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Do you want to learn how to be an entrepreneur?

Forget about traditional business schools, which are made to crank out middle-managers and where the theories used are 20 years old. Forget about taking on mountains of debt and ending up as an overeducated, semi-employed Master Barista Apprentice (no offense).

If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, let Tim Draper be your dean. He has created a "university" made for today's entrepreneurial society; a place where you will learn what it takes to succeed; and a place where you will graduate a superhero.Draper University will provide you with knowledge, experience, a top-flight Demo Day, and everything else you'll need to get your company get off the ground. I guarantee you'll also walk away with a ton of good memories -- name one other accelerator that has a "survival week" in the woods?

PS: they are currently taking applications -- will you take the plunge?

Accelerator #4: Draper University

In just one sentence, what is your accelerator called and what do you do? 

Draper University is a 7-week startup bootcamp located in the heart of Silicon Valley where we provide aspiring entrepreneurs experience to start a startup.

What makes your program different or unique? And related, what’s your primary value-add?

We are an early-stage entrepreneurship program for those who have a business idea or passion but need some help and guidance to take it to the next level. We teach our students crucial leadership and teamwork skills, connect them with the right mentors and advisors, and expose them to inspiring guest speakers from all corners of the Silicon Valley ecosystem. At the end of the program, students have the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of investors to get potential funding for their company. After graduating from Draper University, our alumni are well equipped to do anything they want: launch a company, land their dream job, and change the world.

What do you love the most about working with startups?

Draper University is a diverse startup ecosystem made up of aspiring entrepreneurs, growing startups, innovative investors, and a fun co-working space. We bring together people with similar mindsets who want to change the world in an open and creative environment where no idea is too big. Not only are we empowering entrepreneurs to start their own companies, but we are a startup ourselves, and it is an amazing process to work and collaborate together as we all strive to change the world with the companies we’re building.

What is the hardest or most surprising part of working with startups?

Working with entrepreneurs who want to start a startup is an invigorating experience. There are no real rules, and every day is full of new challenges and surprises. We love it!

Do you have a success story to share? Who are the most notable or interesting companies to go through your program?

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, countries, and industries. Over 60% of our students are international, and our alumni have collectively raised over $6M in funding since launching in 2012. Amongst the successful startups that DU alumni have started is a new medical device that will save lives, wearable tech that will change the events and fashion industries, and innovative advertising companies that capitalize on social media and university students. Other DU alumni have launched successful crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for a high-tech remote cat feeder with cat facial recognition (!) and a social enterprise whose proceeds from selling organic peanut butter benefit malnourished children in Haiti.

How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your company?

Foundersuite’s CEO & Co-Founder Nathan Beckford has graciously donated his time to share his experience and expertise as a startup founder with Draper University students. The startup tools and management software they offer have helped our students and alumni as they start their startups all over the world.

Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?

“Fail and fail again until you succeed.” Don’t be afraid of failure.

Thank you so much to the amazing people behind Draper University -- you are our superheroes!

Topics: entrepreneur, heroes, no rules, San Mateo, startup, students, Accelerator of the Week, bootcamp, collaboration, Draper Hero, Draper University, international, superhero, teamwork

     
Nathan Beckord

Written by Nathan Beckord

Nathan Beckord is Founder and CEO of Foundersuite.com, a venture-backed startup that makes the leading CRM for raising capital. Previously, Nathan ran VentureArchetypes and served as advisor or interim CFO at dozens of startups, including Kickstarter, Clicker, Autonet, Zerply, and many more. Nathan has an MBA and CFA and is a fanatical sailor.