Entrepreneurs: VC Taskforce Salutes the Draper Family

Entrepreneurs: VC Taskforce Salutes the Draper Family

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

Among the things I do is manage content for VC Taskforce, which created the Innovation Catalyst Award a few years ago; it honors a leader in the venture community annually.

This year the award went to the three-generation strong Draper family, who, over the decades, backed companies that changed the way we all live and continue to do so.

The eldest Draper, known as “General” because that was his rank in the Army, where he served in two world wars and helped craft both the restoration of Germany and the Berlin Airlift, founded the very first venture firm on the West Coast in 1959, Draper, Gaither & Anderson.

His son, Bill Draper, started with that firm but then started his own, Sutter Ventures, in 1962 with Franklin “Pitch” Johnson and Paul Wythes, who sadly died on Tuesday, the day of the Draper family tribute. Bill Draper then founded a series of other firms, as well: Draper International that focused on India, Draper Richards that focused on early stage tech and Draper Investment whose focus was Europe and Asia.

Tim Draper worked for his dad for a time before starting up his own firm, Draper Associates, in 1985. That grew to become what today is Draper Fisher Jurvetson. He also founded the DFJ Global Network, which has an international focus; the Bizworld Foundation, aimed at inspiring entrepreneurship among children; and the new entrepreneurial program he has launched in San Mateo, Draper University.

And true to their beliefs they have innovated within the venture community as well.

Watch more interviews with the Drapers.

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YouTube credit: VC Taskforce

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