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    5 Reasons You Should Invest In Joining Draper University of Heroes


    2014 - 10.13

    Are you hesitating about attending Draper University? Not sure it’s the right time yet? Not sure it’s the best fit? Running low on cash?

     

    Although it has been couple of months since I graduated from Draper University of Heroes in the Summer 2014 class, I’m still reeling from zillions of thoughts and feelings, and I cannot begin to put a value on the amazing experience I had there.

     

    In my opinion, here are 5 reasons you should invest in joining Draper University of Heroes:

     

    1. You have a Billion-Dollar idea.

    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 platform 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.

     

    1. 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.

     

    1. Youre 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.

     

    1. Youre 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.

     

    1. Okay, youre convinced, but youre 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 :)

     

     

    Have any questions about Draper University?

    Please feel free to email me at: shady@elyaski.com

    5 weeks of heaven at Draper University of Heroes!


    2014 - 09.01

    Dear Fellow Readers,

    As I promised in my past blog post, I will be talking about my experience at Draper University in more detail.

    In the past five and a half weeks as a student in the DU Summer 2014 Class, I can proudly say that I have done over 20 different things that I had never done before! Some of things included: graffiti painting, go-karting, and approaching random people in the street to get a job.

    The activities that I participated in at Draper University were geared towards challenging you to move beyond your comfort zone. Read on to find out about those activities:

    Our very first assignment was to write a bucket list of 101 items that we wanted to achieve in our life. This was a great exercise because it helps you think about why you were put on Earth, as well as the biggest priorities in your life.

    bucketlist     

    The next day, we were assigned to our teams. No one knows how the teams are decided, but I think it had to do with the Belbin Assessment test that we took earlier that tells you what type of team member you are. My team consisted of (left to right) me, Erin, Nick, Cival, & Vicky. I’m lucky to be part of this team because everyone was super talented.

    team

    Then we were asked to go on our first outdoor team bonding activity: a scavenger hunt. We had to go explore the city of San Mateo, but there was a twist. You’ll have to come to Draper University to find out what that twist is. Just kidding. We had to take photos with eccentric people, search for old stamps, make bargains, and take a crazy video of the team dancing in the street. Watch it here: Dancing Video

    Next week’s theme was Creativity. Yes! I did this graffiti drawing. Well, part of it :). We learned the history of graffiti painting and got an overview of great graffiti painters in history. We also spray painted the whole wall with a line from Draper University’s Superhero Oath: “I’ll promote freedom at all costs.”

    graffiti

    When the first weekend came, I thought we would get some rest. Nope. Didn’t happen. We had to work hard during the weekend to prepare and deliver a pitch (and an MVP) for the first Draper University Hackathon. The hackathon was themed around world problems, including education, healthcare, government, currency & power.  I teamed up with this incredible team of Sarah (China), Liza (Mexico) & Fay (China). Our idea was based on Liza’s startup back in Mexico: an iPhone app that enables the camera phone to analyze, process & diagnose cancer cells from a microscope. We had a great presentation and working demo. Interesting stuff huh?

    hackathon

    The next day we were asked to do an Egg Drop Challenge. And yes, it’s as messy as it sounds! We had one night to think about how to drop an egg from the rooftop of the 8th floor of the Draper University building. We were supposed to use as few items as possible. Here are some of the parts we were allowed to use:

    – Straws

    – Plastic Bags

    – Condoms!

    – Tape

    – Cups

    It was amazing to see all the different variations concocted by everyone.

    eggdrop

    Next weekend we did something completely new: we went go-karting. Got an adrenaline rush? Those karts were really fast! We had a chance to drive the small karts and drive like a professional track for 8 laps. Competing with each other was so fun!

    gokart

    Bottom Line

    As fun as Draper University may seem, it is a serious entrepreneurship program too. Two to three speakers came to present everyday. We had to give speeches about various hands-on topics. We had to do weekly assignments and daily presentations (solo and with your team). Along the way, you incrementally build up a business plan while getting help from mentors in various fields. On the final day of the program, we had the opportunity to pitch our business plan to a panel of 30+ investors. Overall, this was one of the best experiences in my life. Thank you Draper University for making this happen!

    Beyond the fear, exploring the world with gusto & enthusiasm!


    2014 - 08.19

    Howdy readers, it has been a while since I ever blogged.

    This summer I was on a mission to explore & disrupt Silicon Valley. Read on to find out about my tale on how I got started at Draper University of Heroes.

    I was so excited once I received my acceptance letter to the Draper program. I promised myself that this experience would be an unforgettable life changing experience. Here is what I did to get started. First, I quit my full time job after my start up in Egypt got funded. Second, I booked a ticket to fly off to the what’s called the center of entrepreneurship… Silicon Valley.

    I arrived on June 20th in San Mateo (where Draper University is located)… two days before the program officially started. Unfortunately, the program didn’t start so I was left with no place to stay so I had to figure something out. I thought to myself… “Should I rent a hotel? Should I hostel? Should I spend the night on the streets?”
    I considered all of these thoughts but a hotel was too expensive and all hostels were booked. As for living on the streets? Too cold. I left Egypt when it was 33 Celsius only to find San Mateo to be 15 Celsius! There is no way I could spend the night on the street.

    I thought to myself. There had to be another way. I put my mind on hyperdrive. A Tesla whizzes by me while I walked down the street by the coffee house. Ah-ha.
    I am going to rent a car and live in it.

    I spent the first night in my sweet Hyundai Elantra. The following morning, I woke up and decided that I am going to venture on and explore the city of San Francisco but… where will I go?

    I wrote down a list of places that I wanted to visit and spent the day visiting the Computer History Museum, Google HQ, Microsoft HQ, Apple HQ, Intel Museum and the NASA Museum.

    The following day I arrived at Draper University. I knew that being surrounded by a group of top-notch very smart people (39 in total) would make this a special experience. People came from all parts of the globe and had diverse backgrounds. Mechanical engineers, graphic designers, software engineers, finance & law. Although we had such diverse backgrounds, our enthusiasm for starting our own companies immediately bonded together. The diversity was just the right combination to promote intellectual growth and foster together life long friends.

    On the first day, we were all welcomed by Tim Draper personally. I can’t forget his wide smile. His cheerfulness and his ability to recite each of our names.
    Classes started right away. I liked that everything learned favored practicality over theory. Speakers came in everyday. On average, 3-4 speakers came to speak to us. The backgrounds of the speakers were diverse. I am in paradise. This is where I am meant to be. This is my new home.

    Stay tuned for my next blog post, having some insights of our crazy activities that we do here over Draper University of Heroes.

    With gusto & enthusiasm!