Draper Ecosystem

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.”

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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.

Draper University Teams Up With Indiegogo Life to Crowdfund Tuition

Draper University has partnered with Indiegogo Life to enable Draper University applicants to raise funds for their tuition.

At our site, you can see campaigns from budding entrepreneurs who explain why they want to attend Draper University and what business they plan to launch. Through these campaigns, we’ve gained many interesting insights about raising money on Indiegogo and how to catalyze your community.

Learn how to rally your network.

Launch a fundraiser that will personally invest your network in your success and entrepreneurial pursuits. Picture Piotr Yordanov, a Fall 2013 Draper University Alumni. Aside from his charismatic video shoot, Piotr leveraged his skills as a software engineer and website designer to incentivize his network to donate to his campaign. By knowing your strengths and skillsets, you can determine what exactly you need from others to succeed. Donors were more likely to donate to Piotr’s campaign knowing they would receive a “free” one-hour tech consultation.

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Draper University founder & famous Venture Capitalist Tim Draper strongly recommends the ability to discuss your personal strengths and weaknesses. Are you good at writing? Spend extra time crafting your pitch text. Are you great at interacting with people? Be in charge of responding to comments. In the world of business and startups, it’s vital to own what you are great at, and create a diverse team that fills in the areas you could use some help to help your campaign stand out.

Create a buzz-worthy story.

Similar to when starting a business, determining who your contributors will be and where to find them is essential to meeting your goal. Are your donors your Facebook friends and family? LinkedIn connections & colleagues? Tech lovers in the Twitterverse? Once you’ve tested where the majority of your donors are, you can more efficiently use your time by putting forth effort in these specific areas. Make sure you know where the first 30% of your funds are coming from before launching your campaign. If you aren’t confident you can hit this within the first few days, adjust your goal accordingly.

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The more compelling your story and the more convincing your business idea, the more likely you are to reach your funding goal. Your audience needs to know why your school tuition will enable your business, and the message should be powerful and clear. Your donors will want to know that their money will empower you personally, but more importantly that you’ll make a big difference in the long run. Being transparent is crucial to the success of your fundraiser. A breakdown of exactly how the funds will be used can be helpful for instilling a sense of trust.

Piotr tugged at the heartstrings of his audience by explaining his mission and making his audience feel a part of it, too. The call-to-action on Piotr’s page states this clearly, “I have a dream, that one day, the middle-east, will see entrepreneurial heroes. Together we make this dream come true!”

Get a taste of raising capital.

Crowdfunding tuition on Indiegogo Life can also be great experience for pitching your business to investors., except your contributors don’t expect anything but your happiness and success in return! Upload a video, share your story, and let your personality shine. It should be obvious at this point that launching a strong crowdfunding campaign is very similar to launching a business and can be a strong proof point that demonstrates you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

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Indiegogo Life will provide you fantastic knowledge for developing a network and raising capital. It will push you to think through the finer details of your business plan and polish an idea that’s ready for market. If your campaign is successful, you will have sharpened your startup idea and established your goals before you even step through our doors.

We encourage all future students to take advantage of this opportunity. With an effective crowdfunding campaign under your belt, you’ll hit the ground running when it comes time to pitch your ideas to private investors.

Watch the video on how to raise funds for education at Draper University!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzdteVw76dA#action=share

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.

Humans of Hero City

 

Meet the Entrepreneurs of Hero City

A unique co-working space of the Draper Ecosystem. It’s a city with a vibrant culture, an eclectic community of bold people, perspectives, and possibilities.

For those of you that aspire to be extraordinary heroes, we are creating a new entrepreneurial supercharger. Hero City at Draper University is where fun loving meets risk-mastering and big challenges get tackled by innovative play. Meet three of our heroes here:

HOHC #1

Rich Moore, Allison+Partners

What habits and mindsets make you successful?

"I regularly change my routine - join new groups, attend events I've never gone to before, grab lunch in new places - so that I increase the odds of meeting new people and discovering new companies and seeing things that I otherwise wouldn't know about. Brings a lot more serendipity into my work. I also try to remain optimistic and visualize outcomes that I want to achieve. That frequently leads me down new paths."

Get social: @RMoore @AllisonPR

 

HOHC #2Jake Benson, Libra 

What habits and mindsets make you successful?

“Move the needle forward every single day.”

 Get Social: @JakeRyanBenson @Libra_Tax

 

 


HOHC #3Shady Elyaski

What motivates you?

“Being surrounded by brilliant mindsets and always pushing myself out of the comfort zone by consistently learning and trying new things.”

Get social: @ShadyElyaski

 


HOHC#5Mark Ke, Yardbook

"What motivates you?" “Using software to improve business has always been a passion of mine. One thing I noticed over the years is how overwhelmed smaller companies can become with endless paperwork and disorganized systems. As they simply do not have the luxury to pay millions of dollars for a piece of software. It motivates me every day to see thousands of companies using our platform to become more organized, which in turn, helps them grow their business.”

Get social: @Yardbook, Yardbook

 

HOHCNicholas Khabbaz, Hedgesight

“What habits and mindsets make you successful?” “Having a winning perspective, but being humble at the same time; seriously listening to your gut feeling as well as constructive input from colleagues, employees and mentors whether in agreement with you or not.”

Get social: www.hedgesight.com

 

ALUMNI ALERT: Pundit Selected to Disney Accelerator, Techstars

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Today Techstars announce the 2015 participants of Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

Draper University Spring 2015 Alumni Billy Shaw Susanto, Founder of Pundit, was selected and funded as 1 in 10 media tech startups in the world to the program. Pundit will participate in a three-month mentorship and investment program, which begins July 9 this year and concludes with a demo day on October 6.

The ten companies in this year’s program represent a diverse cross-section of technologies, and we are inspired by their visions for the applicability of these technologies in the media space.

Pundit & the 9 other startups will receive up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their ideas, along with mentor support from top Disney executives, including Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger, and leaders from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, among others. Mentors will also include other entertainment industry leaders, venture capitalists and Techstars’ extensive network of entrepreneurs, investors and executives.

Draper University supported Pundit’s early user adoption by supplying a network of influential creators to host ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions (AMAs) on the platform including Miss USA Erin Brady - fully supporting the company’s vision to be a true media tech company, far beyond yet another “social networking app.”

 

[Tweet "GET READY: Pundit is relaunching on Monday, July 13 on the App Store."]

 

Congratulations, Billy! We're proud of you!

 

For full articles & features:

6 Steps to Being a Better Founder

michaelstaton Information provided by Michael Staton of Learn Capital as part of his lecture at Draper University.

1. Get more productive

It’s never going to get easier or more simple. What you need to learn is how to juggle and hustle, while keeping in mind that nothing will go according to plan.

[Tweet "Fail fast and iterate!"]

2. Reduce your personal burn

You can’t get a company off the ground without all the founding skill sets to create that product on your team. You need a Doer, Promoter, and Leader. Hire a team that will complement your strengths.

3. Get current and stay current

Be aware of your competitive landscape. An investor won’t give you money if you aren’t willing to take 6 months to educate yourself on what needs to be done. Learn as much as possible.

4. Build serendipity inbound and truth outbound networks

You've got to hire slow, and fire fast. High expectations are met through designing and implementing human systems. Carry with you & seek out the "entrepreneurship" gene in your networks.

5. Build an audience

Dave Mclure says: A startup is confused about at least one of three things: What their product is, who their customer is, or how they make money. Know all of these to build the proper audience.

6. Skill up

The skill most necessary to being a better founder is design—or the methodology to choose from infinite possibilities. This means being able to make disciplined choices and form ideas into concrete actions.

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

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.

Draper University Alum and Ex-Skyper Launches Virtual Whiteboard Tool Deekit

May 12, 2015 — Kaili Kleemeier, member of the Draper University Fall 2014 online class, just launched Deekit: a virtual whiteboard to aid remote teams with research and development. Kaili is a former operations manager at Skype, and she drew from her experience there to design Deekit. Kaili recalls the struggle to collaborate with coworkers in different offices. After the unsuccessful search for a virtual tool that would allow them a visual brainstorm session, Kaili and her cofounders created exactly that product.

Deekit is a virtual whiteboard with screen sharing capabilities where users can sketch, chat, and build models together all in real time. Deekit comes with sophisticated templates for projects like blueprints or flowcharts, and boards can be shared or saved for future reference. Kaili claims that the standout element of Deekit is its simplicity. Deekit is formulated for ease of use with intuitive features and straightforward tools.

The Deekit team hopes to revolutionize online education with the platform. With extensive interactive capabilities, Deekit allows students to participate in lectures rather than simply listen to them, and already they've had success using the tool to teach 7-10 year olds programming. Deekit has been in private beta for over a year, and launched publicly on the 7th of May. With over 350 users in 21 countries, they are sure to see rapid growth in a market where global collaboration is increasingly commonplace.

Read the TechCrunch profile on Deekit here, and an interview with the team on Wired UK, where Deekit was featured as startup of the week!

 

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.

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.

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.