Entrepreneurship Program

"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.

The Making of a Superhero at Draper University

Alumni Post written by Niti Shree of Draper University Summer 2015

I have always been a risk-taker and a confident individual. I always took the road less traveled in my personal and professional journey. But, I never considered myself as a person who could do anything without any fear or self-doubt until the Draper University experience happened to me.

This story is the compilation of the realizations of my powers and unleashing of the Superhero within me.

Fail and fail again

In almost all the competitions, my team came last or got special mention points. In the societal norms, I should be sad, disheartened or give up in such situations. We often just quote “ Failures as stepping stone for success” in theory. But, at Draper University I learned to celebrate failures, improvise and move on.

Mind over body

I always considered myself as a physically weak person. Even though I am normally a “Say yes!” person, I couldn’t break the block of wood with my bare hand in first attempt. It took me five attempts to break that wood. That “proving myself wrong” feeling after breaking was amazing. I learned the power of your mind can get anything done from you.

Exploring the world with Gusto and Enthusiasm

In our day-to-day life as we grow up, we stop feeling excited about the new activities or challenges. I became one in someway. Draper University’s experience taught me that no matter how much you have grown up, keep the excitement alive in you.

The first step towards creation is observing

We live in a technology-led world and we become so used to such a life. We forget to pay attention to things around us. We are able to fly today because some entrepreneur built the aeroplane, we are able to talk to our loved ones on the go because some entrepreneur created the mobile phone…what if these people would have just moved ahead without paying attention. I learned to observe things around me after surviving at Survival Week at Draper University.

The network effect

It’s often said that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Your network shapes you. Alone you can only grow to a certain level. I can never forget the feeling of being nervous for the “Pitch Day” and my 68 friends cheering up for me. That feeling instills your belief in yourself and the work you are headed to do.

Be uncomfortable

The very first day Tim told us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. We all have probably heard this quote “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, but liitle we practice. During the entire program, we were uncomfortable — not knowing what’s coming next and doing activities which you never even dreamt of.

Fearless

Many times we don’t try something new or don’t do something because we are afraid of unknown or known factors. I swam for the first time, faced the mighty waves of Pacific ocean for the first time, making the first ever confident presentation…many more firsts. Conquering your fears is most powerful feeling which takes your confidence to whole new level.

Have fun

Fun is the most important element of success which most of us forget. When working hard towards your goal people often believe that there is no scope of fun. That’s wrong. The true entrepreneurial journey must have lots of Fun. It keeps the creative juices flowing in your brain.

…Apart from above, there were other learning aspects too during the program. But above all, its the realization of the Superhero within me. You will get to know about my heroic skills as I go ahead in my journey.

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.

 

How Unconventional, Experiential Learning is Reshaping Higher Education

May 18, 2015 — Draper University was featured in Forbes to demonstrate the shift from an academic business education model towards an increasingly experiential one. Author Jason Ma cites a growing demand for practical education with real world application for entrepreneurs. He argues that today, success after college is actually determined by experiential factors (like internships) rather than rigorous coursework. Experiential learning programs offer networking and team building opportunities not incorporated into conventional schooling. Employers want to know that your knowledge can be readily applied to their company needs, and theoretical education won't always equip candidates with the requisite skill set. More and more, experiential learning programs like DU are attracting entrepreneurs who hope to simulate on-the-job experiences and develop a practical business acumen. Ma spoke with Tim Draper and DU alums to determine what makes DU a singular educational experience.  Factors include the challenge to think big and work through failure, along with exposure to an array of business leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ma writes, "I believe that innovative, experiential learning, both off-campus and on-campus, will increasingly make marks worldwide. Many employers are not looking for those who simply 'follow orders.' They need those who can think and act out of the box, those who bring a broad range of experiences and skills to the table... [U]nconventional avenues of know-how and alternative, hands-on paths to learning are adding value to higher education, especially in the field of entrepreneurship."

Read the full profile on DU and nine other experiential learning programs at Forbes.

Tech Guru Overwhelmed By Draper University Opportunity

dwaynesamuels3March 12, 2015 - Dwayne Samuels, the first Jamaican entrepreneur accepted to Draper University, graduated today as part of DU's Winter 2015 class. If you'd asked him a few years ago whether he would be accepted to Draper University and travel to Silicon Valley for a 7-week entrepreneurship program, "he would have laughed in disbelief." You can read about Dwayne's journey from Jamaica to Silicon Valley in the Jamaica Gleaner, and check out the main highlights below.

Dwayne Samuels & his startup Grikly

Dwayne, 25, is from a humble community in suburban Manchester and always had a knack for computer applications and software creations. His startup Grikly is an app that allows persons to share business cards via smartphones. He is working on expanding his idea to Grikly Events, which allows event planners to execute events and gather information of users who 'check' into the location with their smart phones.

His Goal for Attending Draper University

To get a better understanding of the US market, widen his network here in Silicon Valley, and expand his business operations to the US.

Why He's Never Given Up

Through all his failures and successes, Dwayne cites his drive to succeed and his parents for being the reasons he's never given up.

"My parents have sacrificed so much for me and I love them immensely. I couldn't ask for better parents, they are the main reason I am where I am today. I'm a part of the best program of its nature in the world."

Read the entire article on Dwayne Samuels here.

My Draper University Experience: The Secret Behind This Summer Startup Progam

summer startup program“I will do everything in my power to drive, build and pursue progress and change.”

Student Post - February 23, 2015 - When you hear a sentence like this out of context, it is difficult to extract its true significance. However, after only a couple days at the summer startup program Draper University, it’s easy to understand the importance of such a phrase, and it becomes even more meaningful taken in context with Draper University's Superhero Oath.

Not Your Everyday Pledge of Allegiance

Every morning at Draper University's summer startup program, we recite the Superhero Oath as a class. To "pursue progress and change" is only one of the lines in the oath, and we stand by each and every line not only during the program, but also long after the program as we return to "the real world."

The Superhero Oath is not part of your typical summer startup program, but that's because Draper University is far from typical. Tim Draper, seasoned venture capitalist and founder of DFJ and Draper University, is a heroic leader and true agent for change. His investment successes include Hotmail, Skype, Tesla Motors, and Baidu, and his eccentric personality makes him the perfect headmaster for a unique summer startup program like DU.

Pursue Progress and Change, Forever

Over the last few weeks at Draper University, we were given many challenging tasks geared at thinking 10X and stepping out of our comfort zones. While most summer startup programs promote creativity within their students, Draper University goes the true distance by constantly empowering us. As a group, we are always reminded to “do everything in our power to drive, build, and pursue progress and change” - not just during our time at DU but in our everyday lives, forever.

During my first few days at DU, I remember questioning the Superhero Oath. However, as a student half way through the program, everything we do - all the remarkable speaker presentations & mentorships we receive - bring everything full circle so it really hits home. I can honestly say, at the age of 26, a pivotal point in one’s life, attending any summer startup program is a good idea; however attending Draper University is a life-changing idea. The network, education, experience, and location are all top-notch and it certainly lives up to its founders' past successes.

~Guest post by Eric Gursky who is from New York and was part of DU’s Summer 2014 Class.

My Draper University Experience: The Startup School that Changed My Life

startup schoolStudent Post - February 20, 2015 - Three weeks ago, I landed at the San Francisco International airport. I was zipping around the airport in an unusual way for someone who just got off a five-hour flight. It wasn't because I was excited to experience Silicon Valley for the first time; it wasn't because I was excited to learn how to launch a business; and it wasn't even because I wanted to receive some of the finest entrepreneur training from Tim Draper at his very own startup school, Draper University. The reason I was walking with so much pep in my step was because I am always THAT GUY - that guy who has way too much enthusiasm and excitement in mundane settings. I believe this is why, the moment I stepped foot in this one-of-a-kind startup school, I felt at home. Draper University is a startup school that completely embraces attitudes like mine. It is so engrained into this startup school that their motto is composed of lines such as:

“I will explore the world with GUSTO and ENTHUSIASM!”

Every morning, I and 39 other students shout this line with vigor at Draper University’s brilliant startup school in Silicon Valley as part of the daily superhero oath.

All of the “ra-ra” stuff we do is awesome and trust me when I say that I love it, but that is not what has been life changing for me. What I have learned at this magical startup school is that every individual has the ability to change the world. If you make a deliberate effort to follow your passion, interests, and intuition, you will almost certainly change the world. However, the moment you beginning losing touch with those things is when you lose your supernatural ability to change the world.

Draper University of Heroes is truly a startup school where heroes are made.

~ Guest post by Jacob Catalano who is from Toronto, Canada and was part of DU’s Summer 2014 Class.

My Draper University Experience: 3 Reasons Why You Should Apply

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

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

3 Important Reasons Why You Should Apply to Draper University

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

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

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

startup lifeAn evening meditation session with fellow heroes

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Hot Incubators to Join in Silicon Valley

November 26, 2014 – Draper University was mentioned in today's Inc.com article by John Rampton on the "Top 10 Hot Incubators to Join in Silicon Valley." While DU isn't technically an incubator, we are a top entrepreneurship program that gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise seed funding by pitching to a panel of investors at the end of the program. Check out all the programs on the list.

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 Meetup in Seoul, Korea

November 19, 2014 –draper-university-startup-meetup-korea Last Wednesday, Draper University alum Cherry Kim held the first ever Draper University meetup in Seoul, Korea. Current student Ryan Moon was also able to video call into the meetup from DU's campus in Silicon Valley. More than 40 local entrepreneurs showed up for the info session and networking event. At the meetup, participants learned about and discussed the different activities in Draper University's unique entrepreneurship program and how the activities and assignments teach you to think big and build your ideas. Cherry also emphasized the importance of networking and the opportunity to get connected with Tim Draper's network.

draper-university-startup-meetup-koreaDraper University's startup bootcamp will give you the real world skills and hands on experience you need to become an entrepreneur and launch your startup. Our students come from all around the world (including Korea!), and we have an average of 60% international students in each cohort. Many of our alumni have gone on to start their own companies (over 70+ successful companies and counting), land their dream job (alumni are currently working at Google, Tesla, and Yelp), and change the world. If you want to join the next cohort of heroes at Draper University, visit our website and check out our apply page for upcoming program dates and application deadlines.

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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? Sept 2014 Update

San Mateo, CA – Sept 3, 2014 – Draper University entrepreneurship program graduates are making waves in startup communities across the globe. Launched in 2012 in Silicon Valley by successful venture capitalist Tim Draper, Draper University runs startup training programs for entrepreneurs from all over the world. Students learn to think differently and are encouraged to start businesses that will change the world. Tech DriveRecent graduates from the entrepreneurial program include female racecar driver Collete Davis, who graduated from the Spring 2013 cohort. Collete, a Formula 1 racecar driver and STEM education ambassador recently co-founded TechDrive online magazine with Bravo! TV Silicon Valley cast member Hermione Way and was recently featured on the cover of FSHN magazine.

Bistro Cat FeederOther Draper University alumni include Mu-Chi Sing and Colin Heilbut, both from the Winter 2014 cohort, who successfully crowdfunded over $200,000.00 for Bistro, the smart feeder that recognizes your cat’s face. Bistro is the world’s smartest feeder that can track appetite and weight change using an innovative cat facial recognition technology.

Q BraceletMore innovative graduates, all from the Summer 2013 cohort, include the founders of two wearable technology startups. James Kernan founded the startup Q Designs and launched the Q Bracelet, an innovative stylish bracelet that charges your smartphone. Brian Friedman and Allen Houng founded the startup Loopd, a platform that streamlines interaction between business professionals.

Peanuts4PeanutsIn the social entrepreneurship sector, alumnae Lizzie Faust and Kendra Wilkins are supporting malnourished children in Haiti with sales of their all-natural peanut butter through their startup Peanuts4Peanuts.

Blast BuzzInnovative marketer Kerstin Karu of the spring 2013 cohort launched Blast Buzz to help brands connect with people to co-create and amplify word-of-mouth buzz across social media. Kerstin was recently featured on VentureBeat speaking on the future of marketing.

Other notable alums include Apurv Mishra, a developer and engineer who is launching TAP, an app that will be the fastest, simplest messaging application. Users simply “tap” their smartphone to send a notification. In the gamification sector, alum Alex Chen is changing the landscape by creating TestLegends, a tool for educators to make test preparation more fun and engaging. Disrupting the moving sector in India is Mithun Srivasta, who launched Blowhorn, the Uber of home delivery, in order to bring easy delivery into homes across India.

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


⇤ Back to Home

Tim Draper Interview with Raj Mathai of NBC News Bay Area

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

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!