Tim Draper

DU Alum Redefines Sharing Contact Info

ALUMNI ALERT: Michael Juliano of Think You redefines the way we customize and share contact information via mobiles phone and now the wrist.

MikeJuliano
MikeJuliano

Think You, Inc.,  a company that streamlines how people share contact information and connect with one another, today announced the release of youPass for Android and Apple Watch. youPass for Apple Watch brings the convenience of linking with people and sharing contact information right to the user's wrist. The Android version works just as seamlessly as the iOS version, but has received significant updates to streamline the user experience.

“With youPass on two new platforms we are now reaching a larger audience and sharing contact information in new and unique ways,” said Mike Juliano, Draper University Alumni and CEO & Founder of Think You, “We’re incredibly excited to welcome Android users for the first time and explore a whole new dimension of interaction with Apple Watch.”

youPass-1080x675
youPass-1080x675

The app is easy to use, individuals simply scan a code on a mobile phone or Apple Watch to instantly link with people they meet. Users may also send a link to anyone with a mobile device—with or without the youPass app installed. The app can also send a personalized vCard with contact details that have been customized by the sender.

“Mike and his team have created a unique and centralized way for people to customize the personal contact and social networking information that they share with other people,”

said Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates/DFJ/Draper University.

“His vision and gusto embody what we try to teach at Draper University. Think big, go all out and never be afraid of failure. Redefining the way we connect with one another beyond the exchange of a phone number or email address will broaden the depth of our contacts -- something a business card cannot do.”

youPass for iOS and Android also received significant updates to streamline the user experience. With youPass v2.4, the core functions (scan, share and connect) are brought to the forefront of the UI and are accessible via simple swipes. In addition, youPass v2.4 adds support for additional ways to connect including social networks, messenger and video communication platforms. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine, Tumblr, YouTube, Skype, Kik, Google+, About.Me, Tsū, Ello, ooVoo, SoundCloud, Flickr and many more.

For the original version, visit PRWeb.

Learn more about Mike and his journey to Draper University.

Why Audiences Love Entrepreneur Reality Shows Like ‘Shark Tank’

TONY CAPASSO, ERIN BRADY, CARLY MARTINETTI, SHAWN ISAAC, MALCOLM TYSON, SEQUOIA BLODGETT (DRAPER UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEUR IN RESIDENCE), TIM DRAPER (DRAPER UNIVERSITY FOUNDER), CHARLIE TAIBI (DRAPER UNIVERSITY PROGRAM DIRECTOR), ANA MARTE, JOHN FRYE, KEYONNA PATTERSON, DAVID KRAM, SHARON WINTER
Re-blogged from  of NerdWallet

You’re probably familiar with “Shark Tank,” the ABC show where real entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of equity investors. Since the program first aired in 2009, a slew of similar shows have popped up, including “Food Fortunes” on Food Network and “The Profit” on CNBC. ABC also launched the spinoff “Beyond the Tank” in May. The latest entrepreneurial reality show, “Startup U,” premieres on ABC Family in August. It will follow students at Draper University, a seven-week entrepreneur education program in Silicon Valley.

“Shark Tank” averaged 7.5 million viewers in its most recent season, its sixth, according to the Nielsen Co. Why do entrepreneurial reality shows resonate with viewers? We put that question to some business and media experts.

They inspire entrepreneur hopefuls

Reality shows about entrepreneurs are a form of “success porn,” says Paul Levinson, a communications and media studies professor at Fordham University in New York. Rather than depicting contestants becoming millionaires by chance, these shows feature entrepreneurs earning investments with their novel ideas and clever inventions.

“This appeals to fans who have an idea or two about how to become rich, which they’re sure would work if only they could find the right listener,” Levinson says via email.

They teach lessons about entrepreneurship

Startup UWatching shows like “Shark Tank” and “The Profit” can teach wannabe entrepreneurs about equity capital and how to make an effective pitch. Venture capitalist Tim Draper, founder of Draper University, says “Startup U” will reveal new marketing techniques and ways of thinking about finance, in addition to showing how entrepreneurs can be successful working in teams.

Viewers “are going to learn that a lot of entrepreneurship is just taking that first step and just doing it,” Draper tells NerdWallet. “Then they’re going to learn that it’s hard.”

They give viewers a vicarious thrill

A lot of people view entrepreneurship as a skill that you have to be born with, and that therefore is unattainable to them, says Berna Aksu, a business professor at Saint Mary’s College of California, in Moraga. Watching reality shows like “Shark Tank” lets audiences experience the entrepreneurial dream vicariously without actually taking the risk, she says.

“When people can’t do something themselves,” she says, “they still like to see other people succeed.”

They advertise cool new products

Shows like “Shark Tank” are as much a marketing tool as a funding opportunity for entrepreneurs. “What better commercial than network TV?” says Lisa Hennessy. Hennessy is executive producer of the NBC weight-loss reality show “The Biggest Loser” and co-founder of DreamJobbing.com, a site that advertises unique, short-term job opportunities, such as a photojournalist stint in Norway or three weeks with the Nitro Circus.

Products that gained popularity on “Shark Tank” include Ava the Elephant, an animal-shaped medicine dropper for kids; ChordBuddy, a guitar attachment for novice musicians; and the Squatty Potty, a bathroom step stool designed to promote “healthy toilet posture,” as its website says.

They show underdogs beating the odds

Although entrepreneurship has grown in popularity, it’s still not easy, says Marci Weisler, a creator of “Queen Bee,” a show featuring female entrepreneurs on Ora TV. Audiences enjoy rooting for entrepreneurs’ pursuit of the American dream, she says.

“Shows like these show the struggles and successes,” she says by email, “and that average people have a chance to do extraordinary things and create big business.”

Teddy Nykiel is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:teddy@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @teddynykiel.

 

Don't miss the Startup U series premiere Tuesday, August 11th at 10pm|9c on ABC Family!

Bloomberg Radio: Tim Draper

Bloomberg Radio Interview

Cory Johnson & Carol Massar speak with Venture Capitalist Tim Draper.

[embed]https://soundcloud.com/raperniversity/bloomberg-radio-interview-with-tim-draper-cory-johnson-carol-massar[/embed]

Cory: Wait, before we bring Tim Draper in Carol, do you know where I was July 3rd in the afternoon? Tim Draper Does.

Carol: Tim, do tell. Where was Cory Johnson on the afternoon of July 3rd?

Cory: Yes, I was lecturing at Draper University.

Tim:  Oh of course you were— and you were awesome! They loved you.

Cory: He was asleep at that time… it was really interesting, Tim! Thank you for the invitation to do that. Tell us about Draper University.

Tim: It’s an amazing place. The biggest surprise is that it worked. I started the school 4 years ago to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world who wanted to learn how to really be an entrepreneur, or at least get that wherewithal to become. So we started this school, Draper University of Heroes, and it’s amazing the students its attracted. Cory, I bet you’ve never spoken in a class where they are so dynamic and so dedicated to learning.

Cory: It was interesting, Tim. So I gave a modified version of a speech I’ve given at the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, and at the Knight School of Business at Stanford... both  graduate classes. Both those were very different. But this was very different, too. These people were really engaged in wanting to be entrepreneurs.

I talked a lot about accounting in this lecture which they weren’t especially interested in. They liked the tales of woe and intrigue. But these were people who were trying to take the discussion I had, and put it in their context of wanting to be startup entrepreneurs. Every single one of them.

Tim: Yeah, and that’s the cut. It’s getting harder to get into Draper University but it is a school that has some of the most dynamic, driven, entrepreneurial-minded people in the world. It’s something we’ve trained our admissions office to look for. We’re getting better and better at it. It’s really exciting! We take about 70 students per quarter, so we’ve had about 400 students. They’ve started about 200 companies, come from over 40 countries.

This most recent session is 70 students over 33 countries. The word has really gotten out. It’s a really exciting place to be. It’s only a 6-8 week program. If you’re a true entrepreneur, you don’t want to dedicate 4 years to become educated. You want to do it as quickly as possible and get out there and make your business happen.

Carol: So Tim, this is your Innovate Your State Program at Draper, right?

Tim: No, Innovate Your State is another program. Innovate Your State spun out of some things I saw. What it really is, is a crowd-sourced opportunity. This first one is for Californians to crowd-source and come up with new ideas they want placed on the ballot, or that they want me to fund, or me to donate to. We had 400 submissions, now we’re down to the Sweet 16. That group is really innovative.

They’ve come up with some amazing ideas, some that are Venture Governance. I’ve funded two of them now. One was called “Open Gov”, which was all about transparency in government. Another is called PlaceVote, which allows a Congress Person to put the bills in front of them out to their constituents and have constituents vote on them.

Long term, this could be a situation where the Congressmen gets his $175,000 a year, and his 5 Million Dollar slush fund, and his 50 staffers… but all he has to do is push the button that says which way his population voted on something. So it’s a really interesting and innovative idea.

There are some of the 16 that are quite interesting. They are really targeting getting on the ballot in 2016 or 2018, and we are figuring out if we want to take one and put it on the ballot in California.

Cory: And who is the “We”, Tim?

Tim: I have a team that does this for me, it’s the same team that helped me with trying to get Six Californias on the ballot.

Cory: Which is a whole other fascinating thing we can talk about another time. Your unconventional interest in politics is very interesting to me. I feel like this is the season when political candidates are running up and down Highway 280 asking every VC and CEO and anyone else with a thick wallet for money.

Yet, you’ve taken an approach that is very different saying, “I want much more dramatic change than picking one of the candidates running for one of the two major parties.”

Tim: I’m a believer that we really need strong structural change throughout the entire country, but specifically in California where we’ve gone from 1st to 47th in K-12 Education, and 1st to 50th as the least transparent State in the Union, and we’ve gone from 1st to 50th as the worst state to do business in. Our infrastructure spending has gone from 26% down to 3%.

There are some real problems in California, and the costs are higher, and the value we’re getting as constituents is less. There’s a real need of something structural to change. There have been some great Goveners put in all the way through.

Cory: Tim Draper of DFJ, Venture Capitalist and big thinker, thank you very much. Always a pleasure talking to you.

Tune into Bloomberg Radio Shows by visiting here.

Loopd Lands Additional $1.5M to Power Corporate Events Analytics

Tim Draper, Marc Benioff, and Mesh Ventures provide followup funding to help Loopd expand their team and scale out internationally.

[embed width="123" height="456"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nns54nMHkt8[/embed]

Following its initial seed round last Fall, Loopd has raised a total of $2.6 million from key East Coast, West Coast and international angel and seed fund investors. Leading the current round are Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff; venture capitalist Tim Draper; and Taiwan-based Mesh Ventures.

With its new round of investment, Loopd plans to focus on building a more cost-effective, feature-rich relational analytics system; growing a world-class, high-velocity sales initiative; enhancing its operational capabilities; and exploring new market opportunities.

During the next year, the Loopd team plans to power 20 Fortune 2000 corporate conferences with its wearables-based connected hardware solution and 40 high-quality events with its app-based software solution.

At events, corporate marketers can generate real-time physical (also known as "off-line") analytics from an active network of smart badges and apps. By employing its patent-pending bi-directional hardware and software solutions, Loopd enables attendees to exchange contact information on a face-to-face basis, collect marketing materials instantaneously, and check-in to speaker sessions passively. By tracking this information, corporate marketers can create actionable analytics to drive product development, partnerships, and customer acquisition strategies.

In the future, Loopd's technology could become the leading "off-line" analytics provider beyond events in operationally oriented industries, including health, manufacturing, supply chain and retail. It also could play a central role in humanitarian relief operations in the developing world and in the deployment of military ground troops.

"Loopd bridges the gap between physical and virtual connections, melting the distinctions between 'wearable technology', real-world connections and social networks," said Brian Friedman, CEO and co-founder. "The possible use cases for Loopd are boundless, from helping healthcare workers glean details about patients instantly, to facilitating military ground troop communication, to turning handshakes into information swaps."

Loopd launched at the major interactive tradeshow South by Southwest 2015 by partnering with 13 exhibitors to power the official SXSW scavenger hunt. This demonstrated how to share content, and analyze Loopd's overall event value. More recently Loopd provided analytics, smart badges, and mobile event apps for BoxDev 2015, the annual developer conference for content collaboration, in San Francisco and for Xerocon 2015, a conference for leaders in cloud accounting, in Denver in June.

During the past 12 months, Loopd has built the world's first analytics platform for the real world; complimentary iOS and Android apps; and a smart badge leveraging its proprietary bi-directional beacon protocols. At a series of global startup competitions, Loopd won the 2015 Wearable Tech Product of the Year (Wearable Tech World), was selected as a top 8 finalist for "smart data and enterprise" at SXSW Accelerator, and was selected as a top 4 finalist for "Internet of Things data analytics" at CeBit CODE_N awards.

[Tweet "Emerging leader @loopd bridges the gap between physical and virtual connections at corporate events closed a $1.5 million bridge round."]

About Loopd Inc.

Founded at the Silcon Valley's entrepreneurship academy Draper University of Heroes in September 2013, Loopd Inc. provides physical intelligence to corporate events. We help corporate marketers learn how people interact with each other, with the company, and with the company's products. The Loopd relational analytics solution is the industry's only bi-directional solution that enables the exchange of content and contact information automatically. It also gathers rich analytics data so that marketers have a more sophisticated understanding of their most valuable business relationships. Loopd is headquartered in San Francisco. To learn more, visit www.loopd.com.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: Copyright (C) 2015 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

The New Student

thenewstudent

About Draper University and Student Entrepreneur Opportunities:

Draper University, founded by famed venture capitalist Tim Draper, is focused on inspiring people and accelerating ideas by igniting the entrepreneurial spirit. To date, DU has over  305 alumni, with 185 companies, raising over $15,446,500 in venture financing. They’re funded by some of the most prestigious investors including Marc Andreessen, Tim Draper and Marc Benioff.

Beyond fostering a community of diverse leaders who want to change the world, the program equips its students with the skills, access and resources available in Silicon Valley. DU teaches entrepreneurs how to build a startup from business plan to execution and in real-world, accelerated terms. Something very hard to find with collegiate programs and even internships. This concept of real world acceleration is at the heart of the program and its curriculum. 

Each program lasts 7 weeks and students come to the live-in entrepreneurship program prepared for some intense schooling. The program culminates with "Demo Day", where the students present their ideas to a panel of technology luminaries and VCs and some even walk away with a deal and/or chance to incubate their idea at Hero City. Hero City is an entrepreneurial ecosystem that houses an incubator, eco-working space and offices of VC funds. The location is conveniently across the street from Draper University’s main building.

Michael Lisovetsky’s entrepreneurial journey started in the 6th grade when he and a friend created a website called HomeworkSwap.

Their goal wasn’t to earn money but to avoid mindless schoolwork. The site did not take off nor did their next venture, a web hosting company that failed miserably, but it set the stage for Michael’s next company FazeWire, which succeeded.

The aspiring young entrepreneur sold FazeWire while still in middle school, and, though the amount was small,Entrepreneurs Michael knew this was what wanted to do with his future—he was on the road to joining a growing group of young entrepreneurs.

After high school, Michael entered New York University in the fall of 2011. He quickly realized that traditional university courses were not doing much for him, but he knew a degree would prove credible to outsiders, which fueled his drive to succeed.

Enter Draper University

Michael found Draper U completely by accident. He attended a Wearable Tech conference where he met Draper alumni and founder of Q Bracelet and Q Designs, James Kernan. James told Michael about Draper U and since he thrives on serendipitous opportunities, he felt that Draper U was a no-brainer. NYU was put on hold while Michael attended Draper in the summer of 2014.

“At best, NYU spurred a path of self-education, in which I understood the fundamentals of finance from greats such as Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger,” says Michael. “The $150k+ price tag on my education could’ve been funneled a lot more effectively towards practical learning, and Draper U is an excellent example of that...”

[Tweet ""I learned more about myself and the world in the 7 weeks at #DraperU than in 4 years of university""]

Michael and HomeSwipe came out on top, securing an angel investment from Tim Draper. Now HomeSwipe is rapidly approaching product/market fit. They are scaling to Chicago soon and flipping the switch to start generating revenue.

“It’s been a complete whirlwind for us, and it feels great to be behind the controls of a rocket ship that’s taking off,” said Michael. “I recently pitched HomeSwipe at the VCIC Global Finals, and won the Startup of the Year award. Winning against entrepreneurs significantly older and more experienced was an extremely humbling experience.

At 22 years old, Michael is already equipped with the experience and knowledge he needs for his entrepreneurial future, and he has Draper University to thank for teaching him how to—in the words of Tim Draper—”explore the world with gusto and enthusiasm.”

For the full article, read here.

MichaelLisovety

3 Indicators of a Good Founding Team

Inside the investor's mind: 3 indicators of a good founding team

How does a VC pick out the best entrepreneurs to fund? There are three top indicators for a good founding team.

Indicators of a Good Founding Team

1. Relentless Enthusiasm

When an investor meets with the founders of a startup, intelligence of the team is a given. But it's not enough. Having great enthusiasm for the problem you are solving allows you to sell yourself. An investor funds your idea based on the notion that you will do everything in your power to make it a reality. Oftentimes it's not the one you first envision, but the idea in the back of your mind that makes you successful. Never lose enthusiasm for your work.

2. Thoroughness

Steve Jobs was a stickler for details. From Jobs' point of view, every detail, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, mattered.

In a growing industry, this will set you apart from the rest. Put in the extra 15% that your competitor neglects by focusing your energy to work harder and smarter. Pay attention to detail while discovering features your customer will crave in a product. Then, lower the friction for your customer to get to your product. Make it easier, faster, cheaper, and better than your competitors'... and you’ll win!

[Tweet " "Use a virus, use a magnet, use whatever you can" - the father of viral @timdraper"]

3. Team Dynamics

How your team gets along with each other and the respect you have for each other determines how an investor will perceive your team as a whole. As a general rule of thumb, find people who are smarter than you. Practice self-awareness by knowing not only what you are really good at, but also what you are bad at. Evaluate your personal character traits and skills, and seek team members with qualities that complement yours.

tim-draper-infographic
For the full interview, check out the Funders and Founders interview here. Information shared by Anna Vital.

Top 5 Startup Tips from a VC

Startup tipsfrom a top vc
1. Delight your customer

What do you have without a happy customer? The key to success in business hinges on how clients and customers perceive you. That depends entirely on how well you serve them. Think of a happy customer as a brand ambassador who will go into the world and share the greatness of your product with their network. For free. Because you did your job. Make this a priority.

2. Hire carefully

Picking your cofounder is the biggest decision you'll make. Walk down the aisle with someone you can trust and someone you know will match you in terms of drive, stamina, and creativity. Inventory your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself. The last thing you should do is hire 5 clones. Plug those weaknesses, and find people smarter than you.

3. Fail and fail again

Can you spot your mistakes? Every entrepreneur has made plenty of mistakes, you aren’t alone! The sign of a good entrepreneur is the ability to spot them, correct quickly, and not repeat them.

4. Know how to reach your customers

Who is your target market and where are they located? Pick a persona for your ideal client and use this persona frequently when determining how and where to reach your customers. Give her a name, background story, and character traits. When you humanize your ideal customer, locating them in real life is less trying.

5. The best ideas are simple

You don't have to reinvent the wheel to create a profitable business. Are you cheaper, faster, or better? Be two of these things. The first two things Investor Tim Draper looks at: whether you’re in a billion-dollar market and if you can make big margins.

If you're looking to grow your startup in the company of passionate leaders, Silicon Valley resources & world-class VC's, check this out.

DU Alum Plans to Shake Up the NYC Housing Market with HomeSwipe

May 26, 2015 -- Michael Lisovetsky, member of our 2014 summer class, was featured in Business Insider and ED News Daily this week for a startup idea that's set to rock the NYC housing market. Michael is co-founder of the app, HomeSwipe, dubbed "Tinder for apartment hunting." The app uses the swipe interface popularized by Tinder to connect house-hunters with realtors. Users can swipe through New York apartment listings based on their preferences and chat directly with realtors if they're interested in a property. Michael, 22, attended Draper University while studying business at NYU. At DU, Michael was introduced to a flurry of "Tinder for X" ideas, but he wasn't fully sold on the utility of the swipe platform. He asked friend-turned-business partner, Dean Soukeras, what the swipe model could facilitate besides dating. Soukeras, a seasoned NYC entrepreneur, promptly suggested "real-estate," and HomeSwipe was born.

Michael and Soukeras sought a tech whiz to build the app and sent out a blast on Facebook. They struck gold with a response from Jason Marmon, a talented teen coder who would eventually drop out of high school to focus on HomeSwipe full time. Once the partnership was formed, they needed seed financing. Naturally, Michael reached out to Tim Draper, who was so impressed with the HomeSwipe prototype he agreed to invest.

Michael (left) and Jason (right)

Tim urged Michael and his co-founders to raise their seed round to $500,000. They started strong, but plateaued at $400,000. The HomeSwipe team returned to Tim, who set them up with an introduction to Marc Benioff. This was the final push they needed. Benioff's interest was piqued, and he agreed to bump up their funding to the requisite amount.

Soukeras worked with New York City realtors to build a customer base for the app. In effect, it will charge realtors a small transaction fee to chat with interested parties. The app will begin exclusively in New York, but the team has plans to expand to Chicago. With the apartment hunting process in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs notoriously difficult, there is already a huge demand for the app. Since it's gone live, HomeSwipe represents 85% of available NYC real estate, boasts 47,000 downloads, and is supported by 2,200 real estate agents.

Michael credits his success to DU. Not only was he granted the networking opportunities that got HomeSwipe off the ground, but also the team building skills that come with experiential learning. He told ED News Daily, "The $150k+ price tag on my education could’ve been funneled a lot more effectively towards practical learning, and Draper U is an excellent example of that. I learned more about myself and the world in the seven weeks at Draper U than the four years of university I drudged through.”

Michael is a great example of a student who took full advantage of DU's resources to launch a meaningful venture. The HomeSwipe team will hit Sand Hill Road this week to secure more investors, and with all the app's promise, success seems inevitable. Read more on these accomplished young founders, and the full story of HomeSwipe's evolution at  Business Insider.

From Latin American Oil Rigs to Silicon Valley

Student Post — March 18, 2015 — Can you imagine a young Pakistani lady working on oil rigs in the middle of nowhere in amazon jungles in Latin America? It’s hard, but it’s even harder to imagine her transition from that world to a magical place called Silicon Valley. Graduation and Oil and Gas Industry

Rig photo

My name is Maha and I was part of Draper University's Winter 2015 class. I graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree from National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan and the University of Mississippi, US in 2013. As a fresh graduate, I was swamped with opportunities, and if you ask me today, I still don’t understand why I chose working as a field engineer on international mobile for Schlumberger. I left my family, everything I had, and took a plane to Brazil. After a week of training in Rio de Janeiro, I flew to Colombia and started working on oil rigs. My job was running measurements and logging while drilling tools to provide data such as gamma ray, resistivity, neutron porosity, bulk density and others to client companies (Ecopetrol, Petrobras, Equion, etc). I was part of the drilling group and had to be on the rig from the moment drilling starts till the time it ends. After working for 5 months, I was sent to the Training Center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where I was fortunate to be first in my class of 40 engineers from all over the world - and I was the only woman in my class!

After the training, I went back to Colombia to resume my work. I felt frustrated and tried to figure out why. Was it family, work rotation (I used to go to the rig for 40 days and come back for 3 days off), jungles or what?

It was during the Society of Women Engineers annual conference in Los Angeles a month later that I could see patterns. I realized that I was passionate about research, technologies, and startups.

After conducting a 26-hour long fishing operation in the rig, I stumbled on an e-mail from YouNoodle. The e-mail mentioned something about an entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley, and that e-mail ended up changing my life!

I applied to Draper University of Heroes, was accepted, and immediately packed my bags and came to Silicon Valley.

Draper University and Silicon Valley

I can neither summarize my time at Draper nor at Silicon Valley in one blog post! It’s an experience, a learning, and a feeling that can only be experienced, learnt, and felt.

But for all the prospective students and avid parents out there, I would jot down some of the key workshops I completed: Vision of the future, Agility, Evangelism, Survival, Resource Acquisition, Incorporation, and the Art of Pitching.

Draper University is not a traditional university. Neither it’s an accelerator nor an incubator. It’s something more than that. It challenges one to think beyond her limits, believe that everything is possible, and be ready to embrace failure. The university leaves no stone unturned by bringing in speakers from Facebook to Twitter to SpaceX to Khosla Ventures to Founder’s Fund to Stanford University. It would take me another 3 hours to compile a list of the incredible speakers who came to speak to our class.

Another significant thing about Draper University is the mentorship the program provides. The university inundates a student with mentors. From famous Silicon Valley VC mentors to Entrepreneurs in Residence to Alumni mentors to personal female mentors, I felt overwhelmed. But mentorship played a very crucial role in helping me build relationships which I’ll cherish forever!

To summarize, I feel completely transformed today. I feel blessed to have gone through the program and built a network of friends, mentors, and people who want to help me succeed. I feel fortunate to have explored the magical Disneyland they call ‘Silicon Valley’ and 10x more excited to begin my PhD in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University this Fall.

As Tim Draper says – the world needs superheroes and I’m going to be one of those superwomen!

Welcome to Hero City, land of opportunity — and heroic levels of hype

hero cityMarch 5, 2015 - Located directly across from Draper University on 3rd Avenue in downtown San Mateo is Hero City - a large co-working space that is home to roughly 50 startups. Membership to Hero City includes access to conference rooms, meeting space, kitchen and lounge area, mentors, and exclusive events. In addition to the co-working space on the main floor, the bitcoin accelerator Boost VC is located downstairs, along with a large auditorium that is used to host events and conferences. The upstairs floor holds offices for Draper VC funds and desk space for angel investors, dubbed "Angel Landing." Hero City and Draper University are both part of VC Tim Draper's larger Draper Ecosystem where all the pieces - entrepreneurs, startups, angel investors, and VCs - come together as one:

"VCx brings in billionaires (mostly from abroad) who have cash and want to diversify into tech, so they supply the capital. Draper University brings in the talent. Hero City supplies a workspace for the fledgling companies. The executive education program fosters connections with companies that can become valuable partners for the startups. The VCs upstairs invest the capital in the most promising of those companies. And when they grow big enough, these companies migrate to nearby office spaces."

Read the entire Venture Beat article by Dylan Tweney on Hero City here.

My Draper University Experience: 3 Reasons Why You Should Apply

draper universityStudent Post – February 17, 2015 – Goodbyes have always been easy for me. I remember being shipped off to military boarding school when I was 9. The other rugrats — innocent, skinny, petite — just like me, would cry endlessly as the slow, sinking feeling of nostalgia gradually crept up their skin until it wrapped itself around their neck, choking them on their own tears. I never understood it. For me it was always quite simple. Why? It didn’t really matter where I went, it never quite felt like home, so I never had a reason to look back. From Minneapolis to Johannesburg, I’d pinky-promise to stay in touch but it would only take a few hours for the memories to start to evaporate.

It was not until this past summer that I fell prey to the very emotions that I often smirked at. After just 6 weeks in San Mateo, I met a roller coaster of emotions as I left Draper University because this time I didn’t have to look back: I knew that great "DU" would be in my future, as much as it is in my present and past.

3 Important Reasons Why You Should Apply to Draper University

1. The people. They don’t care much for GPAs, MBAs or fancy resumes. In fact, the application only asks spooky CIA-type questions to assess your "way of thinking." This way, they’re able to assemble a class of witty, passionate entrepreneurs from almost all continents — each one unique, yet able to identify with the family. It’s like "Xavier’s School for Mutants" for entrepreneurs.

2. The philosophy. It’s not a conference or a bootcamp, and more importantly: it’s not about startups or funding. This is a big deal, considering that this is all your hear, everywhere you go. Draper University is entirely built on crafting a mindset of "heroism" — the enviable task of saving the world from itself, by being a better "you." DU’s true iridescence is more palpable in how the program underplays the "company" and "funding" aspects to focus more on the person.

3. Tim Draper. Fearless. Unpredictable. Boss. The experience wouldn’t be the same without him. Tim was always available to lead the pack. I watched him lead the class through a canyon filled with poison ivy at night. He once gave me bonus points for disagreeing with someone too rigidly. Just when you start to get comfortable, you can count on Tim to change the rules of the game. Clearly he’s nuts, but his daredevil personality has made him a success-magnet.

startup lifeAn evening meditation session with fellow heroes

"Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty." -Shonda Rhimes

They don’t come true just because you dream them, so take a bold step today for an adventure of a lifetime. So you think, "I wish I could attend." Great. Apply, get in, pack your things and go. Don’t wait for the perfect time; it may never come. If you already have a startup, then you’ll only get more busy. It’s okay if you don’t have a startup or a product or even know what your passion is just yet. Here’s your magical opportunity, so take it.

~ Guest post by Adé O. who is from Maryland and was part of DU’s Summer 2014 Class.

Invest Like a Legend: Tim Draper

Tim DraperFebruary 5, 2015 - Tim Draper, founder of DFJ and Draper University, is "one of the grand middle-aged men of Silicon Valley finance" and his investments have been behind successful companies like Hotmail, Skype, and Baidu. In this article, he shares his advice as "Silicon Valley's whackiest investor." Here are the main takeaways:

  • Best investments: Hotmail (1995) and Theranos (2003)
  • Winning traits: An entrepreneurs with big ambition and a unique quality
  • Losing traits: Not thinking big enough or having unique enough technology
  • What to invest in: Bitcoin
  • How to invest: Diversify heavily

Download the entire article on the world's top investors here: Legends 2015

Tim Draper expands Draper University with addition of Draper Ecosystem

Tim DraperJanuary 30, 2015 - Big changes are happening at Draper University! Andrew Tang, former managing director at ABB Technology Ventures and current managing director of the Draper Dragon Fund, is stepping in as the new CEO of Draper University. In his new role, Andy Tang and Tim Draper are expanding the scope of DU to include the entire Draper Ecosystem, which is composed of four components:

  • Draper University: A seven-week program that runs four times a year, aimed at teaching students “the fundamentals of launching a startup.” Tuition is $9,500, although the company offers scholarships.
  • Hero City: An incubator that includes a co-working space and storefront, directly across the street from Draper University. VC funds are also located in this space.
  • VCx: A one-week, invite-only program aimed at teaching high net worth individuals “how to invest in early stage companies.”
  • Executive Education: A one-week program educating executives on “the fundamentals of new ventures as a way to push innovation inside corporations.”

Read about all the changes happening in the Draper Ecosystem in this Venture Beat article.

KeenON: Venture Capitalist and Higher Ed Entrepreneur Tim Draper

December 17, 2014 - Technologist and author Andrew Keen sat down with venture capitalist and higher education entrepreneur Tim Draper to talk about his latest projects. They discussed how Draper University is "turning traditional education on its head" with its innovative entrepreneurship program, and how the next big thing to invest in is Bitcoin. Tim also shares that his biggest mistake was not investing in Google, but it's also the mistake he's most proud of because it has made him a better investor. Read the entire Techonomy article here or watch the interview with Tim Draper below:

Draper University & Ugly Brother Studios now casting for TV Show - Apply Now!

Draper University is proud to announce we are now casting for our upcoming TV show. We've partnered with Ugly Brother Studios for a TV show that will follow selected students as they build and launch their startup in Silicon Valley. Together, we are seeking young entrepreneurs with brilliant business ideas who would like to enter the Spring Residential Program and be featured on the series! Selected students will be followed as they enter the hands-on curriculum of the Draper University program and apply their new knowledge, network and skills to their startup businesses.

Hear what Tim Draper, Founder of Draper University has to say about the show:

Draper University alumni have started more than 60 companies, raising over $7.4 million in capital. Some left to join other start-ups or large companies including Tesla and Google.

To be considered, please send the following information to: casting@draperuniversity.com Name: Age: Contact Information: Brief Bio: Tell us why you would be a great candidate & Please attach a current photo of yourself

Interview with Tim Draper, Founder of DFJ Venture & Draper University of Heroes

November 29, 2014 - Tim Draper has long been involved in the Silicon Valley world of venture capital, and now, he's stepping into a new role: Headmaster of Draper University of Heroes. Tim started this school for "extraordinary individuals who have a little bit of a spark in them." He wants to "ignite that spark...[and] turn them from ordinary citizens into heroes." In this interview, Tim talks about his roles as venture capitalist and head of en entrepreneurship program, including his investment criteria and process, and advice for entrepreneurs. Read the entire Entrepreneurial Insights article here or watch the interview with Tim Draper below:

Tim Draper on Life Outside DFJ

tim draperNovember 17, 2014 - In 2012, Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper announced that he would be skipping a fund at his venture capital firm DFJ to focus on his newest venture: Draper University of Heroes. One year later, Tim Draper looks back at the best and most challenging aspects of the past year, including his other new initiatives to reboot California's government through Six Californias and why he's taking a bet on bitcoin as the next big thing. Read the entire StrictlyVC article here.

Draper University's Entrepreneurship Program Now Open to Cal Poly Students - For Credit!

Draper UniversityOctober 29, 2014 – Draper University and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) are forming a partnership to offer aspiring entrepreneurs at Cal Poly the opportunity to attend Draper University's innovative Silicon Valley entrepreneurship program for credit. Up to 24 Cal Poly students will be part of the Winter 2015 Class at Draper University to enhance their 'Learn by Doing' experience. Cal PolyThe course is part of a new university-wide program at Cal Poly called "Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs: A Study Away Entrepreneurship Immersion Program." It is an interdisciplinary effort to allow students in business, engineering, liberal arts, and any other field, to spend a quarter involved in entrepreneurial activities in Silicon Valley while maintaining progress toward a degree.

What Cal Poly has to say

“This is a unique opportunity for Cal Poly students from all disciplines throughout the university,” said Jeffrey D. Armstrong, Cal Poly president. “The Draper University program, like Cal Poly’s 'Learn by Doing' approach, fosters creative thinking and teaches students the value of jumping in, doing the work and learning from failure on the way to success.”

What Draper University has to say

“We know our hand-on training and access to Silicon Valley innovators provides an experience that can’t be replicated in a university setting,” said Tim Draper, founder of Draper University. “We are honored to work with all these potential technology innovators of the future from Cal Poly.”

Why This is Important

At a time when increasing numbers of students are taking alternative educational and career paths in startup bootcamps and business accelerator/incubator programs, traditional universities are finding innovative ways to keep up with their students. As this infographic shows, universities across the US are becoming more and more entrepreneur-focused with the establishment of entrepreneurship clubs, groups, and classes.

The exciting partnership features a curriculum focused on experiential education. The goal is to teach entrepreneurship to people who are relentless in their desire to change the world and make things happen in a traditional and nontraditional learning environment.

Draper University is still taking applications for its Winter 2015 Class, which runs from January 25 to March 13, 2015. Apply online by 11/18 at http://www.localhost/sites/html

Tim Draper Interview with Raj Mathai of NBC News Bay Area

NBC News Tim Draper InterviewJune 1, 2013 – Tim Draper, Draper University's "zany" founder was interviewed last week by Raj Mathai of NBC News. The interview took place at Draper University, Raj and his crew spent a good amount of time hanging out with us and getting to know some of our students. Check out "The Interview with Venture Capitalist Tim Draper" here: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/The-Interview-With-Venture-Capitalist-Tim-Draper/209751091

Can VCs be Bred? Meet the New Generation in Silicon Valley's Draper Dynasty

silicon valley draper dynastyJune 14, 2012 - As the founders behind Sutter Hill Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Bill Draper and Tim Draper have become household names of successful Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Now, there's a fourth generation rising up from the Draper family: Tim's children Jesse, Adam, and Billy. Each is forging their own path in the world of entrepreneurship.

Draper Dynasty

The Draper VC dynasty began with General William Draper's founding of Draper, Gaither & Anderson in 1958. A few years later, his son Bill started the Draper & Johnson Investment Co. (1962), followed by Sutter Hill Ventures (1965). Bill's son, Tim, founded Draper Fisher Jurvetson in 1985. The fourth generation is striking out on its own—but still staying close to home. Jesse, 28, is a producer and host of The Valley Girl Show; Adam, 26, is a cofounder of the firm Xpert Financial; Billy, 23, is founder of the startup Mobber.net. (Quoted from Fast Company)

Read the entire Fast Company article here.