Since Title III of The JOBS Act was enacted in 2016 allowing for non-accredited investors to invest in startups, there has been skepticism from angels and VCs alike about the quality of deals you will find in this market. But that script is being flipped, with a TV show that lets you invest alongside the best VCs in the business.
There is one three generation VC family who has identified some of the biggest trends of the past 60 years, and they are ready to invest alongside the crowd. Bill, Tim, Jesse and Adam Draper are some of the most famous names in the VC space. You will read below about their pedigree and the transformative companies they have invested in over the past 60 years.
Now the Drapers are getting together to hear the pitches of amazing founders that anyone can back on Republic. So you can watch the show and then invest as little as $10 in the same companies that the Drapers are backing. Want to learn more about this awesome opportunity?
Can you provide an overview of what the Meet The Draper’s show is about?
Chuck: MTD is the first and only show on television that allows viewers at home to invest in the companies appearing on the program. Similar to Shark Tank, founders pitch their companies, but instead of trying to impress a shark these founders try to impress a family of Silicon Valley venture capitalists: Bill, Tim, Jesse and Adam Draper.
After the pitch Tim and his family ask serious questions about the business, they get to know the founder and talk about the investment opportunity. The Drapers then let viewers know if they are for or against making an investment and then let viewers know it’s up to them and they can visit Republic to invest.
For those that don’t know, can you provide a little more info on who the Draper family is?< p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">
Chuck: The Draper family has a long history of venture capital in Silicon Valley starting in 1959 when Bill became one of the first venture capitalists ever. He went on make some of the most successful venture investments ever and even passed on a few he fondly tells stories about.
Bill’s son Tim continued the success with his own flare, which was wild but eventually his accurate predictions and unbridled support of of founders in his portfolio has led him to become an investment celebrity not just in Silicon Valley but the world.
Tim’s children Jesse and Adam followed in their grandfather and father’s footsteps to build successful venture capital careers of their own with Jesse focusing on female founders and Adam being known as an early investor in blockchain technology.
Some of the companies the Drapers invested in include: Hotmail, Skype, Tesla Motors, OpenTable, Athenahealth, Apollo Computer, Integrated Genetics (Genzyme), Activision (Mediagenic), Xidex (Eastman Kodak), Coinbase, Hybritech (Eli Lilly), and more.
How did this show come to fruition and what types of traction did you see in the first season both from a viewer and investment standpoint?
Chuck: Sarika Batra, the Executive Producer and Director of MTD, was the director and host of a long running and successful television show in India. Like many others she got the startup bug and started her own luxury brands company.
In short, she pitched Republic to run a crowdfunding campaign but wasn’t quite there yet so was rejected. Recognizing Sarika was heading in the right direction, I reached out to give her feedback.
The feedback was well received and we planned to stay in touch. About a month later Sarika sent me a text saying she pitched Tim Draper her startup but he was more interested in her helping him launch a new television show that allowed viewers to invest. Sarika asked if Republic would be interested and the rest is history.
Season 1 only played in North America and there was no live streaming. Season 2 is playing in 150 countries and there is live streaming available. Viewership was strong for Season 1 with limited distribution and we expect Season 2 to be much stronger.
So is every startup that goes on the show available for investment through Republic?
Chuck: Yes all should be but sometimes life gets in the way. For example, a company that filmed for season 1 was acquired before the show aired. Obviously they couldn’t run a Republic campaign anymore.
Which startups will be a part of the show this year?
Chuck: Once the show air dates are announced you’ll be able to see all MTD Season 2 issuers here. Expect to see about 15 at first and another 15 list as their campaigns go live before their episodes.
What is the format of the show?
Chuck: What you see on the show is roughly 10-12 minutes per company but on the set the founder pitches for 2-4 minutes, then has Q&A with the Drapers for 30-45 minutes, then the Drapers talk amongst themselves for 10-20 minutes, then they let the audience know what they think and tell them to visit Republic if they want to invest.
Are there winners and losers on the show and is their audience participation or is it up to the Draper gang to make the decisions?
Chuck: The crowd makes the decisions leveraging the Drapers review and details on the companies deal page found on Republic. The crowds actions are important and have a heavy hand in deciding who makes the season ending grand finale. During Season 1 six companies made the grand finale and Tim invested in all of them – he also invested in others that didn’t make the finale.
Even if a company doesn’t make the finale I can honestly say there are no losers. Yes, sometimes people get nervous or forget to make an important point but the beauty is they are not there to get a Shark Tank style beat down.
The Drapers are genuine and passionate about startups and want to see everyone succeed. That doesn’t mean they don’t ask the tough questions or say they wouldn’t invest. That happens but that happens to all startups – it’s part of life.
What kind of feedback have you received on the show both from startup founders and investors?
Chuck: Investors have said they love hearing from the Drapers who have been there done that. They like that it many ways it’s similar to conversations they have with founders and that they get to know them a little more than just what they read on their deal page.
Founders have been ecstatic about the show since day 1. They get a chance to pitch multiple VCs in one setting, their business gets exposure to potential customers around the world and get quality content out of the show they can use to help grow their business.
Stay tuned to learn more about where you can watch Meet The Draper’s when season 2 begins to air and if you are interested in getting involved as an entrepreneur be sure to check out this page.
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About: Chris Lustrino
A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.