Printers Row Publishing Group:


University of Heroes

March 18, 2014

Recently, we told you about Tim Draper’s crazy scheme to chop up California into six separate states. We held back a bit more of the story – how Draper founded a very, um, unique private college.

Daper University of HeroesIn 2013, venture capitalist Tim Draper funded and founded the Draper University of Heroes, an as-yet-to-be-accredited college geared toward training young entrepreneurs and wannabe tech moguls. Draper’s main inspiration: Hogwarts, the magical school for aspiring wizards featured in the Harry Potter books and movies. Students at the unfortunately acronymed D.U.H. don’t fly around on brooms or attend classes in a massive castle, but they do get to attend them in a converted hotel in San Mateo, California.

Nor is life at D.U.H. (we can’t help it) boring. The school is private and unaccredited, so it can afford to be a little experimental. Students use bean bag chairs instead of desks, and hallways are lined, floor-to-ceiling, with dry erase boards, as “inspiration can strike at any moment.” And then there’s a campus building called “Hero City,” which is just the fancy name for a bunch of study spaces were current (and former) students can hang out and develop the next Facebook or Google. Further, students are required to recite a daily oath, encouraging them to focus on branding and to “promote freedom at all costs.” The recitation takes place in front of portraits of Bill Gates and Thomas Edison.

Field trips to local go-kart tracks and Google headquarters aren’t uncommon. Students can pay their tuition in cash or the online currency Bitcoin…if they don’t want to barter or sign up for a payment plan that garnishes their future wages. Classes run seven days a week and it takes the average student about 15 months to graduate.

If all of this wasn’t weird enough, graduation day at the university is more than a little strange.  Instead of diplomas, students receive masks and capes printed with their superhero nicknames. During the ceremony, each student jumps on a row of trampolines while yelling “Up, up and away!”

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