Entrepreneur

"Heroes of Draper"

By Ana Clara Otoni of Draper University Summer 2015

Life is full of little ironies. In the month when Humans of New York is sharing stories of Pakistanis I get to write about Heroes of Draper, a Fanpage on Facebook created by a Pakistani graphic designer, Taaha Bin Khalid. Taaha loves hearing stories and people, but more than that, he wants to make these stories heard, literally, for everyone.

This belief drove him to create Whisper O; an online application that aims to provide people with a platform to share their stories through sound.

In order to bring "Whisper O" to life, Taaha went to Silicon Valley and joined Draper University. While he was in the process of moving to the Valley, he started looking for the stories of the alumni and couldn't find many people.

 

"I wanted to know who were the other alumni around the world. I was pretty much inspired by Humans of New York and I thought to myself 'The super heroes of Draper should have a space like that to show their stories, so I proposed 'Heroes of Draper' to DU's Marketing Team and they let me lead the project," explained Khalid.

One of the first super heroes to share his story at "Heroes of Draper" was the Ecuadorian Sebastian López Reyes, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Jumperjob (a platform that help students to find their first job) Sebastian has a child-like soul and he believes that life is better with a smile on our face. He said that he wanted to share his story to show people the power of following your dreams.

"I wanted to show people how a big story can start with a small beginning. Doesn't matter if your dream is something that started in your childhood. What really matters is to do something to make this dream come true,” said Reyes.

The expectation of the creator of "Heroes of Draper" is that stories like Sebastian's would become a reference for the next batch of super heroes.

We are given an opportunity to create a connection with the next generation of Draper Students. We are the first alumni generation available to the next batch to know where we came from, how we got here, what's our story and how to contact us — said Khalid. 

"Heroes of Draper" is also an important channel to show people one of the ways to get to Silicon Valley. Taaha Khalid is an enthusiast and wants to touch the entrepreneur that lives in everyone with the stories shared at the Fanpage.  

"People of all over the world are coming to Draper. I'm from Pakistan so I'm representing my country. It is very powerful and inspirational when you see someone from your country doing something that you want to do. Everybody thinks it is hard and difficult to get to Silicon Valley. "Heroes of Draper" is showing them the real people behind the entrepreneur. They can relate with these stories and get inspired to create their own path to the Valley — explained the founder of the Fanpage.

"Heroes of Draper" also preserves the memories of the heroes sharing their stories. In the future, when these alumni look back at their picture and story on the Fanpage, they will remember how they started on their way to success. 

"Heroes of Draper" photographer, Taaha.

"Heroes of Draper" photographer, Taaha.

"Not everyone can be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs but everyone is a hero in his or her life for their family and friends. I want to these people to feel like super heroes. By sharing these moments with the world and let them be heard by the next generation,” said Khalid.

Inspired? Check the stories of the Heroes of Draper.

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!

Alumni Profile: Brian Friedman of Loopd

Brian Friedman was part of our Summer 2013 class. He has since founded Loopd, a relational analytics company that uses wearable technology to collect data at events. Read our exclusive profile below. Brian Friedman

June 1, 2015 - Brian Friedman attended a formal boarding school in New Hampshire where dress code was enforced with an iron fist and students attended chapel every Monday morning. After his authoritarian experience in high school, he headed to Lehigh University where he studied materials science and engineering as well as product design and was given the opportunity to start the entrepreneurship club. While attending Lehigh, Brian also worked for Red Bull as a Student Brand Manager. In the back of his mind, however, he knew his experiences in high school and college had prepared him for a much different path.

A Successful Mentor Recommends a “Leap of Faith”

“A fellow advisor and mentor recommended that I apply to Draper University,” says Brian. “He is a very successful entrepreneur, and I knew if he told me to go then it would be worth taking the leap of faith. I was right, after all! For the first time I felt that it was possible to dream about anything.”

Most of Brian’s fellow classmates at Lehigh didn’t share his strong drive to start a venture, with the majority going to work as technical sales reps with materials companies in the middle of the US or as lab assistants in dark rooms throughout New Jersey. But Brian believes that his experience at Draper University allowed him to take advantage of his creativity and also meet other like-minded individuals. Brian actually met his two co-founders, Sambhav Galada and Allen Houng, at Draper University, and they all hit it off immediately.

Sambhav Galada is the Head of Product of Loopd. He pursued his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M. Sambhav has implemented and designed an ARM low power chip for wearable technology that enables users to get feedback on their personal fitness analytics.

Allen Houng is the Head of Software of Loopd. Allen graduated with honors in electrical engineering in Taiwan and produced an award-winning gesture-recognition engine via FPGA application. Allen has been featured on TechCrunch and StartUp Weekend Blog for his startup called Drimmit, which he built by himself from the ground up full stack.

During the program Brian learned about new trends that were the bleeding edge in Silicon Valley, including 3D printing, space mining, anti-aging pharmaceutical and blockchain technologies. He also learned that in order to build a scalable business you need to stay focused and conquer one problem at a time.

The idea for Loopd was conceived during a competition at Draper. The night before, Brian had seen a video of the Budweiser Buddy Cup, which gave people the ability to exchange Facebook information by tapping glasses. The next day in BizWorld, a startup contest, his team had to create and sell a wristband concept. Immediately he thought of BuddyBand, which was the initial idea for Loopd, but since then the concept has evolved.

“Our team put in several hours to develop our initial prototype and business model. We are a hard working group and while at Draper University we learned that you need to execute as a team if you want to build a great company,” Brian says.

After Pitch Day (and Some Refinement) Loopd Is Born

Brian and his team were in the top 10 on pitch day, the culmination of the program and what every student works toward while at Draper. While their idea was applauded by many, it was also questioned by the panel of experts, which helped Brian and his co-founders refine their concept for Loopd. Since pitch day they’ve raised $1.2MM from Tim Draper, Marc Benioff, Rick Dalzell and other notable angel investors.

Loopd is a relational analytics platform that measures proximity-based human interactions and engagement for corporate events. Loopd is the industry’s only bi-directional solution that enables attendees to exchange contact information, collect marketing materials and passively check in to speaker sessions. Using physical analytics, marketers are able to have a more sophisticated understanding of their most valuable business relationships and bring clarity to murky ROI measurements. Additional 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.

In the past 12 months, he and his team have designed and built a complete analytics platform, iOS and Android app and bi-directional beacon. Loopd won Wearable Tech Product of the Year, was selected as a top-eight finalist for smart data and enterprise at SXSW Accelerator and was selected as top 48 finalist at CeBit CODE_N. Since the company’s launch at SXSW, the team has closed its first enterprise deal with Box, and has Accenture, Salesforce and Cisco in the final stages. They have also assembled a great team of 15 amazing people in San Francisco and Taiwan who have skills in machine learning, wireless protocols, big data infrastructure and mobile development.

“Right now we are focused on building the next version of Loopd, which will be more cost effective, powerful and feature rich. Over the next eight months our team plans to power 20 Fortune 2000 Corporate Conferences with our hardware solution and 40 high quality events with our software solution. In the future, our technology will be the leading offline analytics provider for MRO in health, manufacturing, retail and developing nations worldwide. And this is all because of Draper University,” Brian finishes with a big smile.

From Chandigarh to Silicon Valley: DU Welcomes Co-Founder of FuturEd to the Summer 2015 Class

May 27, 2015 -- The Times of India featured a profile on Sahil Dewan this week, an entrepreneur who will join the Draper University Summer 2015 class.  Sahil works in edu-tech. He co-founded FuturEd in 2012, a  comprehensive service to establish alumni networks for Indian learning institutions. FuturEd offers training, consulting, and network management for schools where a strong alumni community is not yet in place. Sahil strives to fill a gap he identifies in the Indian education system, where many institutions struggle to sustain interaction with alumni once they've graduated. He sees untapped fundraising opportunities for these institutions, and hopes that by facilitating stronger alumni networks he can facilitate stronger schools overall. Already, FuturEd works with a number of institutions, including the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, and the Indian School of Business.

Sahil seeks entrepreneurship know-how and potentially funding from his time at DU. He hopes to bring the spirit of Silicon Valley back to his home of Chandigarh, telling the Times, "If programs like Draper University can be conceptualized and launched in India, the startup ecosystem will start developing at the grassroots level and will not just be limited to the top startups working in the hot spaces in metro cities... We need experienced entrepreneurs and investors to bridge this climate for aspiring and young students, who are starting to get excited with the idea of entrepreneurship."

We're happy to welcome Sahil to our intensive program. Without a doubt, he'll return to Chandigarh with the resources and the acumen to create long-term value in the education sector. Read the Times article on FuturEd here.

 

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.

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!

 

Naveen Jain @ Draper University: How to Build a Billion Dollar Company

naveen-jainFebruary 6, 2015 - “It's not about the innovation, it's about flawless implementation.” There are some people who think that if you have a good idea you are going to “own” the market. Naveen Jain has a different perspective on that. He believes that the execution of an idea can be more important than the idea itself. In fact, he says that the idea is a 10% of a business and execution is the other 90%.

Naveen visited Draper University last week and spoke to DU's Winter 2015 Class. He stated that if you want to create something big, you don’t have to see outside of the box, you have to be in a completely different box. He went on to say, "If nine out of ten people don’t consider you crazy for your idea, then you are not thinking big enough.” Naveen believes this is the only way to solve challenging problems, such as today's education system, which according to him is not broken, but obsolete because it doesn't apply to the realistic situations and problems. It only allows for either a right or wrong answer with no gray area. That’s not the case in the life. In reality, problems are solved by teams working together to find different solutions.

Advice for Entrepreneurs

Naveen believes that in order to be a successful entrepreneur you need to work with people whose perspective are opposing your own. He also says that you have to deeply believe in yourself, have a passion, and make your differences your advantages. You can never beat someone in their own game, you have to beat them being you, in your game. Then, you can use all the things that make you different as your weapons. Be yourself and take advantage of what makes you stand out from your competition.

~ Guest post by Raimundo Silva who is from Santiago, Chile and is currently a student in DU’s Winter 2015 Class.

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.

Silicon Valley Predictions for Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Venture Capitalists in 2015

January 14, 2015 - Humankind has been trying to predict the future since the beginning of time. Let’s look at some of the Silicon Valley predictions for entrepreneurs, startups, venture capitalists in 2015:

1. Bitcoin/Blockchain will continue to play an important role in our lives.

Venture capitalists and angel investors invested more than US$250 million in 2014, and you can expect even more in 2015.

2. There will be a growing need for better data utilization.

You've got your CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, and now: CDOs?

3. Machine learning will leave everybody wanting more.

With mass adoption of Google Now and Siri, consumers and venture capitalists can only expect more goodies.

4. Two industry titans are beginning to sweat...profusely.

Xiaomi, the world’s most valuable startup, will scare the pants off Apple and Samsung in 2015.

5. Cybersecurity budgets will grow, and possibly explode.

Being “Sony’d” is a verb now. To all entrepreneurs and startups working on this issue: take the publicity with Sony and run with it!

6. Silicon Valley fully wakes up to health care.

“Healthcare represents nearly 18% of US GDP (and rising), making it perhaps the biggest market opportunity for venture capitalists and investors anywhere.”

2015-silicon-valley-predictions

These trends are changing the world as we know it. Stay ahead of the curve and come to Draper University's entrepreneurship program where you'll meet the movers and shakers behind these predictions. Apply now for our Spring 2015 class at http://draperuniversity.com//apply-2/.

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

Eight Promising Student-Founded Startups to Pitch to Tim Draper at YouNoodle Live

We’ve partnered with YouNoodle, a global startup competition platform and network of over 50,000 startups, and their virtual demo day series, YouNoodle Live, to bring you YouNoodle Live With Tim Draper on Tuesday December 9th at 9AM (PST). The event will shine the spotlight on eight of the most promising student entrepreneurs from around the world as they pitch for Tim Draper’s feedback and global exposure. As an active advocate for entrepreneurs around the world, Tim is excited to be part of YouNoodle Live. “We are constantly recruiting young founders for Draper University and are proud to have one of the best networks for innovators looking to launch their ideas into the marketplace,” said Tim. “This is a great opportunity for us to see what is out there in terms of new and unique ideas.”

Pitching students belong to YouNoodle 1K – the top 1,000 entrepreneurs and ideas selected from over 28,000 startups coming through more than 400 YouNoodle-driven startup competitions worldwide in the past 12 months. And, with only the highest standard of applicants presenting, you will be sure to catch some pretty inspiring pitches!

Draper University is proud to support YouNoodle’s mission to level the global playing field for startups so that they may access opportunities no matter where they are located. The virtual and cost-free nature of YouNoodle Live does just that. See the pitch-off go down by registering free at www.younoodle.com/live

Draper University in the Taiwanese Media!

November 26, 2014 – Check out this great piece on Draper University out of Taiwan - personal interviews with DU alumni Hua Zhao and Ryan Moon from the Fall 2014 Class and another awesome interview with Tim Draper!

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

What Are Draper University Alumni Up To? Oct 2013 Update

Draper University AlumniOctober 7, 2013 – Draper University alumni are changing the world with their gusto and enthusiasm. Their startups are already making an impact and creating disruption. Check out what some of our alumni are up to: Loopd - Re-imagining how you connect with people with wearable tech products

New Tide Commerce - B2C Consumer Product Exchange

Booth4 - Amazing rental photo booth service for parties and events

Roomrr - A safe, community marketplace for you to rent storage space to and from people like you

Trumo - A truly mobile application that allows you to easily access your contacts from any phone when yours is unavailable

EquityLancer - A global equity marketplace that enables startups to use their equity as a currency, instead of cash, to find and acquire critical resources such as talent, products, services, and funding, to develop their business idea

JayStay - Airbnb for exclusive networks

Actively Learn - An online literacy platform that empowers educators to transform reading

Coup - A new 21st century interpretation of the classic private social club, provides innovative and modern offerings and experiences more appropriate and attractive to its specific demographic of successful and upwardly mobile young professionals

Draem Ventures - Pre-seed impact venture fund dedicated to finding, founding, and funding the next generation of socially, environmentally, and technologically conscious businesses

Aimwith - Social equity marketplace for impact

Galaxeeds, Inc. - Creates a stress-free, comprehensive and reliable hiring, training and placement system solely based on job candidates' proven problem-solving capabilities and cultural fits with the companies.

NutKase Accessories - Design and manufacture high end personalised tablet and computer cases for educational institutions and corporates

BluVPN - Online privacy cloak and website unblocker

This is only the beginning - keep an eye on these amazing heroes - they are changing the world!

Loopd is Born: My Entrepreneurial Journey

Student Post – September 17, 2013 – Sitting on a bamboo chair at Mama’s Fish House below the overhanging palms, I stared into the distance where I could see a shimmering sunrise above the Maui horizon. The crests of the waves glistened from the light, and at that moment it occurred to me that this was it. The environment and atmosphere was pristine and perfect around me, however I was missing one thing. I had been observing the stunning innovation of Mother Nature, but within this beautiful picture I was just an observer. The desire to be part of this elaborate scene made me question my motivation and direction for the future.

Sunset View at Maui Film Festival

Soaring in the air I spun three rotations, and safely landed down on the downslope of a breaking swell. Guiding my kite to the left, I directed myself towards the beach, while digging the edge of my kiteboard into the Pacific. The wind was consistently racing through the air allowing my kite to harness its immense energy. Sending my kite back to the right, I raced towards a large wave. Approaching the lip of the wave, time started to slow down, and I entered a state of hyper focus. Each droplet splashing off the wave suddenly started to float. I could envision my route into the air where I would be once again part of the elaborate scene. Time sped up rapidly, and the wind blew against my body like a Maglev train racing towards its destination. Flying up towards the cumulus clouds, I looked below and felt at home. This feeling was pristine, and I had achieved my place next to the shimmering sun.

Kiteboarding Tweaked Grab, Pro Beach Maui

Two weeks earlier I had applied to an entrepreneurship program called Draper University, started by the famous venture capitalist and superhero Tim Draper of DFJ Ventures. The program is a six-week intensive pre-incubation and concept generation experience for future entrepreneurs ranging from age 18 to 28. Even though I had sent in my resume and completed my interview, I was still not sold if this was the right track for me. I have always been intrigued by start-ups ever since I was born. My dad ran a successful trade show company on three continents, and he had inspired me to take the leap. Freshman year at Lehigh University, I started a technical entrepreneurship club called CREATE, where I was inspired to help students bring their ideas to life from the paper stage. This is where I had my first romance with entrepreneurship, and I knew the rest was history. I was going to start my own company, and finally I would find my way to add my own splash of innovation to society surrounding me.

CREATE Club 3D Printing Workshop

Halfway through freshman year at Lehigh University, I declared my major Materials Science and Engineering. This was a step away from business, but I knew that with my new knowledge I would be able to make physical products that acted as disruptors for other technology. The curriculum was challenging and enduring, but I enjoyed learning about the building blocks of plastics, metals, and ceramics. Form and function both intrigued me, and I was motivated to create something that tied the two together in a simple harmony. Thinking about my future as a Material Scientist and Engineer, I realized that the normal track would not be entirely satisfying, and once again I would be looking out at the sunrise. Draper University accepted me for their summer program, and I knew that it was my calling from the Valley to the Bay.

Apple Company Store at Cupertino Headquarters

While at Draper University I met two extraordinary minds and my future cofounders: Allen Houng and Sambhav Galada. They were both trained Computer Scientists and Electrical Engineers. Allen was from Taiwan, and Sambhav was from India. We had all come from different backgrounds and cultures, but our desire to create a company unified all of us. Halfway through the program, I came up with a new concept for connecting with people physically while using new technological advancements. Recently I had observed that from the emergence of the smartphone technology, most people had become more virtually social and more physically antisocial. My goal was to use the existing platform in a new way, so that everyone could optimize the process and become more physically social. With the rise of smart wearable devices and SaaS platforms, I saw an opportunity to invent a simplified product that allowed people to interact with others in a sentimental fashion, while awarding themselves among their virtual presence. Sambhav and Allen shared the same vision that I had, and we agreed this was our new path. As a romanticist for ideas I had several projects that I was devoted to, but I had never found “the” idea. This new project was “the” idea, and my new love.

500 Startups Demo Day San Francisco

Jumping up and down from trampoline to trampoline, I was officially a superhero. My cape swayed behind me in the air, and I moved across the vast room like rolling thunder. I sat down on a bright blue beanbag and watched the rest of my class leap across the room with their unique style. It was our Draper University graduation, and my class finished their short 6-week journey one by one as they bounced from the podium. The day before graduation, student teams participated in a pitch day to a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors. Each team had two minutes per person to share their life-changing plan to beneficially disrupt the world. There had been a rumor moving quickly among our class that a few lucky teams would be chosen to receive funding. Every team delivered an extraordinary pitch, and I knew that any team could be worthy. I walked outside through the double doors and sat down next to the pool. Looking at the water’s surface, I saw my reflection, and I imagined a new life in Silicon Valley.

Draper University Summer Class

A deep voice caught my attention, and I turned around. It was one of the investors from our pitch day. He wanted to help my team make our venture a reality, and immediately my dream had come true. I had been waiting for the right pieces to come together in a harmony, and finally an upbeat and energetic melody had formed. I had a great team, investor, location, technology, market access, and supply chain. Lehigh University was my current plan, but I knew that this was my shot for the big leagues. If I didn’t go for it, then I could regret my decision for the rest of my life.

I would have never of thought that all within one summer I would start a company, move to California, and take a leave from school. The first two on my list were life goals, but I had always planned to finish what I had started with minimal interruptions. A new chapter in my life has started, and I am excited to share it with the world.

Santa Cruz Surf Break at Lighthouse Point Park

“We need to learn how to want what we have NOT to have what we want in order to get steady and stable Happiness”  – Dalai Lama

~ Guest post by Brian Friedman who is from Massachusetts and was part of DU's Summer 2013 Class. This article is cross-posted from his blog: https://medium.com/@bfried9131/loopd-is-born-b1b7a5ecad2f Check out his startup Loopd at: http://getloopd.com/

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 is Changing the World One Entrepreneur at a Time

April 17, 2013 – Draper University kicked off its Spring 2013 Class this week with a bang. Draper UniversityStudents from all over the world are joining us from Egypt, Lebanon, China, and Estonia, and they're all part of the revolution Draper University has started. The goal is simple – teach our students a methodology that will last them the rest of their lives and they will go on to change the way the entrepreneurial game is played.

Why are these young entrepreneurs going to change the world? Technology disruption comes from people or companies who are new to the market. They're not afraid to challenge the status quo; great examples are Intel, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook. The concept of entrepreneurship is now so common, it's being taught as early as elementary school. Colleges and universities are considered behind the game if they don't offer a program in entrepreneurship.

That's just the beginning – entrepreneurship will continue to happen at earlier ages, which is evideced by the unprecedented number of college sponsored business plan competitions, university incubators, and openness of colleges granting time off for company formation. Stanford continues to spin off great companies at a record and accelerating pace, some critics even question if it is still a university. Make no mistake about it, other schools are already following suit.

Draper University is set up to serve young entrepreneurs achieving their dreams and our students are already changing the world. Welcome, and enjoy the ride!