Entrepreneurship Program

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.

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

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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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


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Online Entrepreneurship Program Offers Special Completion Challenge

San Francisco, CA – August 07, 2014 – Draper University is proud to announce the Draper University Online (DUO) Completion Challenge. Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 students will get 50% of the $850 tuition back if they complete the core curriculum. Draper University Entrepreneurship ProgramThe goal of the DUO Completion Challenge is two-fold. First, Draper University intends to make the online entrepreneurship program more affordable to those who have real commitment to learning about building startups. Secondly, the school hopes to attract more applicants and collect user behavior data to create state-of-the-art online learning experiences for entrepreneurs.

A recent Draper University study has shown interesting findings pertaining to the learning behaviors of online entrepreneurship students at Draper University. Surprisingly, among all three delivery formats, interactive assignments, video lectures and reading, online students are most actively engaged with interactive assignments even though completing an interactive assignment requires much more work than clicking through a video lecture or a reading assignment.

The study is based on user data of the Winter 2014 cohort. On average, the Winter 2014 cohort achieved an average engagement rate of 75%, already well above the industry average engagement rate for online courses. This indicates that on average, a student engaged with 75% of all course content in the core curriculum. Interestingly, the average engagement rate of interactive assignments is 83%, substantially higher than the 74% average engagement rate for reading introductions and the 69% average engagement rate for video lectures.

Similar to other MOOC programs, Draper University Online’s core curriculum exhibits a downward trending engagement rate over the 7-week program. The first module, Vision, has an average engagement rate of 85% and the last module, Brilliance, has an average engagement rate of 68%.

By comparison, the interactive assignments were an exception. The average engagement rate of assignments started with an average engagement rate of 87% in the first module and only decreased slightly to 83% in the last module. Moreover, the interactive assignments consistently outperformed the other two delivery formats in engagement rate in all 7 modules.

Acknowledging the relatively small sample size in the study, the high engagement rate of interactive assignment likely resulted from both Draper University's innovative assignment design and the hands-on nature of its target student group, entrepreneurs, and aspiring entrepreneurs. The program requires students to complete a series of fun but challenging assignments, which instill the most essential skills of entrepreneurship to its online entrepreneurship program students.

Alumni of the online entrepreneurship program appreciate the unique learning experiences. Tony Capasso of Summer 2014 Class donated one full scholarship for a 1st or 2nd generation American to attend the program.


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Draper University Announces Downtown Project Entrepreneurial Prize for Top Graduates

San Mateo, CA – August 7, 2014 – Draper University is proud to announce the Downtown Project Entrepreneurial Prize for the top two graduates of the Draper University’s Fall entrepreneurial program. Tony Hsieh has generously donated an all expense paid trip for two Draper University students to fly to Las Vegas on a premier JetSuite aircraft to experience the Downtown Project. Tony Hsieh Downtown Project“We're excited to partner with Draper University for the first Downtown Project Entrepreneurial Prize and to welcome their graduates to a whole new side of Downtown Las Vegas!” – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com and Founder of Las Vegas Downtown Project.

Students will stay in the one of the fully furnished apartments hosted by the Downtown Project and will spend their time immersed in the entrepreneurial spirit of the Downtown Project. They will also be able to tour Zappos and other local companies as well as check out the downtown Vegas scene and meet other startup founders in the community.

“We are thrilled to participate in such an exciting award for an inspiring program!” – Alex Wilcox, JetSuite Founder and CEO.

As a top startup program teaching entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, Draper University seeks to give unique opportunities to Draper University graduates in order to meet other like minded individuals who are trying to launch a business and learn from successful startup founders like Tony Hsieh.

About Downtown Project: The goal and purpose of Downtown Project is to help make Downtown Las Vegas a place of inspiration, entrepreneurial energy, creativity, innovation, upward mobility, and discovery, through the three Cs of collisions, co-learning, and connectedness. We are doing this by investing in tech startups, small business, real estate and development, arts, culture, and education.

About JetSuite: JetSuite’s vision to provide the freedom and exhilaration of private air travel to more people than ever is realized through efficient operations, acute attention to detail, acclaimed customer service, and industry-leading safety practices. And JetSuite continues to be the only jet charter company to guarantee its instant, online quotes for its fleet of WiFi-equipped JetSuite Edition CJ3 and Phenom 100 aircraft. Refreshingly transparent!


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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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Draper University Online has one of the Highest Course Completion Rates

San Mateo, CA – June 2, 2014 – After running two sessions of its online entrepreneurship program, Draper University is proud to report a completion rate of 51% - one of the highest among online learning programs and, according to data compiled by an Open University doctoral student, nearly five times the average completion rate for MOOCs. Draper University Online“We’re thrilled with our completion and satisfaction rates, both of which are off the charts,” said Tim Draper, founder of Draper University and founder partner of DFJ. “Online education is here to stay, and our online program gives us the reach to changes the lives of aspiring entrepreneurs around the world.”

Draper University Online has received very positive feedback from past students. “Draper University’s online course goes far beyond what is found in a typical MOOC,” said one student. “It would never be possible to get exposure to such an array of experts in a field in a typical university course.”

Beginning this upcoming session, Mr. Draper will also be guaranteeing an investment offer to at least one student of the online school. The investment offer will be for $5,000 at a $2M valuation, or negotiable.

Running in tandem with Draper University’s residential program in Silicon Valley, the online school curriculum covers business basics and startup strategies by using experiential methods unique to Draper University. The online program includes access to a curated selection of past Draper University lectures and a number of live lectures via Livestream. Online students are given individual assignments and teamwork projects to push their imaginations and limits, and have the opportunity to get feedback from mentors (including Mr. Draper) during live office hours via Google Hangouts. Each session culminates with the opportunity to pitch a panel of investors virtually.

The online school has had a diverse population over its first two sessions: 38% female, ages ranging from 18-83, and 13 countries of origin. The countries with the highest enrollment rates (by descending enrollment) are: the United States, China, Argentina, Mexico, India and Japan.

The next online session begins June 23, 2014. Applicants interested in the online school can apply at: http://draperuniversity.com//apply by June 4, 2014.

My Draper University Online Experience by Megan Lisa Jones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Anything is Possible at Draper University of Heroes

Student Post  July 18, 2013 – They say that Silicon Valley is the place where things happen. Where overhearing a conversation about two guys working on their newest startup at a coffee shop is common place, and where people often reply to your pitch with a "Yes, AND" instead of a "Yes, BUT" or even worse, with a straight up "NO." Yes, Silicon Valley is the place where anything is possible, and this became clear when I convinced renowned venture capitalist Tim Draper to auction off a one-on-one lunch meeting to the highest bidder.

Ana DuranThinking Outside the Box at Draper University

Regardless of whom you are and what position you hold, don't be afraid to fail. However, having a strong network is always useful, and I must confess that being a current student at Draper University in San Mateo, CA might have helped a little to secure the lunch. Draper University is an unconventional boarding school for young entrepreneurs created by Tim himself. In fact, the auction is taking place because my team, the Wonders, is fundraising for "Survival Week" which involves being in a secluded area for five days as part of the innovative curriculum. Fortunately, Tim agreed to help my team out with our wacky idea to auction him off, and we look forward to going off in the wild and surviving from the resources we gathered and the team strategy we devised while he has lunch with the lucky winner.

Be Surrounded by Like-Minded Entrepreneurs

Being at Draper University is about more than just going off on survival adventures or having talks led by top CEOs like Aaron Levie who created Box, or industry leaders like Robert Metcalfe who co-invented the Ethernet. To be here means to be surrounded by a group of thirty-eight brilliant peers from different corners of the world who share a passion for entrepreneurship and disruption, and who will eagerly give you feedback on your business idea regardless of how many times you change it. To be here means to think outside the box like how to drop an egg off from the eight floor without breaking it, and to be prepared to change the rules at any given point like playing volleyball with two balls and no net. To be here means "to do everything in my power to drive build, and pursue progress and change" as our superhero oath constantly reminds us. Most importantly, to be here means to be a hero.

What Does it Mean to be a Hero?

Through Draper University, I have come to redefine my definition of this word. Four weeks ago I would have said that to be a hero means to do something extraordinary that will benefit society. Today, I believe that a hero is someone who is not afraid to fail and who helps raise others up so that together they can do something even more extraordinary. Yes, at DU it is all about the teamwork and helping each other out in order to achieve a common goal. After all, every one has something to contribute to the table, and it is only when we pull all of our strengths together that we become more creative, more valuable, and completely indestructible. And if we fail, we fail together, we help each other up, and we try again until we succeed.

Don't be Afraid of Failure

That is the biggest lesson I have learned since being here, and as obvious and cliché as it may seem, you really need to live it in order to understand it. Regardless of whom you are and what position you hold, don't be afraid to fail. In fact, the only thing that should really scare you is failing and not learning anything from the experience. Everything else, regardless of how bad it is, holds some sort value if you know where to look for it. For example, when I was ten I was diagnosed with leukemia, and as bad an painful as dealing with cancer was, I was surrounded by the best team possible: my knowledgeable doctors, my loving parents, and my supportive school friends. Together, they made chemotherapy more bearable, and when the roughest days arrived and I wish I would die, my team was there to hold my hand and lift me up.

Also, always try to help others and form teams with your family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers. They all have the potential to inspire you and to help you see the world with a new perspective, and you of course can do the same for them. So dream together, execute together and fail together. I believe this mentality is what makes places like Silicon Valley and Draper University so special. I only hope that all the heroes out there will help me share and implement this idea with the rest of world and start working together to do something extraordinary. And even if it fails, it will still be extraordinary.

~ Guest post by Ana Duran who is from Colombia and was part of DU's Summer 2014 Class.

Draper University's Amazing Guest Speakers from Silicon Valley

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

Bill Draper1. Bill Draper

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

Naveen Jain2. Naveen Jain

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

Strikingly3. David Chen & Teng Bao

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

Jamis MacNiven4. Jamis MacNiven

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

Mike Cassidy5. Mike Cassidy

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

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

Draper University is First Educational Institution to Accept Tuition in Bitcoin

BitcoinSan Mateo, CA – June 11, 2013 – Draper University, a cutting edge boarding school for young entrepreneurs from all over the world, received its first tuition payment in Bitcoin for its summer session which starts June 24. Draper University, known for its innovative approach to education, accepts various forms of tuition payments including bartering for services, and now will also accept Bitcoin for tuition payments.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first decentralized electronic currency not controlled by a single organization or government. It’s a virtual form of currency that can be used to make payments over the Internet without transaction fees or involving a financial institution. It is used by people all over the world who are trading hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin every day with no middle man and no credit card companies.

“Some of the most forward looking entrepreneurs are active Bitcoin traders. At Draper University of Heroes, we accept Bitcoin payment of tuition because it is a promising currency with appreciating value. For the time being, we still accept dollars too” said Tim Draper, founder and managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and founder of Draper University.

the bitcoin courseInnovation at Draper University

Accepting Bitcoin is just another illustration of how Draper University is following the same innovative model it teaches. Students are taught to think differently and disrupt the standard and accepted ways of practicing business. Bitcoin currency is a great example of new technology being used to disrupt the standard approach to currency and payment systems. Other ways students have bartered for tuition include NFL training by a former NFL player and placement of the Draper University logo on a racecar by a female racecar driver.

The university, located in downtown San Mateo, offers an innovative program designed to inspire, cultivate, and educate students who dream to build companies that change the world around them. Draper University offers four sessions a year and is intended for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 26.

Hero-City

Hero City Co-Working Space

Further attracting entrepreneurs and promoting their success, the Draper University campus includes Hero City a three-story entrepreneurial center across the street (anticipated open Fall 2013). Hero City, a co-working space open to Draper University students and non-affiliated entrepreneurs, startups and incubators, promotes innovation, collaboration and community with its peer-to-peer work environment. Hero City will also offer pop-up retail spaces that can be rented on a short-term basis, and a theater/speakers forum for events. Hero City will also accept Bitcoin for payment.

These two entities combined create a powerful entrepreneurial ecosystem to serve the innovators and disrupters of the next generation of startups.

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!