Draper University, located in Silicon Valley, is the brainchild of venture capitalist Tim Draper. His school is an unconventional world-class program for the brightest young entrepreneurs from around the world. Draper offers an immersive residential entrepreneurial training program that combines lectures from All-Stars in various fields, experiential and creative activities that challenge creativity and imagination, networking opportunities with classmates and mentors, and other surprises. The alternative entrepreneurial program culminates with a Business Pitch Competition with the opportunity to get a student’s startup funded. Draper University will be on TV this week! The Startup U series premiere is Tuesday, August 11 at 10m/9c on ABC Family! StartUp U will be featuring Draper’s University’s amazing young entrepreneurs, following the lead of Tim Draper.
Spotlight on Keven Longa, Draper University Alumni
One alumni is making a difference around the world with video and the beauty of food. Founder Kevin Longa, a recent Draper University Alumni has been making films since he was 8 years old. His company’s launch product is entitled TASTE (http://www.tastewithkevin.com) with Kevin Longa. It is a documentary series that features the true stories of food entrepreneurs from all around the world.
Successful Fundraising Campaign
In less than ten days, the startup has successfully crowdsourced (http://tastewithkevin.com/kspage) 100% of the company’s goal. The funds raised in the campaign will be used to add members to the post-production editing team, release Part 1 of the TASTE Trilogy, TASTE: Europe and research stories for Part 2, TASTE: The Americas. The campaign started on July 14 and will end on August 23.
Kevin has already filmed in 16 countries across Europe, Asia and America and garnered 12 international film awards and screenings. “I began making films when I was a jolly, overweight, little eight-year-old. It wasn’t until a wake-up call at the hospital that I realized I needed to shape up, learn about where my food came from and who made it,” said Kevin Longa, Founder. “Between film club meetings and swim practice in high school, I hit the farms and food markets to create my first food documentary. Since then, my life has been an exploration of food and, more importantly, the people who make it.”
Prior to the Kickstarter campaign Kevin raised $30,000 for the TASTE documentary series, which has been successfully filmed in 16 countries across Europe, Asia and America. From just two sneak preview episodes alone, the series has garnered twelve international film awards and screenings in Ireland, Ukraine, Nova Scotia and beyond.
“We are all so impressed by Kevin’s tenacity. He’s everything entrepreneurial and epicurean with a mix of Steve Jobs, Anthony Bourdain and a touch of Dora The Explorer,” said Tim Draper. “He embodies so many of the philosophies that we focus on at Draper University and will not stop until he succeeds. Kevin is a true entrepreneur and his unique TASTE series is destined for success.”
“When I was nine we visited my ancestor’s farming village. Their biggest luxury was a motorcycle and indoor plumbing and here I was a nine year old with a Gameboy and Power Ranger toys,” continued Kevin Longa, Founder. “Yet, something struck me.
The people in the village were happy. Why? Because they feasted on the land they cultivated. They invested in their food, their well-being and their village members. In fact, they made some of the best honey I had ever tasted. After that day, I started to slowly understand the more important matters in life: food and people.”