2015

Guillaume Rolland

Founder and CEO of Sensorwake, the first olfactory alarm-clock, accelerated by Google and selected in the TOP 15 Google Science Fair program. After selling tens of thousands of Sensorwake units and capsules in EU, they raised 1.6M€ last year.

Learn More

Patrick Dai, Hero Training Winter 2016

Patrick Dai

Sponsor of Spring Hero Training 2019 and Founder of QTUM, Patrick Dai made it to Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia! No surprise there. Congratulations, Patrick!

Learn More

Alumni Asks:

Mo Ali, Hero Training Summer 2013 is interested in connecting with startup companies who want to have fresh and healthy products in their kitchens. Learn more about his company Ruru Kitchen and connect with him on Facebook if you are interested!

Sabrina Kahn, Hero Training Summer 2015 is working with Jumpstart Foundry, an early-stage healthcare innovation fund with one simple mission: Make Something Better. Each year, they invest $150k in 15–20 healthcare start-ups from around the world that are building innovative solutions to improve health & healthcare. Applications open now!

Ecosystem Updates:

Draper U Ventures

  • Draper University’s new fund is dedicated to investing in alumni companies. Are you raising money? Send your investor deck to DUV and we will review your startup.

Hero City Co-Working Space

  • Free Co-working at Hero City on Thursday’s! Register to reserve your spot.

  • 50% off 3 month flex membership for Draper U alumni. Email us for more information.

Draper TV

Hero Hangout VR Arcade

  • Experience the latest in Virtual and Augmented Reality technology at The Hero Hangout. Interested in hosting an event? Email us! OR get a discountby booking online.

Draper U Goes Global

  • We’re expanding internationally!! We already have alumni in 73 countries and are now working directly with governments, accelerators and local businesses to foster and grow economies through entrepreneurship, venture capital and job creation. Connect with us to learn more and explore collaborations.

Download 4 Free Chapters of Tim’s Book!

Draper University Podcast


Gust Launch

15% off for startup founders

Redeem Google Cloud Credits for Startups

Know someone in need of help this summer? We will be placing ~120 entrepreneurs into 10 week apprenticeships beginning at the end of July. Email us if you or the company you work for can utilize this talent.

Partner Updates:

TechStars Paris

Interested in applying to TechStars Paris? Email us and we will connect you to the team to be considered for the next cohort.

VivaTech Paris

Paris — May 16th — 18th

  • The world’s rendezvous for startups and leaders to celebrate innovation. Reserve your tickets now!

Stay connected to everything happening in the Draper Ecosystem by subscribing to receive our monthly newsletter.

How Emotional Intelligence Relates to Bitcoin

By Abena Foster

Emotionally intelligent entrepreneurs are more successful

“Emotions are neither good nor bad”. Todd Armstrong, San Francisco based emotional intelligence expert shared with Draper University Heroes his wisdom on why emotional intelligence is vital for entrepreneurial success and how to hone it. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions. Todd says the goal is to be “a self-regulated individual”. Intriguingly, he perceives that emotional intelligence has the following similar characteristics to Bitcoin (a passionate topic for Draper U students): (i) emancipation; (ii) reduces friction; and (iii) self-regulation.

Todd exemplified Tim Draper, celebrity venture capitalist and billionaire founder of the University as someone who was emotionally aware, citing the second line of Tim’s Superhero Oath: “I will do everything in my power to drive, build and pursue progress and change.” It starts with taking responsibility for your own emotions.

So, what skills can we practice in our daily lives to be more emotionally intelligent? Being emotionally intelligent takes work, and it begins with mindfulness, being self-aware in the present moment, being aware of your actions and how they have contributed to a particular outcome in your life. Todd gave an example of his own habit at college of procrastination, driven by his need for perfection (in order to feel worthy), which led to him not attaining the test results he could easily have otherwise attained had he been more aware of his own self-defeating behavior and done something to change it before it was too late. Todd counselled students to watch out for patterns in their behavior as indicators of what could be causing desirable or undesirable life outcomes. Todd also advised that reading books and journal writing were beneficial ways to help individuals to connect with their emotions.

Todd is the founder of EQ Vehicle Mobile Classroom, where his goal is to further the potential of early adolescents to create positive community change. For the whole Superhero Oath, I recommend reading Tim Draper’s book “The Startup Hero”.

Boldly leap to new peaks and other lessons from Leah Busque

Entrepreneurial lessons from Leah Busque from Task Rabbit to Fuel Capital.

By Amy Chen and Sariah Alderhali


Leah Busque, Draper University, Spring 2019

“It’s our job as entrepreneurs to believe that every connection, every moment, has the potential to lead to something great,” said Leah Busque, General Partner at Fuel Capital and founder of TaskRabbit. Leah came to Draper University and shared her insights and lessons learned as a female, solo-founder and now an investor.

Lesson 1 — Ideas are everywhere

“A great idea is not an invention, it’s a discovery.”

While working as a software engineer at IBM, Leah became obsessed with the idea for a new errand service which eventually became Task Rabbit. She bought the domain RunMyErrand.com for $6.99 on GoDaddy and built an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). She mentioned,“I didn’t invent TaskRabbit — I discovered it” and to really be in an entrepreneurial mindset for discovery. Other people would say to her that they “had the same exact idea,” but what did they do with it? There is a difference between having an idea and being entrepreneurial to look at something and say, “How can I solve this very simple problem?”

Lesson 2 — Tell everyone you know (and don’t know)

“It’s so much harder to actually execute than it is just to discover a new idea.”

This was surprising for some fellow entrepreneurs to hear because they think that sharing ideas will lead to the idea getting replicated. Some first-time entrepreneurs believe that they should keep their ideas to themselves. Leah encourages otherwise: “spread ideas wildly.” Leah talked to anyone who would listen to her and made connections through many nights and dinners. Leah also gave advice to:

  1. Test concepts with real users

  2. Get feedback

  3. Iterate

She took many risks and turned a $700 plane ticket for a 15-minute meeting with Tim Ferriss into an advisory relationship that eventually turned into financing. She took a lot of risks and networked her way in, which lead to $1 million in seed funding. “It’s our job as entrepreneurs to believe that every connection, every moment, has the potential to lead to something great.”

Lesson 3 — BHAGs (Big Harry Audacious Goals)

Have BHAGs.

BHAGs are Big Harry Audacious Goals, like the wild things from Where the Wild Things Are. Not everyone is ambitious. It is good to have BHAGs. One of their BHAGs was, “What if President Obama used Task Rabbit?” Leah eventually found herself meeting with White House officials to talk about Task Rabbit and its usage after emergencies and natural disasters and can consider that a win. Her message was to also focus on, “What can I do in the next 24 hours to move my business forward?”

Lesson 4 — The entrepreneur inside

Done is better than perfect.

You have to work as an entrepreneur to Test, Measure, Improve, and Iterate. Leah also advised to “Boldly leap to new peaks.” Task Rabbit scrapped their codebase in 2013 and launched into a new mobile product in London. The pivot involved going from a bidding system to an instant real-time booking system and re-training and activating 60,000 taskers on the new platform. The pivot was in the end the right move for the company, albeit with growing pains.

Lesson 5 — Winners don’t win, they succeed

“Success is the ultimate goal.”

Success is comprised of results, purpose, impact and values versus just winning. If people are going to game the system, winning is not sustainable. “You can succeed without winning. You can win, but not succeed.”

As females and first-time entrepreneurs, we were delighted to have met Leah as she showed us that hard work, confidence and creativity can tear down any barriers to entry into the startup world. Thank you, Leah, for sharing with us how to be successful as a leader and entrepreneur with big ideas and big goals and being bold and taking risks so that we can all aim for success as the ultimate goal.

Creating a new financial market today is just as difficult as five hundred years ago

“Creating a new financial market today is just as difficult as five hundred years ago” — Joey Krug

By Reem AlShammari

Joey Krug, Draper University, Spring 2019

Stagnation in financial market evolution was the main theme of Joey Krug’s talk at Draper University. Joey, who began programming his Apple II GS at the age of 12 at Knoxville, Illinois, is now building the world’s first decentralized prediction market platform — Augur, and is the co-CIO for one of the largest investment firms focused exclusively on ventures, tokens, and projects related to blockchain tech, digital currency — Pantera Capital. He also founded Beam, an end-to-end crypto payments solution that focuses on the development of applications and payment technology designed to create user trust and ensure broad financial inclusion; co-founded a top ranked AngelList syndicate; and serves as an advisor to a number of projects such as TIon, 0x, doc.ai, and Numerai — to name some of his achievements.

During his time at Draper, Joey spoke about the significant amount of intermediation that still takes place in financial markets today. While the financial sector has seen major growth in areas such as transaction execution, execution speed and online user interfaces, finance hasn’t really gone through a revolution that brought about any drastic change. Consequently, Joey worked on establishing the Forecast Foundation: a not-for-profit corporation whose goal is to build open-source, public forecasting tools called ‘Prediction Markets’. His vision was to provide users globally the ability to create their own type of instruments, contracts or agreements. With the launch of the platform, anyone, anywhere, can launch their own events and bet on them. This also allows the platform to create a higher level of liquidity and volume, as well as a diversity of topics not typically covered by traditional prediction markets. Beyond trading, Augur also solves a key problem by moving “real world information” onto Ethereum’s blockchain in a secure manner where results can’t be altered.

For Joey Krug, it was clear there is an undeniable dream that’s alive today. As Draper Heroes, Joey is an example of how we should really strive to build the future of tomorrow.

Next Decade of Blockchain Driven by Real Use Cases and Business Values

Inspired by the Talk of Sunny Lu — CEO and Founder of VeChain at Draper University

By Jean-Loïck Michaux

Sunny Lu, Draper University, Spring 2019

The Spring 2019 cohort was pleasantly surprised when renowned entrepreneur Sunny Lu, @sunshinelu24 walked in the doors of Draper University during our 5-week blockchain pre-accelerator in Silicon Valley. Sunny taught us that VeChain Foundation is the blockchain with the highest amount of real world use cases in the market; they are ahead of other infrastructure protocols like Ethereum, EOS, Holo Chain, Tron, NEO, Qtum, or even Walton Chain. Today, VeChain (VET) is ranked 25 on CoinMarketCap with $378MM of market capitalisation. In September 2018, VET reached $1 billion valuation — in crypto jargon we call it a “crypto-unicorn”. But what is Sunny’s magic sauce behind VET’s success? In this article, I write about VeChain’s governance model and list four real business cases currently working on top of Ve Chain’s blockchain.

VeChain’s governance mechanism is better suited for mass adoption because it is a public permission blockchain which ensures a better equilibrium between decentralization and security. VeChain doesn’t believe in 100% decentralization. Sunny said: “For mass adoption, we need better governance between centralization and decentralization. You want the community to vote for big decisions like voting if the CEO should stay in or out. But the execution should be centralized with a committee of about 7 people. The governance should have room to upgrade the economic and consensus model. Bitcoin has the same governance for 10 years. The more people using the network, the higher you pay in transaction fees because of BTC’s higher price. VeChain fractured their token-economics to avoid that. Fees are being paid in VTHO while VET is the governance token.” On top of that, it will allow the use of meta transactions: Do not worry about crypto, you can pay in fiat money and it will translate in crypto-currency in real time.

VeChain is the blockchain that has the biggest amount of real world business use cases. They focus on real entreprises. The management and vision is clear around that. According to Mr. Lu: “Blockchain adoption has to be driven by enterprises, it has to provide business friendly features… We need more people who think from a business owner point-of-view, blockchain is just a tool. If it’s not generating value for business. Why should we use it? With VeChain, companies can build their own consensus mechanism. It allows businesses and startups to have their own blockchain modules”. During the presentation, Sunny highlighted several examples and use cases VeChain is currently being used for and here is a handful of them:

  • BMW is one of VeChain customers. VeChain is part of the BMW Startup Garage program which is helping the prestigious car brand to stay on top of the latest trend in technology innovation to be applied in their vehicles. They are on NDA and nothing more can be revealed at this stage. My personal guess will be around creating a network of smart cars that can communicate with each other in an autonomous matter and pay each other with a BMW tokens? Who knows? Let’s see…

  • H&M: Customers can scan a barcode with the VeChain iOS or Android mobile app in the H&M store and see where the clothes were produced before to make their purchasing decision. How cool? You can make sure that the clothes you are buying aren’t produced by child slavery or human trafficking. Of course at the condition that the data inserted is verified.

  • Deloitte: Selling blockchain as-a-service to corporations and startups. Deloitte is using VeChain to sell BAAS solutions to all kinds of businesses.

  • Last but not least, VeChain is building an infrastructure to reward people to decarbonize the planet with crypto-currencies. Their goal is even to apply the same methods to rewards people to solve the sustainable development goals from the United Nations. A personal passion of mine.

In conclusion, according to Sunny Lu, blockchain will change the world just like the internet did. It will grow in a similar pattern. We should be at about 3 or 4% of total market size to what it will be. In 2018, the Japanese government issued 17 crypto exchanges licenses while the SEC is still trying to find their way in. According to Sunny: “For mass adoption, my mom will have to be able to use a blockchain wallet just like she is able to use AliPay or WeChat. We can learn a lot from them for mass adoption.” Indeed, that is VeChain’s goal, to create business value and allow this great technology to unleash all the potential it promised the world until now.

7 Rules to Combat Failure

By Mohamed Sarr

I had the great honor today to introduce M. Alberto Savoia.

First thing i noticed is this gentleman wears two watches, one on each hand.

He raised $3 million for first startup and sold it at $100 million one year later!

Quite a great start isn’t it??

He then joined Google as the first technical director when it was only a startup and before leaving to create another startup of his own!

After that, this full of confidence and success engineer experienced his first total failure after having raised $25 millions for his startup.

He went back to Google and started thinking about failure.

He came up with 7 rules that help to bite back when one gets bitten by the failure beast.

He stated that 80% of new products will fail even if competently executed : the law of Market Failure.

However he clairly mentioned that we can beat the law, we just have to make sure that we build the right it before building it right.

First thing, don’t ever use OPD ( Other Peoples Data ) , they may have been collected in another time , for another project. Instead use YOD ( Your Own Data ).

Don’t trust market studies, experts opinions or numbers of likes or views on social media, nor everything related to thoughtland.

Remember that your product will not succeed because someone succeeded with a similar product a few months or years ago.

On the same note, your product will no fail because another similar product failed a few months or years ago.

You must collect your own data in a simple , quick and inexpensive way: PRETOTYPING




Then verify the following statement X % of Y will Z . Check figures lead to a profitable and sustainable business before launching it.

And last thing, if you have to fail, make it fast and cheap.

Never forget fail and fail again until you succeed!

7 Things an Entrepreneur Should Do When Approaching a VC

By Borja Martel Seward

Adam Draper, Draper University, Spring 2019

Adam, founder of BoostVC is an amazing human being. He spent his early youth days in Menlo Park, focusing on his tennis skills to become a professional. He then studied at UCLA and has been a huge Comic Book fan forever.

He’s son to one of the most important VCs in American History. His 33 year immersive program of being a Draper Family Member has prepared him for his life long mission; helping and aggregating all of the original thinkers, creative people and disruptors.

He loves people who take risks and learn from their mistakes; he claims to have achieved uncountable failures, from hiring and fundraising to any aspect of life. He’s only got 2 pairs of orange pants, is incredibly charismatic and an inflexion point person.

Adam is also an entrepreneur; he founded Xpert Financial, a Broker/Dealer company which gave him great experience in regulated markets.

After that, Adam felt like he wasn’t exploiting his best skills, starting and investing in companies, so he decided to create Boost, an equity crowdfunding platform.

After gaining enough experience, Boost quickly evolved into an accelerator. Their strengths were simple, they had startups and investors, the white elephant in the room had been discovered.

Today, Boost is one of the leading & cutting edge accelerators and seed funds in the world in the Crypto, Artificial Intelligence and Sci-Fi industries. They “Bring startups into the coolest basement in the world” and have backed 100+ Crypto companies, 70+ VR companies and many more across different sectors. Success stories at Boost are 2 exits and investments such as Coinbase, Polychain Capital, Cobalt, Favor and many others.

Breaking Status Quo

Adam is known for boosting new tech movements, focusing on the contrarian technology world and building deep roots in difficult to understand tech communities. He’s all into disruptive technologies that create a different future and ferocious, idealistic persons and entrepreneurs.

This is why he chose the Bitcoin ecosystem as a starting point for his investments. Today, he is one of the most important evangelizers of Bitcoin and Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Being a VC

Although it’s hard to believe, Venture Capitalists do have a business model. For the last 7 years, Boost has been iterating and reformulating their investment strategies backed by their continuous learning experiences.

In his opinion, VCs should look at the horizon and think deeply about what world they want to build into. Then, it’s just about investing capital into businesses that make that future come true.

On the other hand, it’s important to ask: 
What if it happens? What if this person succeeds?

As he recognizes, Capital is a solvable problem.

  • Conviction driven investors. Consensus is not a good way of running a fund or venture.

Being a Business, approaching a VC

Theres 7 things an entrepreneur needs to do when approaching a VC:

  1. Entrepreneurs need to know is what VCs are looking for. Make sure that you approach a VC that is looking to hear from a business like yours. In his case, it’s User Interface products!

  2. Make sure that your business is a Venture Scalabl Business. This means that you need to be solving a problem, getting paid to solve that problem and that the market is big enough. Make sure you get paid for your product!!

  3. Paint a picture of how the future is going to look. Find people and customers that support it and then reach the VC.

  4. Focus on what matters, which is nothing else than growing metrics!

  5. Don’t depend on others. VCs hate companies that depend on others.

  6. Make your business exponential growth friendly.

  7. Get ready to get rejected! Adam has 500+ rejections in his CV and that didn’t stop him from achieving anything he set himself to do!

Advice for Entrepreneurs:

Here’s a bit of advice from one of the greatest entrepreneur mentor and leader in the world.

  1. Be the Cockroach: In the beginning, all the odds are against you. Stay small while you discover what tools you’ll sweep the entire market with.

  2. Short Term vs Long Term: Short term luck is impossible to predict. On the other hand, long term is much easier to do. Think long term, try to predict the long term outcomes.

  3. Discover your fuel: Figure out what makes you wake up every morning and drives you to build your business. Where are you getting the energy from and how much of it do you have?

  4. Growth: Once you figure out how to grow, think how to grow 5X!

  5. Influences: You have lots of influences that are not you. Listen to YOU, YOUR feelings.

  6. Say Thank You

  7. Over and Undervalue: You overvalue what you can do in 1 year and undervalue what you can get in 10. Remember, long-term thinking.

  8. Luck and Winning: It’s all about who you surround yourself with. Spend time with positive and optimistic people and you’ll be fine!

  9. Rules: They are meant to be broken.

  10. Frameworks: They can help you rationalize the decision. Still, take irrational decisions.

  11. Elephants: Don’t chase them. You won’t be able to deliver.

  12. Investors: They are not technical people. They just think Macro. Be Macro when you spend time with them.

  13. Show Up: A great part of success is showing up and being in the spot when opportunities arise. Get in touch with investors!

  14. Insanity: Prepare for it if you’re planning to be an entrepreneur.

  15. Discrepancies: Make sure that you provide investors the information they are looking for and not what you think they are looking for.

  16. Who you are: How you spend 10 minute segments is who you are. Make sure you are what you want to be. If you are not, just quit what you’re doing.

  17. Pace: It’s all about it. For the first 2 years, you probably don’t know very well what’s going on. During that time, sacrifice everything to become a brand in the industry. After this, get ready for a marathon. It’s all about pace, being in the right mental state and driving the people harder.

  18. Humility: We’re just humans, on a rock, hurtling through space. We’re tiny and occupy an insignificant amount of time in the universe’s history. Be humble and you’ll achieve great things.

The Future:

Everyday, we’re getting deeper into a digital world. Make sure that your mindset is borderless and global.

We can’t predict the future, but we can think long term and create that future.


It’s all about timing. Know when to scale. While you’re discovering how to scale, survive!

Second, make sure that you scale your time. Increase productivity!

What Adam looks for:

Adam looks for a really interesting set of traits for investments. These are and are not limited to:

a. Rational People in Irrational Markets

b. Irrational People in Rational Markets

c. People with the capacity to build what they intend to

d. People with the experience in the market to build what they intend to

e. Big enough problem, big enough market

Extra Tips:

Some extra tips from Adam are:

a. Spend the time you need focusing on hiring.

b. CEO is first inventor, then product manager, then fundraiser and sales, then all they do is recruit.

c. Don’t spend much time doing corporate partnerships. They fail almost every time.

d. Charge 4x whatever your original number is.

e. The best businesses learn how to get 100,000 customers

f. Focus on brand building

g. Build your business 30% a month.

h. If you sell, you’ll achieve payroll.

i. Empires are built by smart people solving problems.

About the Drapers:

As Adam says, William Draper invests 100% in the person, Tim Draper invests 100% in the Market. While he’s still figuring out what his focus really is, what he can say is that he invests in weird people and persons that he’d hangout with that are trying to solve gigantic problems. Pitch the impossible! Because… What if it works?

About the Author:

Borja Martel Seward is a Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum and former G20 YEA and B20 Argentine delegate. He is a technological and social entrepreneur and met cryptocurrency at the age of 14.

He is a centennial, dedicated to help change the world with the people ́s power. His current startup is Lucus, a Crypto Financial Ecosystem that gives ownership to its customers and creates social good.

The Future of Tech & Everything Else….

By Doron Segev

Anne Boysen, Draper University, Spring 2019

Anne Boysen, Adwords Content Analyst at Google and Founder of After the Millennials, has the ability to visualize important trends YEARS before they actually occur.

Simply put, Anne is a strategic foreseer, thanks to her background in data & content analytics and generational theory.

During her presentation that dealt with how to indicate a trend and understand its consequences before it actually happens, we — the entrepreneurs at Draper U — were given the tools needed to better understand the direction of our individual projects.

As we all wish to thrive and create the next big thing, we must not forget that TIME is a crucial indicator which will determine whether our business is relevant, has longevity, or will not see the light of day.

Being an entrepreneur is one thing, but if your mission is to disrupt the industry you’re operating in, or even create a whole new industry of its own — you have to have the mindset of A FUTURIST.

Just like Anne’s techniques in foreseeing the next movements and trends, we should also be utilizing those techniques when thinking a few steps ahead, regarding our businesses or ideas.

A great point that I will take with me from Anne’s presentation was the 4 Questions that we have to ask ourselves when wanting to make an impact, and I’ll explain:

Entrepreneurs ask:

  1. Does it solve a problem?

  2. Does it serve a purpose?

  3. Will people use it?

  4. Is it sustainable?

No doubt that these are important questions, but when positioning ourselves as superheros, it requires us to ask those questions with an addition — the futurist addition:

  1. Does it solve a problem in the future?

  2. Does it serve a purpose in the future?

  3. Will people use it in the future?

  4. Is it sustainable in the future?

This methodology is not meant to predict the future, rather identify different scenarios that may occur.

In conclusion, the capability to utilize these techniques and anticipate adjustments (trends, innovative technologies, disruption, etc) in a market, is a defining characteristic that can separate the thin line between success and failure.

Business Model Canvas

By Abdullah Almadani

Not sure what experiment to run? Unclear about your business model? Nervous about leading teams? All these questions were answered by David J Bland, the founder of Precoil a business that helps companies create a repeatable process for rapidly testing new business ideas.

David was an early adopter of the Lean Startup, a book on building business and creating growth. It was a great moment for me to be able to meet and introduce David, as his book is one of my favorites.

David took us through an interactive workshop where we built our own business model canvas and explored the model from different points of view.

The business model canvas is a strategic management and lean startup template for developing new or documenting existing business models. It is a visual chart with elements describing a firm’s or product’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances.

Building your company is a long journey, but if you spend a good amount of time planning you’ll mitigate a lot of risks that you may face down the road. David gave us the right tools and techniques to make our startup feasible, desirable, and viable. He showed us some the business models that failed epicly, and the reason that customers will always look for the three pillars, not just one.

For any entrepreneur, if you want to build something, you have to know how to measure it and learn from the results on how to improve it. You can’t improve what you can’t measure.

Imran Sheikh’s Top 5 Tips For Successful Meetings With VC’s

By Lamya Al Shammary and Sariah Alderhali

Imran Sheikh, Draper University, Spring 2019

Draper University kicked off a full day of speaker panels with an inspirational entrepreneur, Imran Sheikh. He started his entrepreneurial journey building companies from his bedroom in Pakistan to being among the most successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He is now the Director of Product Design and Innovation at ShareThisinc., a well established and successful company empowering 3 million publishers and 420 millions users to share content across the internet. He is currently helping entrepreneurs worldwide by mentoring them and making sure they’re addressing the right pain points.

Sheikh walked us through his fundraising journey with VC’s and how he got countless “No’s” before he got his first “YES!” DU students were curious to find out how he tackled the following 5 questions that investors ask startup founders:

1) How are you different? What makes your team suited to solve this problem?

Imran said “you have to understand what you’re building and why?Sell a dream, not your product. How are you going to change the world? Make an action plan. You have to question every single thing you work on every single day (your product, your team, your co-founders, your investor). Are your investors pushing you? Are they nice? Nice investors are the worst investors you can have; you need investors who ask you tough questions and push you all the way. Pick co-founders that will be with you through thick and thin.”

2) How do you get an investor on board if you don’t have a CTO?

You don’t need to be a tech-savvy guy to see the potential growth of a Minimum Viable Product. Make a prototype, make it as perfect as it can be. A good MVP solves a particular problem using the most basic functionalities. It targets a specific audience by addressing a single pain point. Show the investors that you can contribute value as a non-technical founder. Use a tool likeInvisionto mimic user experience and improve your design workflow.

3) What traction have you made?

“Be as clear as you can. Know your numbers. Don’t hesitate. Be transparent.” Imran advised us that traction can be addressed in many ways — “If you don’t have revenue, focus on your users, if you don’t have users, focus on video views. Pick a single metric and make it grow.”

4) What if a big company in your market (e.g. Facebook) decides to do what you’re doing? Will they eat you up?

Imran confidently responded with “tell them you’ll be acquired by them because you know your target market better than anyone else.”

5) What milestones have you met? How will you grow?

Imran said that is one of the most difficult questions: “you have to be able to paint a picture of how your startup is going to look like 6 months, 5 years, 10 years down the line. If you don’t have any growth right now, you have to promise them that the next time you meet you will be 10x larger.”


The Difference Between 299 and 300

By Sariah Alderhali

Draper University students awaited Jeff Hoffman’s arrival with absolute excitement and boy, were we in for a ride. Jeff was unlike any other speaker we had, he reeled us and by the end of his talk, had most of us in tears.


Jeff Hoffman, Draper University, Spring 2019

Jeff Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur (Priceline.com,uBid.comColorJar), worldwide motivational speaker, published author, Hollywood film producer, and a producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album in 2015, and is now a philanthropist. He dropped out of Yale, left a great software engineering job, was broke and just wanted to travel the world.

He always had a knack for problem-solving. He wanted to book a 4pm flight, and the travel agent did not offer that flight that he knew was available. After continuously asking them, they gave him the flight. His frustration led him to develop the software behind Expedia!

That was not the only pain-point he encountered (and then solved) in the travel industry. He once missed a flight because of the long lines at airport check-ins and was among many other frustrated travelers. This led him to build the self-service check-in kiosks that are now available in almost every airport worldwide. After successfully building several multi-billion dollar companies, in 2012, Jeff took a break from building companies and focused all his efforts on giving back to entrepreneurs as he believes they are the ones who will change the world.

What does Jeff owe his success to? This toolset he shared with us:

1) Strive for an Epic Life- “Be the protagonist of your own adventure and take the risks and the chances to leave your mark in the universe.”

2) Solve a Real Problem- “When most people encounter an annoying problem, they figure out how to avoid it. When entrepreneurs encounter an annoying problem, they figure out how to solve it.”

3) Be Freedom Driven - “Don’t chase money, chase excellence. The money will follow.”

4) Win a Gold Medal at One Thing- “What is your ONE thing? Stop trying to be everything to everybody. When you win a gold medal at anything, the rest of the world comes to your doorstep.”

5) Develop True Customer Intimacy — “Get out of the office! Change your clothes & go hang out where your customers are.”

6) Find Second Slide Customers — “Start off with a very narrow target market then start broadening your target as you expand.”

7) Market to Intent, not Activity- “Tell them your purpose, not what you actually sell.”

8) Focus on Operational Excellence- “Make sure EVERYTHING you do is one of your goals.”

9) Build a Great Team — “The scarcest resource in the world is not money, it’s talent. Go out & hunt for the best of the best. Amazing things happen when smart, capable people believe they can achieve something.”

10)Work Hard(my personal favorite) — One day, while training for an important fight in Las Vegas,Evander Holyfield asked Hoffman to keep count of his reps, and as he heard 299 and 300; he paused to double-check with Hoffman that he had reached his goal, still he did one more to be reassured. “Look at me, Jeff — the difference between 299 and 300 is the difference between the heavyweight champion of the world and every other boxer.”

Jeff left DU students inspired, excited and ready to change the world. Jeff was genuinely interested in our startups and hung around campus. I showed him my startup, Bondai, and was humbled to hear his great feedback.

An Hour of Mind Stimulation: Merging Data, Power and Security

Geeta Chauhan: The convergence of AI and Blockchain/Deep Cloud AI

By Abdulrahman Bin Omar


Geeta Chauhan, Draper University, Spring 2019

Geeta Chauhan didn’t come only to educate us, but also to stimulate our minds. Geeta is an icon in the field of AI and blockchain with more than 25 years of experience — she took us all to a journey through the newest advances in AI and Blockchain technology. With her wide experience in scaling complex systems for various companies, ranging from startups to fortune 500s, her advice was invaluable to us as new entrepreneurs.

Geeta is the Chief Technology Officer of DeepCloud AI, an Airbnb version of Amazon Cloud, where she shared a lot of insight on how to converge the power of Artificial Intelligence, mainly Machine Learning, with the security of blockchain.

In only 1-hour workshop, I believe many of us discovered a great way to improve our business! The workshop challenged us to think how to combine AI and Blockchain in our business, the benefit from the convergence effect. Can our business benefit from the decentralized AI? How we can leverage Data Marketplaces in our businesses? The great thing about Geeta’s workshop is not only that it makes us think about new ideas on how to combine these two powerful tools, but also to think about the ethical aspects as well. This can be achieved by ensuring that the data we collect (or are going to collect) from our business is not biased and to build a fair trustworthy system.

In the last segment of the workshop, we thought about an interesting exercise about “Well-being Metrics”, which to think how areas such as personal security, social connections, health status, housing, work-life balance, and income shape our business. It was a great pleasure to have the chance to consume the knowledge from this great leader.

CRISPR Diagnostic

By Yiming Hu

Trevor Martin, the Co-Founder and CEO of Mammoth Biosciences, is building a CRISPR-based disease detect engine. He earned his PhD in biology from Stanford University. He was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list for shaking up diagnostics and believes that people from all backgrounds should take risks to become entrepreneurs.


Trevor Martin, Draper University, Spring 2019

What is CRISPR and why is it important?

CRISPRs are specialized stretches of DNA. The protein Cas9 is an enzyme that acts like a pair of molecular scissors, capable of cutting strands of DNA.

This technology is about human body’s defense mechanisms of bacteria and archaea. These organisms use CRISPR-derived RNA and Cas proteins, protein Cas9 most of the time, to foil attacks by viruses in DNA. The CRISPR-derived RNA and Cas proteins can chop up and destroy the DNA of a foreign invader. This technology allows us to edit our genes and it creates some social opinions.

How can we harness CRISPR for diagnostics?

CRISPR diagnostics is an application of the genome engineering tool for diseases detection. Mammoth Biosciences is aiming to develop diagnostic tests that can detect major diseases by using CRISPR technology. This test requires either people’s blood, urine, or saliva, and the purpose is to extract the needed genetic materials from them.

What is the future for CRISPR-based diagnostics?

CRISPR-based diagnostics is a trend for sure. One day people can go to CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart in their neighborhoods to pick up CRISPR-based diagnostics items and do the test easily. Diagnostic and therapeutic of CRISPR can help people and the crowds can adopt this technology with no fears. It would be super transformative in biotech and healthcare industry. It can help people live healthier and longer which are definitely beneficial for all the human beings.

Healthcare Opportunities for Investors

By Manal Alkhalifah


Alan Pitt, Draper University, Spring 2019

Alan Pitt a physician in the Neuroradiology Department at Barrow Neurological Institute, gave Draper University students his insight on the barrier of the healthcare system in the U.S. Alan enjoys talking about HealthCare on the Healthcare Pittstop podcast and is also involved in six startups. His hope is to make a difference in the universe in the ways we care for each other.

Alan began by explaining that Capitalism and Healthcare do not mix, where, 18% of the GDP in the US is going to healthcare, and 30% of that goes to administration costs.

“The most expensive cost in the hospital are people, not machines,” said Alan. Stakeholders, such as the enterprises, doctors, vendors, patients and buyers all have different views on the healthcare industry. Patients are in denial, and care about convenience and reassurance, whereas, doctors care most about referrals, getting home early and better care for their patients.

Doctors are constantly burned out due to long hours and heavy paperwork. There is a hierarchy that exists in the healthcare ecosystem, which is trying to be solved by technology as a service.

It is important for hospitals, payers and PBM to adapt to the influx of technology in the healthcare industry in order for to improve the situation for all stakeholders. The enterprises have an incredibly long sales cycle of 24–36 months, which could potentially be reduced by 30% with the introduction of technological advances.

Secondly, vendors — doctors and patients have a totally different perspective on the services provided.

Finally, Alan mentions Avizia, a startup started in 2013 by Cisco, where they purchased EmergedMD because they have customers and software in place. American Well bought out Avizia due to their services being “Have to Have, not Nice to Have”

Blockchain in Renewable Energy

By Chris Orasanu


Marco Terruzzin is quite an impressive guy and his talk really hit some of us close to home. Here`s a guy who delivered 200+ projects totaling $3 Bil in value, right in front of us, ready to have his brain picked clean by a room filled with eager entrepreneurs. Marco took us on a journey to understand potential applications of blockchain technology in Energy, but for me, the takeaways of his talk were:

1. The price for Energy is fluid. Not many people might know, as it`s a bit counter intuitive, but not all megawatts cost the same. The price is determined by free trade, so fluctuations in the price are driven by the manufacturer, grid capacity, distance from the manufacturer to the consumers, special events (like a sport event that makes everybody tune in at the same time) and many other factors.

2. Storage: One of the biggest issues making the adoption of green energy less rapid than it could be is Energy Storage. We can`t yet apply Moore`s Law to batteries (although it would certainly be nice) or to Energy Manufacturing. Storage seems the be the next big issue to solve, as green energy manufacturing typically relies on either Wind or Sun (Wind Turbines or PhotoVoltaic panels), both of which, while sustainable, aren`t really that predictable. So if you have the capacity to generate more energy than you consume at times, you should have the capacity to store the execess, in order to use it later on, when your capacity drops (Wind slows down or there`s a cloudy day).

3. Not everything needs a blockchain, Energy however could make good use of it. The way Marco explained it, there`s 3 major stakeholders we should account for: the energy manufacturer, the grid & the market (setting the price & consumption levels). We could also mention the states & governments, who can come in and set different prices, but the entire world seems to be moving into a free trade ecosystem when it comes to energy.

Blockchain could theoretically be used in order to ensure faster payments for the energy manufacturer and to bring in transparency over the process for all of the stakeholders. So in theory, you should be able to generate energy (panels or turbines), pump it back in the grid at specific times (when prices are at their highest due to consumption & demand) and profit.

Blockchain could be a serious application for a new form of energy manufacturer: with more and more people looking into generating their energy off-grid, you could postulate that we can bring all of these small providers online and have them act in unison as a digital provider (sum up all of the outputs from the small manufacturers and there`s potential to become a serious player in the energy market).

Marco`s presentation opens the mind to new paradigms and forces you to reconsider what you know about how energy is “created”, stored and consumed. Once you understand who the key players are, what pains they have, it becomes your responsibility to either have a role in the upcoming change, or to remain an observer, this time, an informed one.

Exponential Technology

By Niki Ram


Arthur Chait, Draper University, Spring 2019

Arthur Chait came by Draper University on Tuesday April 2nd and gave us a great overview of Silicon Valley and the power of Moore’s Law and exponential thinking.

Arthur himself is a seasoned entrepreneur and a scientist by training. He has had a long and illustrious career. What I loved about Arthur’s lecture was how flawlessly he explained the power of exponential technology and exponential thinking.

It’s easy to forget how, not that long ago, Silicon Valley was just farm land and yet we have made great technological advances in a short amount of time.

For example, the question he posed was what makes Silicon Valley so innovative? It’s the fact that entrepreneurship is valued, and bureaucracy isn’t. It’s the culture of risk-taking and there’s less of the stigma of failure. As opposed to other countries where if you were to fail it would be very difficult to get back on your feet because it may not have a culture where risk-taking is embraced.

And that silicon is an element, one of the purest substances ever used in history.

So what is Moore’s Law? Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a silicon chip doubles every 2 years.

What does that really mean?

Arthur took us on a journey to explain how the search for artificial light led to the light bulb and then to the vacuum tube, the transistor, the integrated circuit and ultimately the computer on a chip or CPU with billions of transistors all due to exponential technology. Along the way he told the story of how the quest for a clean burning fuel almost led to the extinction of sperm whales since oil from their skull cavities was considered a prized fuel. Ironically, kerosene which was refined from fossil fuel was an excellent replacement for sperm whale oil and saved the whales. But burning kerosene for light was still potentially dangerous and gave low light levels

The breakthrough was when Thomas Edison replaced kerosene lighting with electric light. Today lightbulbs are everywhere and so it’s easy to take them for granted. But Arthur pointed out what it took for a successful light bulb. For example, Edison had to find a filament that could withstand high temperatures and reportedly tried thousands of things before achieving success. Light bulbs also required, a vacuum to keep the filament from burning out too soon, a glass bulb to protect the filament and let light shine, and also a power supply and fixtures.

But light bulbs were not enough an entire ecosystem had to be created. For example, cities, homes and buildings had to be wired for the first time, equipment was needed to produce power, and companies were needed to sell and distribute power. The ecosystem also included all the installation and repair companies and even regulations.

Arthur then showed how experiments with lightbulbs led to vacuum tubes and how vacuum tubes allowed amplification, radio, TV and all sorts of electronics. Arthur showed a famous picture of Martin Luther King “The March on Washington”. This picture is where MLK addressed thousands of people with the I have a dream speech. Political rallies such as these would have been impossible without the amplification provided by vacuum tubes.

He goes on to explain the advent of transistors in 1947. Arthur passed transistors around, I felt they were really small but, thanks to Moore’s Law transistors have become smaller and smaller and today there are billions on a single chip, and you can’t even see them without a microscope. He then gave examples of how this exponential technology changed the world made every modern electric device possible.

Arthur explained that Moore’s Law cannot go on forever. Chip features may not be able to go below 5 nanometers since at that point they approach the size of individual atoms.

Exponential thinking reveals new opportunities. Such as Quantum computing, 3D architecture and different materials like carbon nanotubes.

Great talk, the takeaway I took from Arthur wasif we can better plan for the accelerating pace, we can ease the transition from one paradigm to the next, and greet the future in stride.

The Future of Robots

By Tarad Alhasan

Henry Hu is the founder, & CEO of Cafex and was born and raised in China until going to the US to study entrepreneurship at Babson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

One day Henry was waiting in line for a coffee at the Singapore airport where he stood there for a good thiry minutes before the barista finally took his order. He was irritated and began looking at the other customers also in line- all of them visibly unhappy as well.


Henry Hu at Draper University, Spring 2019

It was then that Henry came up with an idea to change the basic barista job into a robotic barista; he dropped out of Babson and started working on his new idea. Henry started his new mission by learning CAD to create his first 3D design, then by experimenting with a robot machine with regular steel and went on to get help from a friend working at a steel manufacturer to build his first prototype.

As soon as the prototype was working, he needed investment to have a more functional robot. He was an avid listener of the Jason Calacanis podcast where he learned how to not only get in front of investors, but pitch to them as well. Jason has a venture capital fund that invest in early stage companies and an incubator, Jason loved the idea of Café X and invested in it. Café X has raised more than $14M since the start of the company.

Café X now has three location in san Francisco and will be opining the fourth location in San Francisco airport. Café X offers more than 13 different types of coffee, 4 milks, cold brew coffee and ice cream to top it off.

Ordering from a Café x is simple, you either order from the application or direct from the kiosk, you might find one coffee specialist around the Café x to give you some recommendations to what you should get or answer any other question about the robot. Café x is working with local coffee shops to get coffee beans and recipes, 50–60% of Café x customers are recurring customers that order directly from the application.

When Henry was asked about the future and vision of the company he said their focus is on increasing the menu, upgrading the robot to make it faster and more efficient, and the idea of expanding their robots to solve for the food and beverage industry. Henry believes that simple tasks in the restaurant should be fully automated.

Machine Learning is the New Programming

By Eduard Bolmosov

Today we had an amazing presentation by Jason Yosinski, Co-Founder & Machine Learning Scientist at UBER AI where he focused on understanding the technology of machine learning.

Jason’s speech was very interesting and started with a graph showing the exact phase we have now in tech implementation.


Jason says that the one which allowed to raise machine learning was a computation power which increases every year, and the amount of data which people learn to collect. All these factors made it possible to build different models for any dataset you would get. And as in any science there is a capability to understand the technology by the people: how do we get it? How do we use it? Is that technology used for good or for bad?

The tech understanding develops in a different tempo, it all started when the understanding was higher than the actual ability to perform. Later on the computation and datasets were developing and meeting the point of efficiency for the technology, but nowadays it is getting more inefficient because the tech has started to overtake our understanding. And it is the great interest for a dedicated people who work with machine learning.

Nowadays we pick the phone and say — “Hello, Google” and this phrase opens for us all the power of computer abilities to search, filter, and give feedback for a request. We also build robots which learn the way they orientate in a room by learning on their faults. It was actually a great experiment for a self-learning robot. First it was taught to move forward, left, right and back as it is in kids programming tools. But in several days the unit learned to walk in a different style, the robot thought that it had some limbs disabled from operation, it was actually crawling, then dancing. And all that the computer made by itself relying on the date and patterns it had been provided at magnificent speed 9x the speed of the coding ability of an average programmer. And what? Machines are getting smarter and they are already beating us in many fields, now it is coding and programming for learning purposes.

The session took some time to review a valuable part of the Machine learning, computer vision.

Jason showed the slide describing what neurons actually are, and how they work for defining images


The neural network consists of different layers of sets of neurons. Every layer and every neuron in it is responsible for a specific template. For example you could make a layer defining colors, contrast, black and white intense. The layer of neurons define objects, like if there is a face presented, or a line, of text. So the tech works when the image of cat (for example) passes initial layers of colors and contrast, then goes to the layer defining pattern for animals, then moves into the layer of cat type and in the end it knows the exact type of a cat. It is incredible! How many types of cats can you name? 5–10, but machine can now define almost every type. It is all about the dataset.

The data is the cornerstone of the technology, who gets the more data gets the more precise labeling and in the end models.

We also need to take into consideration the regulation. Jason thinks that giving rights to decide whether to provide data or not is all their rights. At the same time it is important to solve the problem of having data monopoly for giants of IT markets. As there shouldn’t be the time when 2–3 companies in the world can rule it just by having access to the peoples data.

In conclusion we talked about the hype cycle for machine learning.


Jason thinks that in some time the hype and demand for the new specialist would decrease as the tech would get widely spread all over the world and become like programming, people who were coding previously just would learn how to build neural, and this would be a rise for ML in the 21st century!

It was an absolutely interesting presentation and I hope many people have a chance to visit one like this to get more understanding of machines, their abilities and more importantly our abilities to rule them and guide them to the better world —and not the dark time of Terminator antiutopia series.

Alumni Spotlight: Shawee and the Power of Hackathons

How did you find out about Draper University?

Four months ago one of the cofounders of my company was in a business trip in the Bay Area and one of the places he visited was Hero City. Back in Brazil he told me to apply to the program. I applied, was accepted and the magic happened!

What do you think was the most valuable lesson you learned at Draper University?

One of the most important lesson I’ve learned in the program was to never give up and always try to break through my limits. Especially in the survival week, it happened over and over. Also the 10X mindset was a big contribution for my formation as an entrepreneur.

How has what you learned at Draper University helped your business?

Almost everything that I’ve learned in DU helped me in my business. As I said before, thinking 10X is one of the things that made a huge difference in our future projections and helped us to see exactly where we’re going in the near future and how we’re going to disrupt our industry. And of course, I learned a lot on how to deal and have good investors in the table, so I feel so much more prepared to have investors and be more smart on selecting the right investor for me.


It all began with a request to organize a hackathon for a client. They may not know at that time, but this would be the first of many coding marathons managed by Wendel, 22, Rodrigo, 25, and Abraão, 31, the founders of Shawee.

Sponsored by companies, nonprofit groups, universities, and other organizations, hackathons are programming challenges that bring together multidisciplinary teams (made up of developers, designers and curious) in order to create solutions to a problem in a short time. A collaborative project in a relaxed environment shows the potential of co-creation and it is able to change the mindset of all involved.

The participants usually developed their idea and present it as a website, an app or a demo, gaining experience through the teamwork and the knowledge exchange. And from the perspective of the institutions, hackathons can promote the development of innovative ideas, create a new relationship with the brand, attract talents and even motivate their own employees.

To organize their first hackathon, the founders did extensive research, discovering that all the steps were commonly organized on paper! It was even possible to find digital solutions to help in separate parts of the process (ex., one tool to apply and other to create teams), but can you imagine how crazy it was to think about the structure of the event and to separate all the project’s data developed by the participants? There were data registered on papers, emails and spreadsheets! They had to manually cross all those information by themselves.

So, in 2017 Shawee was created. With their own initial investment, the startup started to developed an online platform (today available at https:/shawee.io/) that helps with all the steps of a hackathon, from the registration of the participants, to the jury’s evaluation.

The culture of hacking is well established in developed countries, but it is still growing in Brazil. The idea behind this has always been to spread this kind of event and to improve the experience to all involved — organizers, participants, mentors and judges -, providing a methodology and bringing dynamism from start to finish.

Today, Shawee has 25 employees, organizes hackathons throughout Brazil and recently started operating in Silicon Valley. Just in the last year, Shawee was present at hackathons of big companies, like Uber, Itaú Unibanco Bank and IBM, and participated at the most important events: Web Summit, Tech Day New York and Disrupt SF.

Semester in Silicon Valley Program

The Semester in Silicon Valley program is a four month intensive college semester program in Silicon Valley, CA, geared toward helping individuals learn the technical, business and leadership skills needed to become successful entrepreneurs. Students earn up to 15 college credits through the program.

Arizona State University has partnered with Draper University to create an immersive program where innovation thrives, through a unique in-residence experience featuring ASU faculty and curriculum at Draper University in San Mateo, California. In just four months, you’ll gain the tools and knowledge to launch and grow your own startup, and turn powerful ideas into reality.

Our Alumni


My startup Conbio went from idea to real customers in four months. It is all about actual growth and practice instead of only theory.


I have built lifelong connections with friends, mentors and investors who really cared about my business and my success.


Best startup experience ever! There are no dull moments and every day is packed with activities and learning opportunities.


Learn By Doing

Earn a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business

ENT305: Introduction to Entrepreneurship
ENT360: Entrepreneurship and Value Creation
CIS394: Mobile and Web Programming*
CIS394: Product Design & 3D Printing
WPC494: DU - Immersive Entrepreneurial Experience**

16 weeks | 15 credits
Starts August 21, 2017

* These classes can be replaced with other iCourses with approval from an adviser.
** These classes are required by all students.

A New Classroom Experience

Draper Curriculum Overview

Why is this venture important to you? What does the world look like when you are enormously successful? What problem are you solving? What specific products/services do you plan to build and deliver? What are your value and growth hypotheses and how are you planning to prove or disprove them with data?

Founding Team and Mentors
Do you have the appropriate engineering, creative and customer acquisition skills on your team to start building a successful venture? Have you landed a lead adviser? How is this person valuable to you, your team and your business?

Market Analysis
Who are your customers? What are the demographic and sociographic profiles of the people who will make the decision to buy? Where do they hang out? Is your market big enough to warrant moving forward? How do you know? Who are your competitors? Why is your product/service significantly better than the current solution out there?

Legal Structure
What are the different business entities and which one will you choose? How do you structure a founding team agreement? What is a trademark? What is a patent? How do you protect yourself and your business?

Conduct smartly designed and free (or low-cost) experiments to further validate what you've learned from surveys and interviews. Create a minimum viable product and test the market’s reaction.

Financial Structure
Put together a financial model and use it to smartly forecast your revenue and expenses. Are you building a business that can be profitable? Where is the initial startup capital coming from?

Finish building a functional product and deploy to your market. Launch a "Coming Soon" page to let your network know that your product is on the way. Have them sign up with basic contact info to get in the queue for your private beta. Identify key influencers in your queue that you should be talking to for upcoming marketing purposes.

Technology Training
Throughout the program you will be learning computer aided product design with CAD, mobile app and web programming, and graphic branding design. All software licenses are provided by the program.


Entrepreneurship Taught by Entrepreneurs

You'll learn from some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs and startup experts in Silicon Valley, including speakers such as:

Bill Draper
Venture Capitalist
Tina Seelig
Executive Director, STVP
Biz Stone
Co-Founder, Twitter
Aaron Levie
Founder, BOX
Michelle Phan
Entrepreneur, YouTube Star
Sabeen Ali
Founder, AngelHack
Tony Hsieh
CEo, Zappos
Dave McClure
Founder, 500 Startups

Program Fees

Housing & Meal Plan Live on campus in San Mateo, CA with other entrepreneurs and mentors. Buffet lunch catered daily from a local restaurant. $7,000*

Program Fee Additional special program fee that includes all activities, field trips, guest speakers and the DU experience. $7,000

ASU Tuition Normal ASU tuition will be assessed based on residency status. Varies**

* Housing is based on double occupancy dorm rooms. Single occupancy rooms are available for an additional fee.
** Tuition varies based on in-state, out of state or international residency status

Real Results

We’ve created 280+ startups that have raised $51.4+ million. They're joined accelerators like Techstars, 500 Startups, and YCombinator, and are funded by some of the most prestigious investors including Marc Andreessen, Tim Draper, and Marc Benioff.