The concept comes from the mind of well known VC Tim Draper, famous for investing in companies like Skype, Hotmail, Baidu, and Tesla (just to name a few). Draper University targets "disrupters" and provides them with startup-accelerator-like resources for the duration of the program.
The program itself can either be completed online or in six or eight-week in-person sessions held three times throughout the summer and fall. The next session is in the fall for eight weeks, September 30th - November 22nd.
The program is open to all, but they specifically look for students and entrepreneurs from the age of 18-26. A sample of the course curriculum includes speed reading, pitching, networking, media training, social branding and more.
They brand themselves as the university for entrepreneurial disrupters, superheroes, and innovative thinkers, and their list of past speakers is packed with notables such as Elon Musk, Tony Hsieh, and Matt Flannery.
Interestingly enough, they break up their courses into superhero themes. Here's a graphic breakdown of courses (click to open):
Lie detection, martial arts and cooking paired with design thinking and minimum viable product? That doesn't sound like your father's online learning curriculum. You also swear to abide by the "Superhero Oath of Draper University."
My favorite clause from the oath: "I will pursue fairness, openness, health and fun with all that I encounter. Mostly fun."
The superhero branding extends throughout the entire Draper University experience, and students recite this oath before classes. Draper has attributed his concept for Draper University to be a mix of Hogwarts, Singularity University, and his own schooling experiences.
The school is still brand new, starting with an inaugural pilot program last summer and then a summer and spring session earlier this year. Tuition is handled on a very different model, accepting multiple forms of payment including Bitcoin and different payment options and plans. Per semester, the boarding school version of the program is $9,500 and the online version at $400.
Outside of payment flexibility and multiple accepted types of tender Draper University makes exceptions for students that are creative and entrepreneurial and demonstrate "an extraordinary offer."
If you are an innovator that wants to learn from the mind of leaders like Tim Draper, and you can afford the tuition, you might want to apply for this new way of learning. The deadline for applications has been extended to August 26th.