Tim Draper is a venture capitalist whose firm provides initial, vital funds for such businesses as Hotmail, Skype, and the pioneering electric automobile, Tesla. These days, his focus is on the next generation of leaders to take over in innovative business. At his incubator organization and think tank known as Draper University of Heroes, in Silicon Valley, Draper offers young business entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from some of the giants of internet industries.
To expand his reach to students in college, he started the Draper Business Plan Competition and invited students from all-women’s colleges to participate. Draper’s goal with this competition is to redress what he perceives as the imbalance in innovative businesses started by women.
Students participating in the challenge are asked to formulate their best business ideas, craft that into a business plan and proposal, and pitch that to a panel of judges acting as investors. Fifteen teams of Bay Path students join Barnard, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges in this year’s race for first place.
The first stage of the competition will be the written proposal of the students’ business plans. From there, finalists will have the chance to showcase their concepts at a “trade show.” Winners will then advance to a 90-second pitch of their business to judges on April 16, with $10,000 and three scholarships to the Draper University of Heroes in Silicon Valley as first place.