Summer 2014

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.

10 Tips from Inspiring Speakers at Draper University

Student Post – January 6, 2015 – Culled from the 2014 Summer class draper-selfie1. “Want to be a billionaire? Do this: solve a billion dollar problem OR solve a billion people’s problem.” — Naveen Jain

2. “After your first 12 years, you become a know-it-all. It’s simply the nature of intelligent beings. Now, we’re all tasked with re-gaining the template of being open or facing impending stagnation.” — Dr. Joon Yun

3. “You’re always better off renting; software, office, staff, etc. ” —  Joel Yarmon

4. “There’s honestly no better customer in the world than the desperate mom. That’s why I love direct-to-consumer marketing in the education industry.” — Dave McClure

5. “Once you get OPM (other-people’s-money), you officially have a boss. Entrepreneurs have bosses too. ” — Trip Hawkins

6. “Experts will either tell you why it can’t be done or give you an incrementally better idea. So, if you have a brilliantly disruptive idea, never go to an expert.” — Naveen Jain

7. “All technologies are combinations of technologies that already exist. Nothing is truly new.” — Steve Jurvetson

8. “It’s okay to say ‘no’ to unreasonable people. Protecting your network and reputation is paramount.” — Heidi Roizen

9. “When the going gets tough. Grab a partner. And MOSH.” — Chocolate Heads Movement Band

10. “It’s an incredible sight to watch when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object.” — Tim Draper

Interested in an opportunity of a lifetime? Apply today: http://draperuniversity.com//apply/.

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

Taking a Leap into Entrepreneurship at Draper University

Student Post – October 30, 2014 – For the past year or so, my gut has been urging me to derail from the traditional engineering career path and dive into the world of entrepreneurship. Fortunately, a couple months ago I left a job at SpaceX to join aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world for an fully-immersive, action packed, 6-week crash course in entrepreneurship at Draper University of Heroes.

Draper UniversityTake a Leap and Challenge Yourself

I came into this entrepreneurship program with an open mind and a very optimistic outlook of my future. We are now 3 weeks in and I can say with assurance that the program has far exceeded any of my previous expectations. I have come to realize that Draper University (DU) is unlike any business school in the world. You are not only forced out of your comfort bubble but encouraged to fail and fail again until you succeed. Creativity, progress and change are encouraged over more traditional methods of thinking in order to foster entrepreneurial minds. Tim Draper’s goal is inspire the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and based off of the first half of the program, the DU team is definitely making it happen.

Steve JurvetsonLearn from the All-Stars in Silicon Valley

Each week at Draper University brings new adventures along with lots of fun. The program is split into a series of different theme topics starting with vision and followed by others like power and survival. These themes are presented through a variety of creative mediums including exciting collaborative activities and lectures by some of the most successful people in the world. These guest speakers include many well-known entrepreneurs, startup investors, and even a former Blue Angels lead pilot. You're probably wondering what an elite aerobatics pilot could teach about starting a business? Let's just say that when it comes to entrepreneurship, nothing is cut and dry.

You cannot learn how to become an entrepreneur by simply reading a book. Instead, you must experience everything first-hand or carefully listen to people who have failed and learned from their mistakes. This is what makes a program like Draper University so unique and valuable. You don't just theorize about the right or wrong way to do something; you just do it. I remember walking past a sign inside Hero City, the co-working space at DU, and seeing a traffic stop sign that read, “STOP THINKING, START DOING.” This is exactly what the DU program is all about.

Fast Track into the Silicon Valley Startup Network

Despite what I may have said previously, learning by doing is only a small part of the overall Draper University experience. Even more powerful are the networking opportunities the program has given me. Having 24/7 access to some of the best and brightest minds from around the globe, gives one the ability to constantly share personal experiences and bounce ideas off one another.

Getting numerous different perspectives on a single problem has helped me quickly eliminate many bad business ideas and also build upon several great ideas. The level of collaboration and camaraderie I’ve seen at DU in the first three weeks is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks have in store for us.

~ Guest post by Komal Choong who is from India and was part of DU's Summer 2014 Class.

Learning Entrepreneurship: Three Reasons to Consider Draper University

Student Post – October 27, 2014 – I was once told that “an idea is worth nothing more than the paper it was written on.” If you have a business idea that you think might have great market potential, you need to talk about it. You need to write a business plan. You need to find good partners. You need to develop a prototype. You need to interview your potential early adopters. And that’s only a few to mention. Being a Draper University student/alumni gives you the ultimate entrepreneurship program and a network of bright thinkers, innovators of the current and future, as well as top Silicon Valley VCs. It gives you the chance to pitch your idea(s) daily, get feedback, iterate (and reiterate), until you hit the real ‘big’ thing that people are really looking for.

Entrepreneurship Program

Your startup just got funded.

Congratulations! You just began the journey of entrepreneurship. But before you get so excited, please do yourself and your startup a favour by learning how to hire the best talent, how to manage a team, and how to keep ideas flowing. As I once read in the “The Creative Confidence” book, you need to train your creative muscle to bring you up with creative ideas. That makes your startup stand out from the crowd.

At Draper University, you get to do creative activities almost daily, you get to work in teams to make big achievements. You listen to other startup founders’ success/failure stories. You acquire, analyse, and filter ideas, then apply them in your own startup. It’s the “crash course” in startups that helps you turn $$$ into a successful plan.

You’re already running a small startup.

Well perfect, then you should be looking for bigger business leads, to raise more money, or even getting acquired by one of the millionaires of Silicon Valley! Dreaming is one way of achieving good results, but Doing is something else. If you want to get once in a lifetime opportunities to meet people like Elon Musk, Naveen Jain, and Dave McClure, then Draper University is place for you. It is the one collective option where you get all those opportunities at once.

You’re a software developer; you don’t do business!

Do you know that there’s a constant need for software developers in Silicon Valley? Do you know that nowadays most startups and even well known corporates were founded by technical founders?

At Draper University, you’ll meet people from a wide variety of backgrounds, from Finance, Business, and Law, to Medicine, Bioinformatics, and Science. You’ll have the great potential to explore different business opportunities, make like-minded friends, and most important of all, maybe even become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs.

Okay, you’re convinced you need to learn to be an entrepreneur, but you’re running low on cash.

Draper University offers a broad number of scholarships as well as different payment options and financial aid. That should keep you away from the burden of saving lots of money to pay for the tuition.

Another plus to think about: you might end up raising some good money for your startup!

~ Guest post by Shady El-Yaski. Shady is from Egypt and was in DU's Summer 2014 Class. This article is cross-posted from his blog: http://blog.elyaski.com/uncategorized/5-signs-you-should-invest-in-joining-draper-university-of-heroes/


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Silicon Valley Entrepreneurial Summer Program Kicks Off

San Mateo, CA – July 2, 2014 – Draper University, a top entrepreneurship program, is proud to announce that for 6 weeks this summer, 39 young entrepreneurs from 17 different countries will converge on the Draper University campus in the heart of Silicon Valley for an intensive, experiential program focused on entrepreneurship, building real-world skills, and “learning by doing.” The highly selective school, currently running its sixth cohort, continues to refresh its curriculum to include cutting edge speakers and unconventional learning methods. Draper University“We prepare people for an interesting and purposeful life. We look for those 18-28 year olds who have a passion to change the world for the better. Students who enter the program will build a lifelong network of friends from around the world, will be exposed to the full Silicon Valley experience, will move their vision forward, and will never be the same,” said Tim Draper, founder of Draper University and co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson Venture Fund.

The students will be immersed in an unparalleled environment focused on creating a new kind of game-changing, young entrepreneur. They will learn from Silicon Valley all-stars like Bill Draper, Heidi Roizen, Reid Dennis, Naveen Jain, Josh Buckley, and Dave McClure, and will build a lifelong network of peers, advisors, and mentors. At the end of the immersive startup bootcamp, Draper University students will participate in a business plan competition where students have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of investors and obtain funding for their business.

Residential ProgramThe accomplished summer cohort, of which 36% are female and 60% are international, includes someone who founded a company that uses kinect touchless technology to help surgeons during complex operations, someone who speaks five languages, a Miss World Malaysia pageant participant, a designer of components for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, the founder of the Stanford Quidditch team, and several published authors.

Former Draper University students are out changing the world – they have started over 60 companies, raised over $6.4 million in capital, are working at large companies including Tesla and Google, as well as at startups, and attending business school at Harvard and Stanford.

Draper University is now accepting applications for its Fall 2014 Residential and Online programs. Application deadlines are at http://www.localhost/sites/html/apply. Draper University is offering over $35k in scholarships for its Residential Program in entrepreneurship, and is the first school to accept Bitcoin for tuition payment. For the first time, Draper University Online, an innovative online entrepreneurship program where students learn all the skills they need to be an entrepreneur and get to pitch their business idea for the chance to win up to a $5k investment, is offering to refund half of the tuition back to students who complete all of the coursework.


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