ABC FAMILY ANNOUNCES THE AMBITIOUS CONTENDERS IN ITS NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES
"STARTUP U," PREMIERING ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 18th at 8:00PM ET/PT
The Promising Entrepreneurs Are Led by Billionaire Venture Capitalist Tim Draper
Burbank, CA (June 30, 2015) - ABC Family announces the smart, spontaneous and entertaining cast of its new unscripted series "Startup U," premiering on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 8:00 -9:00M ET/PT. As these ten young adults embark on a seven-week program filled with tough lessons and plenty of drama, will they be able to handle the pressure and seize every opportunity as they pursue their dreams?
"Startup U" follows a group of entrepreneurial millennials as they embark on a semester at Draper University in Silicon Valley. Led by billionaire founder and venture capitalist Tim Draper, students learn the fundamentals of launching a startup company under the mentorship of America's business leaders. In the end, they pitch their ideas to a panel of hungry venture capitalists with the hope that they'll win a life-changing investment to launch their business. To date, more than 180 Draper graduates have received funding totaling more than $20 million from mogul investors and Tim Draper himself. Brimming with innovation and sheer willpower, the series exposes what it takes to achieve success in the most pioneering and competitive marketplace in the world.
Founder, Draper University: As the founding partner of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and DFJ, Tim's investments include Skype, Overture, Tesla, Baidu, Hotmail and Theranos, among several others. In 2011, Tim founded Draper University to teach entrepreneurial skills, fostering young leaders and innovators as they set out to light the world on fire. Over the past 3 years, more than 180 student ideas have been funded to the amount of over $20 million.
Hometown: Long Island, NY
Position: Draper University Program Director
A former Draper University student, Tim hired Charlie to guide the next generation of entrepreneurs by creating and implementing the curriculum. Over the years, Charlie's attentive coaching and insight has been instrumental in helping the students develop their business plans and prepare them for their final test: Pitch Day.
Hometown: Richmond, California
Position: Draper University Entrepreneur in Residence
Also a former Draper University student, Sequoia was the only member of her graduating class to secure funding from Tim Draper; her business, "7AM," is a mobile, business-app community focused on promoting positive intimate relationships. Currently, Sequoia helps the students shape their own start-ups while continuing to develop her own business.
Hometown: Portland, CT
Background: A financial consultant before being crowned Miss USA in 2013, Erin is married to fellow student Tony Capasso.
Business Proposal: Erin's concept, "Romeo In A Box," is a subscription-based service that sends gifts on pre-specified dates to wives, girlfriends and moms, thereby eliminating fights over forgetting important milestones.
Hometown: Hartford, CT
Background: A self-professed "mama's boy," Tony currently runs the family construction business and is married to fellow competitor Erin Brady.
Business Proposal: Tony plans to use 3D printing to transform the construction business and create affordable housing.
Hometown: Bradenton, FL
Background: The youngest student in the program, John's obsession with Apple and Steve Jobs prompted him to move across country to be closer to Silicon Valley.
Business Proposal: John's app "StudyBetter" uses money as a motivator for students to study. Participants make money once they meet their goals, but in turn they must pay money if they fail.
Hometown: Palm Springs, CA
Background: Once the youngest city commissioner in the state, Shawn is also a rapper. In addition to getting funding for his business, this single guy is hoping to find a smart, classy girl at Draper.
Business Proposal: Shawn's app "Six Degrees" allows the user to act as a matchmaker and set up two friends on a date. Friends have friends' best romantic interests at heart, so why use an algorithm to find love?
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Background: David began trading stocks at the age of 14 but recently left his six-figure salary as an investment banker to follow his dream of being an entrepreneur.
Business Proposal: A strong supporter of medical marijuana, David's "Stonr" app delivers pot to those in need within 20 minutes.
Hometown: New York, NY
Background: Extremely competitive and often using her charm to get her own way, Ana met her goal of owning her own business (a beauty shop) by the time she was 30.
Business Proposal: Ana's idea "Nailed It" provides customers with qualified and trained professionals for on-demand nail care services. "Nailed It" offers an unwavering commitment to quality, health, safety and customer service from the consumer's phone order to the front door.
Hometown: Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA
Background: A passionate animal lover, Carly created a popular website in college that showcased unusual and unknown creatures. Carly's smarts are often underestimated due to her looks, but underneath her sweet exterior is lot of fire and drive.
Business Proposal: Carly's "Pretty Litter" is a colorful, sparkly cat litter that changes colors once it's used, making a previously unpleasant chore more fun for felines and humans alike.
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Background: Emancipated from her mother at the age of 15, Keyonna used to walk 3 miles to and from her multiple part-time jobs because she didn't have a car. Her passion for fashion prompted her to leave her job as a real estate agent and follow a new career path.
Business Proposal: Keyonna presents the clothing line "Lacher" (French for "let go"), which mixes Victorian clothing with contemporary style.
Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL
Background: A star high-school basketball player who taught himself computer coding in the 4th grade, Malcolm built his first website at age 14. Determined to know everything he can about the tech industry, Malcolm vows to use programming to change the world.
Business Proposal: Malcom's business "Robora" is a payment platform that recommends other similar products once the transaction is completed.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Background: Majoring in industrial design, Sharon concentrated on robotics so she could create real, working prototypes. A fanatic shoe-lover (she owns over 100 pairs of stilettos), Sharon's outgoing nature drives her to work hard during the day and go out on the town at night to promote her business.
Business Proposal: Sharon's app, "Hotpoint," is a video-social networking app that allows users to zoom in on a map to see what's trending by viewing user-generated video in real time.
"Startup U" is produced by Ugly Brother Studios, a Sky Vision partner. Mike Duffy, Tim Duffy, Tim Draper, Perry Dance and Ted Iredell serve as executive producers.
Part of the Disney|ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in 94 million homes. ABC Family entertains and connects to audiences with bold, relatable programming that celebrates the epic adventure of becoming an adult, from first kiss to first kid. ABC Family's programming is a combination of network-defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. "WATCH ABC Family" is an authenticated service which allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on-demand access to such popular series at home and on-the-go via a wide array of devices. ABC Family is also the destination for annual holiday events with "13 Nights of Halloween" and "25 Days of Christmas."