NVCA – Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award Goes To Bill Draper

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) will present Venture Capital legend Bill Draper with the Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award at the NVCA Leadership Gala on March 8, 2017 at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, California.

With over forty years of experience, Bill Draper is a pioneer of the modern day venture capital industry, credited with being one of the first venture capitalists to arrive in Silicon Valley in the 1950s. In addition to his successful record of accomplishments in venture, he has a lifetime of philanthropic, public service, community service and humanitarian achievements.

“No single venture capitalist more embodies the best in venture capital; Bill Draper sets the bar high. It is not just his demonstrable success in business, but it is also his high ethical standards that earn him the respect and the following that he has in the world of business.” – President George H.W. Bush

Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award was created by the NVCA to recognize venture professionals who have dedicated their professional lives to creating and building successful and highly competitive venture firms as well as portfolio companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the U.S. economy. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award were instrumental in the formation and growth of the venture capital industry and have consistently set high performance standards for the entire industry.

The Venture Capital Industry Matured in Silicon Valley

Venture capital, which was born in New York and nurtured in Boston, did not really come of age until it moved to California. There it “joined forces with the brash young technologists who were using bits of silicon to create an information revolution as profound as the industrial revolution a century earlier” in Santa Clara County.

With only some 600,000 acres, about the size of Rhode Island, it is hard for some to believe that Santa Clara was seen as the seed farm to the world. But millions have visited Santa Clara, much like the nineteenth-century politicians, journalists, technologists, and revolutionaries, who made obligatory pilgrimages to Manchester, England, to pay homage to the steam revolution and to meditate on the new economy that was then being created. Silicon Valley’s investment banking community was firmly established in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It turned entrepreneurs’ dreams into mountains of cash on the fertile soils first tilled by innovators like Bill Draper.

After he helped run the Marshall Plan in Europe for President Eisenhower, General William H. Draper (Bill’s father) founded Draper, Gaither & Anderson in 1958, together with Rowan Gaither (founder of the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, CA) and Frederick L. Anderson (a retired Air Force general). After working three years at his father’s firm Bill founded Draper & Johnson Investments with Pitch Johnson.

In 1965 Bill founded Sutter Hill Ventures with Paul Wythes, which organized and financed hundreds of high-tech manufacturing companies. During his twenty years as the senior partner of Sutter Hill, Bill helped to organize and finance several hundred high technology manufacturing companies. Sutter Hill is one of the oldest venture capital firms still in operation.

“Bill Draper, who began investing back when Silicon Valley was only known for its fruit orchards, tells the story behind some of the most pivotal companies of the last half-century and offers a fascinating look at the inner workings of the venture capital industry.” – Elon Musk, cofounder of Paypal, cofounder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX, cofounder and CEO of Tesla Motors, chairman of Solar City

From 1981 to 1986, Bill was President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Thereafter, Bill was the head of the United Nations Development Program from 1986 to 1993 and oversaw nearly 10,000 international aid projects.

In 1995, he returned to venture capital and founded Draper International which focused on venture investments in India. In 1996, he turned his attention to technology companies in the U.S. and co-founded a new domestic fund, Draper Richards L.P., with his partner, Robin Richards Donohoe.

As a venture capitalist Bill was a founding investor in Apollo Computer (acquired by Hewlett Packard), Dionex, Integrated Genetics (Genzyme), Quantum, Qume (I.T.T.), Activision (Mediagenic), Xidex (Eastman Kodak), Measurex, Hybritech (Eli Lilly), and LSI Logic.

“Whether you’ve experienced the joys and pains of Silicon Valley directly or just want to learn from those who have, you can’t do better than this firsthand account of the storied three generations of Drapers. Bill has done a huge favor for those of us who are passionate about technology and innovation by chronicling their experiences. Theirs is a tale worth knowing.” – Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google

Bill is on the boards of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, World Affairs Council of Northern California, and the Harvard Business School California Research Center Advisory Board. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the President’s Council on International Activities at Yale University.

Bill formerly served as the Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Northern California, Chairman of the Institute of International Education, Trustee of Yale University and as Chairman of the Board of the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. He is a former Board member of the Atlantic Council, Hoover Institution, Population Action International, George Bush Library Foundation, the Advisory Council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the United Nations Association-USA, and the World Rehabilitation Fund in New York.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1950 and an MBA, with distinction, from the Harvard Business School in 1954.

Bill also serves as the Co-Chairman of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early stage, high impact social enterprises. Since 2002 they have invested in 100 social entrepreneurs, representing some of the most exciting new initiatives in the social sector. With the support of 50 donor partners they have now launched a third fund with $65 million dedicated to supporting the next generation of 100 social entrepreneurs who will change the world.

Bill is also an author: The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs

Three Generations of Venture Capital

Bill Draper’s son Tim left Alex. Brown & Sons in 1985 to become the third generation of venture capitalists in his family with the formation of Draper Associates, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ). Tim restructured a family-owned Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) that had been set up by Bill in 1979 and then created a highly successful early-stage venture capital fund. DFJ has become synonymous with early-stage venture capital. Tim’s original suggestion to use viral marketing as a method for spreading a software application from customer to customer was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail, Skype, and others.

Tim Draper’s son Adam, is the founder and managing director of Boost VC. In 2009, the same year that Adam graduated from UCLA, Tim founded Xpert Financial, a secondary market for private securities. Later Adam began angel investing, where he backed such startups as Coinbase, Plangrid and Earnest. Prior to joining Draper Associates, Tim’s other son Billy, founded Mobber, a social referral platform that allowed several users to tweet a message simultaneously. Billy was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 for venture capital in 2016.

 

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SOURCE: DraperRichards, Roadmap To Entrepreneurial Success, NVCA, DFJ, Amazon

PHOTO: DraperRichards, Amazon