tim draper

What makes Draper University ‘special’?

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Since Mr. Tim Draper was out guest during Startup Istanbul 2017, we took the chance to conduct a small interview with him. Being a leading and well-recognized entrepreneur in the world, Mr. Draper has done many investments in the long term run including Skype and Hotmail. He has also attributed the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s “Entrepreneur for the World” in 2015. 

We had a small talk with Mr. Draper concerning Draper University. It is a private, for-profit institution that was established in 2012 by Mr. Draper himself. The main aims and goals of the university are to teach entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. What is really particular about this school is that no real professors or teachers are employed there to teach students, instead, students are being taught by real experts who belong to different industries. This unconventional teaching method was what made the university famous in the first place. They are currently teaching students from over 50 countries around the world, and have launched more than 2801 startups who raised approximately $51 Million in funding from VCs. The school became accredited when it teamed up with the Arizona State University to offer students 15 courses throughout 16 weeks. 

Mr. Draper stated that they sometimes call themselves the ‘People’s Accelerator’. They accelerate people in many ways, they make people actually get rid of their fears and of everything that would stop them and keep them from succeeding and achieving their dreams, as well as doing the things that they really want to do instead. The university as a whole is looking for those entrepreneurs who have the gift of being successful entrepreneurs, those with the sparkle in their eyes and who are really passionate about this field overall. The creativity and passion that these young people possess will be somehow developed thanks to the ‘vehicle’ that the Draper University offers them to move forward in a quick and swift way.

Most of the activities at Draper University are team-based. That is why most of the students have to team up with their colleagues and do activities as a team. The tasks that they are given are ‘seemingly impossible to do in a very short period of time’ as Mr. Draper described it, this portrays how amazing the things that a team could do when they work together. The purpose behind it is to push those students to their limits, make them try harder to succeed as a team, and learn them how to fail and rise again. These activities would actually give them an understanding of what they are capable of, and make them try their best to do every part of it perfectly. 

The shield present in the university’s logo means that everyone there is creating their own protection so that no one feels as if they have to fear anything. The Superhero theme that is also included in the university is to make people feel that they could do anything. The rest would be for you to discover, as Mr. Draper said. 

─ November 14, 2019