Investing in Smith Entrepreneurs
Tim Draper and wife Melissa Parker Draper ’77 came to Smith in 2013 to talk to students about the benefits of entrepreneurship. Tim Draper is the founder of the global venture capital firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and has been a part of the development of Skype, Overture, Hotmail and PLX Technologies, among many other companies. The Drapers see Smith as a perfect launching pad for women entrepreneurs and created the Draper Business Plan Competition in 2012, an annual event to encourage entrepreneurship among Smith students. First prize is a $10,000 award, plus a full scholarship to Draper University of Heroes, a 10-week program in Silicon Valley that nurtures entrepreneurs through the business-creation process. Here they talk about why they chose to invest in Smith, their hopes for the future of the competition, and what makes a good business plan.