Photo: ABC Family/Tim Neely
Premieres Tuesday, August 11 at 10:01PM ET/PT
It’s a whole new game when ten savvy, creative and ambitious young adults get down to business and experience seven weeks of hard truths, tough lessons and plenty of drama on the series premiere of “Startup U,” airing on Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 at 10:01PM ET/PT on ABC Family.
In “Welcome to Draper University,” it’s move-in day, and after meeting Program Director Charlie Taibi and Entrepreneur in Residence Sequoia Blodgett, the first item on the agenda is jumping in the pool fully clothed. It’s soon clear to everyone that Startup Legend Tim Draper is not the average premiere venture capitalist; he’s about to shake things up in a big way and constantly surprise them with challenges designed to provoke a new way of thinking. Will the students be able to overcome their skepticism of Tim’s unique approach to business and understand there is a method to his madness?
Charlie sends everyone into a panic when they learn they have to give a one-minute pitch about their startup; their presentations let the staff know where their businesses are now and where they need to be on Pitch Day. As it turns out, Charlie and Sequoia aren’t the only tough critics; their classmates have a few opinions of their own. Erin’s concept doesn’t quite receive the positive feedback she was hoping for, while Shawn and Sharon aren’t impressed by their competition. Meanwhile, make-up demonstrator and notable YouTube personality Michelle Phan visits Draper University and shares her business background and motivation for success, a story which really resonates with Ana.
Other guest speakers this season include Naveen Jain (Founder, Moon Express, World Innovation Institute, iNome, TalentWise, Intelius, and Infospace), Ben Parr (Co-founder & Managing Partner of DominateFund,), Jesse Draper (Founder, The Valley Girl Inc), Jane Buckingham (Founder & CEO, Trendera), Michael Volpatt (Co-Founder and Partner, LarkinVolpatt), Allie Webb (Founder, Drybar), Gina Kloes (Founder, EOS Programs), Dan Price (Founder & CEO, Gravity Payments), and Erin McPherson (Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios). Michelle Phan also returns later this season.