Bill Draper

Draper University's Winter 2015 Class Kicks Off with a Bang

January 26, 2015 - Draper University's 8th residential program kicks off today with 36 new Heroes-in-Training. Student entrepreneurs come from all corners of the globe, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Estonia, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Russia, Thailand, and Ukraine. Students will get access to some of the brightest minds and inspirational speakers in Silicon Valley, and the week one is no exception. Check out the line up below of amazing thinkers, innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs who will be speaking to DU Winter 2015 this week.

Winter 2015 Week 1

Ready to start your entrepreneurial journey? We're now accepting applications for our Spring 2015 class. Visit our website to submit your application by the final deadline: February 20.

My Draper University Online Experience by Megan Lisa Jones

Student Post – October 30, 2013 – When I was five I wanted to be Cinderella. I had the blonde hair and blue eyes so coveted a long dress and glass slippers. I didn’t care about attending a ball because that was past my bedtime – but I wanted to be a princess. When I told people they laughed and patted my head. Then my mom brought home the blue princess dress and slippers. On Halloween I went trick-or-treating around my neighborhood and everyone called me Cinderella. Online Program ExperienceWhat I enjoy and hate both is being asked to push my limits. At 12, I snuck my mom’s Cosmopolitan magazine, curious why I wasn’t allowed to read it. Included was an article on women earning over $100,000. The investment banker, travelling globally and advising on complex deals, caught my attention. I decided to be an investment banker and told a few people. The response was similar to my Cinderella experience. Women don’t become investment bankers, was one comment, which I knew from Cosmo wasn’t true. Years later I became an investment banker. Again, the doubters were wrong. In the online Draper University class we watched a video in which Ron Johnson said you must decide whether you’re a doubter or a believer. Once you stop believing you lose.

Later, I heard Tim Draper speak at a Milken Conference on fixing California’s problems. He addressed changing the world and the difference people not only can make, but must make for our country. I thought, this man understands the world. Seeing him in the lobby later I approached him and we began to talk. He handed me a card, requesting that I forward on ideas for our state. Investment banking is all about meeting impossible requests for people doing the unexpected so I viewed his challenge as just another piece of work, wrote it, sent it and got back to my clients. Tim Draper helped me on a later education focused book.

Meanwhile, I got an email about Draper University a live-in program for ambitious entrepreneurs in San Mateo. It teaches innovation and creating change. I’m too old and busy for the program but was intrigued.   Why not teach starting, daring, dreaming, innovating, creativity and problem solving? Then I got an email about an online program.

Now Tim had my full attention. I could learn how to change the world and be a superhero? Those around me said I didn’t have time and was crazy. Usually when numerous people say so I’m heading in the right direction. The easy stuff everyone supports if only to protect you. Playing it safe lets you live to fight another day. Taking risks is an interesting but dangerous path. I’d already left investment banking to start an education venture. How to juggle everything?

So I applied to Draper Online and got accepted. The program is halfway through now and better than I expected, and I had high expectations.

What I enjoy and hate both is being asked to push my limits. Building a Rube-Goldberg machine and video taping it, writing a poem to Bill Draper and answering a complex question in five sentences. By being challenged we not only grow and expand our capabilities, we also increase our confidence. Creativity and innovation require such a process. I read recently that it’s those who fail the most who succeed at doing great things because by testing so many ways to make something work they finally figure it out.

Having grown up mostly in Silicon Valley I believe that the willingness here, unlike anywhere else I’ve seen, to try seemingly insane things and risk failure makes it so successful.

But at Draper University Online, we don’t just get asked to do frustrating tasks that ultimately create a sense of accomplishment. We also read great books and watch videos of people from Tim’s vast contact base. In the Draper U environment they open up and share beyond the cliches of the speaker circuit. Thus I’ve learned to think differently, dream bigger and turn vision into reality. Coming up we’ll prepare a pitch video to present our business idea to Tim and a panel of VCs.

Excuses exist, and too often people use them because they fear success. Superheroes don’t make excuses. My thanks to Tim and his team for helping me learn to work smarter, make better decisions and set my mind for success and changing the world. I look forward both with eagerness and trepidation for what my coursework next week will bring.

We all need to cultivate a circle of people who see the Cinderella in us. Draper U is a place to build that support structure of those who want you to succeed then make every effort to support your vision and provide the tools necessary for turning it into reality.

~ Guest post by Megan Lisa Jones who is from California and was part of DU's Fall 2013 Online Class.

Startup (and Life) Lessons from Bill Draper

Student Post – July 3, 2013 – A few months ago, I didn’t know anything about the Draper family. After I applied to Draper University, I started to figure them out. I knew DU was a crazy and innovative school for entrepreneurs, but I never imagined how much work and history was behind it. Tim Draper has been empowering entrepreneurs in every stage of his life and Draper University students are the latest ones. MariaGandaraWhen I started to read and to ask about Tim Draper (founder of Draper University and Draper Fisher Jurvetson), I realized that I was very lucky. I knew that for 6 weeks I was going to be surrounded by the visionary who first invested in Hotmail and Skype and who indeed has an amazing family and values.

While reading Bill Draper’s book "The Startup Game" I saw how Tim’s dad's life related to me and where I am in my life. Bill Draper is not only a prominent Venture Capitalist; he has also been behind amazing strategies and plans. He has worked in public service, at the United Nations Development Programme, and has supported many social entrepreneurs.

Bill came to our school this week and when we asked him about characteristics that entrepreneurs should have, he answered:

• Drive • Courage • Energy • Brain Power • Creativity

We wanted to know in what kind of person he would invest in and he answered that the kind of person that had a sleeping bag in his office. A person that is energetic, hardworking, and exudes confidence. When I asked Bill for advice on how to create entrepreneurship ecosystems, he told me that we needed a strong relationship between academia, business people, and industry. He said that a new Silicon Valley can grow wherever there is a good technical university.

"There wouldn’t be a Silicon Valley without a Stanford," said Bill.

Bill Draper is a perfect example that shows us that by doing business we can change many lives and confirms us that entrepreneurship will enhance the development of our countries and our life. At the end, Bill Draper gave us some tips on how to pitch to VCs, and to close his talk he told us that he has had a lucky life.

~ Guest post by Maria Fernanda Gandara Gil who is from Mexico and was part of DU's Summer 2013 Class.

Draper University's Amazing Guest Speakers from Silicon Valley

Student Post – June 20, 2013 – We had some absolutely amazing guest speakers come into Draper University during the Spring 2013 Class, they were all hugely inspiring and it was such a privilege to sit in beanbags and listen to them. In this blog post I'm going to run though five of my favorite guest speakers.

Bill Draper1. Bill Draper

Bill was one of the first venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, and with this comes some great stories! Bill was fantastically captivating when talking about some of his investments and his time in the US government working for Ronald Reagan.

Naveen Jain2. Naveen Jain

Naveen is a serial entrepreneur with a special interest in science and technology. Naveen has a first rate mind and can tell you about anything science related. He also has the best business card I've ever seen!

Strikingly3. David Chen & Teng Bao

David and Teng are co-founders of YC backed Strikingly, they make it really easy to build mobile optimized websites with no coding required. They sat down with us for an informal fireside chat about their story and how they got started. They were incredibly funny and very open about the struggles of running your own startup.

Jamis MacNiven4. Jamis MacNiven

Jamis is the owner of Buck's of Woodside, a small restaurant famous for hosting VC's and entrepreneurs. Some of history's biggest VC deals were done at tables in Buck's. Jamis came in to talk about why Silicon Valley is the best place to be and start your business.

Mike Cassidy5. Mike Cassidy

Mike is a serial entrepreneur with a number of successful exits and is currently a director at Google X. Mike came in to tell us about his startup philosophy of SPEED. He told us about a story when he pitched DFJ at 8:15am and demanded a term sheet by 4:30pm.

~ Guest post by Alex Nguyen who is from the UK and was part of DU's Spring 2013 Class.

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.