Can you bottle the creativity and innovation of great business minds and make them accessible to students across the country?
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper believes so, and he’s created Draper University for Heroes to do just that. The boarding school and online program offers entrepreneurship classes for students aged 18 to 26 years old. But unlike other business educational programs, a guiding principle behind Draper University is the freedom to fail.
Yes, you read that right. Draper University encourages its students to fail. But at this ingenious school, failing isn’t a bad thing. “I think people generally learn by rote, and they are rewarded for not making mistakes,” Draper explains in this video. “And I think in this new world, I would envision people making a lot of mistakes. I want this education system to adjust itself to this new world.”
Draper University takes outside-the-box approaches to other aspects of learning, too. For example, class assignments can range from painting and car racing to having to rappel a cliff. And grades are only given to teams, not individual students.
Draper is the first to admit that his university isn’t your average business school. But he thinks that’s exactly the shake-up our education system needs to prepare students for the entrepreneurial jobs of the future.
“There are many, many more opportunities all around the world now to create new things and make our lives better,” he says. “And I think that our education system has to catch up to that. If you had to capture Draper University in one little phrase, it would be, ‘Go ahead, take the chance, and don’t be afraid to fail.'”