founder

"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!