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Entrepreneurs! Is this worth $20-40k?

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by Satvik Gupta, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Satvik Gupta
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    Satvik Gupta Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    So, I got accepted to Draper University program which is for 4 months. And I just calculated the total costs, it's coming around $30k to $40k. I also have an option to switch program to "Hero Training" which is basically a 1-month program and costs around $18k.

    Now I'm wondering if that choice is still worth it? I'm having a hard time deciding if I should go for it or not.

    Link to course for which I got accepted: Semester in Silicon Valley

    For those of you who haven't heard about Draper University, it's basically a boot camp for entrepreneurs which is highly selective and 40 people are picked each year for it. It is founded by Tim Draper. The program promises how it will help the student to turn an idea into a business. People like Elon Musk give guest lectures and at the end of the program, students can pitch investors which will come to the university to get funding.

    (Brief background about me: 17, leaning towards the entrepreneurial side, not going to college/taking a gap year. My parents are willing to fund this expense but to be honest, I REALLY don't feel comfortable in taking such big amount from them)

    Any thoughts on this situation would be appreciated.
     
  2. 404profound
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    404profound Silver Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    How does the program fit into your strategy?
     
  3. Maxboost
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    Maxboost Bronze Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    What's the payback period to recoup that $40k? Is there a success track record? testimonials? How many people who have gone into this program and made their investment back? What are you trying to accomplish?
     
  4. Merging Left
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    Merging Left Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I don't know if those are your words or theirs, but be wary of promises like that. I haven't heard of Draper University, and it seems it's only a few years old (founded 2012), so be cautious that you're not being sold a dream. Who are the notable alums, what companies have they founded, and where are they now?
     
  5. GoGetter24
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    I'd want to know who'll be there and what exactly the course is going to give me that I can't get elsewhere. If Elon Musk was going to show up and take questions, and an Andreessen Horowitz partner shark tanks your pitch, then that's high-end stuff and I'd say definitely yes. If it's just going to be aspirational fluff, and sitting listening to Guy Kawasaki saying things like "just work harder" with his trademark smug face, with cringe TV fireplace in the background, it's probably a no.
     
  6. NuclearPuma
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    If you have an idea that makes CENTS you can pitch and if you need the college credit it could be worth it. 4 months sounds pretty intense and personal. But also the "incubators" are turning entrepreneurs into commodities for the venture capitalists.

    Does your business idea require venture capital to execute?

    Would the 20-40k be better spent on your own business? That is enough to start many types of businesses.
     
  7. Satvik Gupta
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    Satvik Gupta Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I'm just gonna be 100% honest here.

    I really don't know. I thought that the skills which I'll learn from this bootcamp will help me in my future business.

    Now I feel like I'm really stupid.
     
  8. Satvik Gupta
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    Satvik Gupta Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I agree with you. Draper does do some CATCHY marketing. I did contact many alums, some of them are doing a job, some of them did business which failed, some of them are running a business.
     
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  9. Satvik Gupta
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    Satvik Gupta Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    You're right. I'm gonna email them and ask more about this.
     
  10. GoGetter24
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    GoGetter24 Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    It's not a case of that. We're just pointing out what you need to think about / research before making the decision.
     
  11. Satvik Gupta
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    Satvik Gupta Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Honestly, my idea does not need a VC. And 20k (hell, I can get the ball rolling in even 1-2k)
     
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    You're not stupid, you just haven't fully thought this through. Your education should be a tool to accomplish X, not the accomplishment. Anytime you invest in learning, it should be to build knowledge and skills for a known goal. So it seems to me you are playing strategy roulette; you are being proactive and investing the effort to learn without knowing if it's a needed tool. You would be wise to consider what your end game is here.
     
  14. MJ DeMarco
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    Admin Post
    I can't see anything being worth that much in terms of practically knowledge you can learn somewhere else.

    However...

    The networking opportunities might be well worth it.

    You might meet a business partner, an investor, someone very impactful in your life.

    Don't know enough to make an educated decision, but $40K for some kind of class feels like a total money grab while using authority to justify to the cost. (You'll hear from Elon Musk!)

    I paid $200 (not $20K) to hear from world famous professionals at Masterclass.com -- so I'm getting the same outcome there. Not sure if shaking their hand is worth the premium.
     
  15. PaulRobert
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    Going to be very blunt here...

    Entrepreneurship can not be learned by taking classes. Entrepreneurship is learned by doing. Doing actual business. Setting everything up, learning the ins and out of a business, failing, networking with people within the industry, selling to potential customers, getting rejected, going up to bat again, getting your first customer, getting your 100th, etc..

    Having speakers come in and talk is great and all but YouTube has 1000s of interviews of high profile entrepreneurs. I had Steve Wozniak speak at my school (didn't go anywhere special) and while he did say some things that stuck with me, it was reworded from other speeches that he had given to other colleges.

    Take a certain % of the 18k and figure out how to start a few businesses out of it. Even if you fail, the education you get from it is priceless.
     
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  16. Mr.Brandtastic
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    $40k?! You could buy a successful online business with that. I'm WAY too cheap to ever dream of spending that on some type of program, even if Jesus, Gandhi, and Ben Franklin were showing up.
     
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  17. Paolo Rizzo
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    Check out the Alt MBA by Seth Godin, it’s a similar concept but much cheaper and the whole course is basically you launching a business/ project. No theory just action if I remember correctly.
     
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  18. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    You can fund 4 $10k businesses with that and fail at the first 3 and still come out ahead.

    I’d say no.
     
  19. Paolo Rizzo
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    Paolo Rizzo Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I think the AltMBA is around $3,500 last time I looked into it. It's not for everyone and i agree money could be spent better elsewhere.

    But I agree $40k is ridiculous imo.
     
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  20. Evil_Jester
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    Evil_Jester Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    To put it in perspective, what would be the best possible outcome? Nobody is going to come up to you and say "hey, although you're 17 with no experience, I see unique talent and ambition in you. I would like to hold your hand and give you 500k VC money to start this exact business idea I have and Elon Musk is going to help you for fun!" :smile2:
     
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  21. socaldude
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    I wouldn't.

    If you built something valuable people are gonna call you. You wouldn't have trouble getting investors or getting partners.

    It doesn't matter who or what course you took or what college you went too. The universe gives zero shits.

    Save the $40K.
     
  22. AgainstAllOdds
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    Like MJ said, you're basically buying connections. Figure out how good those connections will be and if they're worth buying.

    Also weigh in how much $40k is for you and your family. For a wealthy family it's a drop in the bucket. For most families it's too much.
     
  23. minivanman
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    I'll make you a deal..... for ONLY $10,000 you can fly here to Fort Worth, I'll make you a reservation at one of the finest hotels in the area. I'll pick you up from the airport then have dinner with you at one of the finest restaurants in the area. You can pitch me your idea and if I like it.... I might be an investor. We can visit for the entire weekend if you wish. And at the end, I'll even shake your hand and if you want, I'll take a picture with you. See how I just saved you $30,000! You can't beat that deal, so when can I mark the calendar for your visit?

    Just to be clear, you will pay for your own hotel, airfare and food. You will be responsible for all tips and gratuity. $10,000 payment in cash must be received immediately upon your arrival. If we choose to eat at Taco Bell symptoms may include but not limited to, tenderness, cramps, or pain in the abdomen (usually in the lower left side but may occur on the right) that is sometimes worse when you move. Fever and chills, a bloated feeling, abdominal swelling, or gas, diarrhea or constipation. Nausea and sometimes vomiting and loss of appetite.
     
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  24. Greg R
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    I'm in the same boat as most people that have already spoken. You can pay $40k for someone to teach you to start and then you will still have to fund business OR you can just use the $40k to fund your business and work on getting connections from this forum (which will be worth their weight in gold. See posts from 2018 Fastlane Summit).

    Now quit making yourself excuses and just start.
     
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  25. ZCP
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    How does $40k compare to your family's funds?

    Could your family use these connections? Do they have businesses that would benefit? Are you trying to come to the US and this would help make that happen? Could some of you family come on this trip with you?

    Some of those answers might lead to 'yes, do it'.

    If it were my kid based here in the US, I would show the multiple other cash flowing businesses that we have bought and funded for less than that. Unless we had an idea that needed shark tanking, it would be 'no'.

    Hope that helps! You have already gotten a lot out of this either way!