John Scianna’s Draper University Campaign

By August 30, 2014Bitcoin Business
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My friend John Scianna, an active participant in the bitcoin community (and writer for Bitcoin Magazine), is working to attend Draper University and needs our help to fund his endeavor.

He told me about his plan, and other than donating a few satoshis, I didn’t know how I could be of service to this fellow bitcoiner. Then I had a lightbulb moment: I’ll write about it.

While putting together the questions below for John to anwswer, I realized how important it is for us as a community to support each other – because if we don’t, who will? Donation info is at the bottom of the page.

1. What is Draper University and why do you think you’d be good for it?

Draper University is an entrepreneurship program, it’s in San Mateo, California and was started by the “free-spirited” venture capitalist Tim Draper. It covers everything you would find in an accelerated MBA program for entrepreneurship. The program is quite unique, it’s in the historic Benjamin Franklin Hotel where students and startup founders live. You literally eat, sleep and breathe among entrepreneurs seven days a week for seven weeks.

I believe I will be perfect for Draper University, because this is something I have always wanted to do. I have dreamed about going to California and working in the technology space ever since I was little. My favorite song is even “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin, I think the culture out there just suits me best. Draper U is becoming increasingly Bitcoin focused now that Tim bought 29,658 bitcoins. Tim’s son Adam also has an accelerator program, Boost, in which about one-third of the startups are bitcoin related.

2. What is your professional background?

My professional background ranges from agricultural sciences to financial services. I have worked at the University of Florida’s Tropical Research and Educational Center where I did plant tissue culture on tropical plants and took part in a study on jatropha curcas, a plant that makes biodiesel. I have also interned for the USDA where I did research on consumer preferences of tropical fruit and I got to go to the USDA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. to present my research.

On-campus I focused on developing my marketing expertise. Freshman year I was a part UF’s Multicultural & Diversity Affairs, where I was the External Marketing Director. My responsibilities included promotion, partnering with other organizations, event planning and hospitality services at MCDA’s Institute of Hispanic-Latino Services.

This past year, I was the Community Outreach Director for UF’s Nourish International. In Nourish we have small business ventures on-campus to raise money for sustainable development projects. This year it was for a project in Uganda to help send AIDS orphans to school. We would do ventures like sell bows on game day and donuts in the morning. It really taught me how to put myself out there and sell, plus everything went to a good cause.

What was even harder than selling bows, was trying to sell life insurance and other financial products when I was at Northwestern Mutual. I think that was the hardest job I have ever had. I would cold-call people all day hoping to get a meeting or two, it was tough, but it definitely taught me how to be persistent and to overcome failure.

It wasn’t until my first Bitcoin conference that I became a journalist in the field. I have always liked voicing my opinion and I saw it as a great way to meet interesting people. I had learned all about bitcoin through mining, it really speeds up the learning curve when you dive into something that technical; so, I had enough knowledge to write on the subject and went right into it.

3.What are you currently busy with?

Like most in this community, I am busy with Bitcoin. I am an intern for the Chamber of Digital Commerce and I work closely with Perianne Boring. This past week we spent our time calling the offices of congressmen and women scheduling meetings with them for the inaugural Congressional Bitcoin Education Day. I think this is a great way to inform our leaders of the great promises of Bitcoin, no matter what your political views are; regulation affects us all. If we choose to do nothing we will ultimately lose, so by doing this we can educate politicians about the benefits of bitcoin and dismiss all the negative propaganda that Bitcoin has faced in the past. My work with Perianne mostly focuses on education and addressing public policy issues like New York’s BitLicense.

In addition to that I also write for a few Bitcoin media outlets, and I have been working on a tea startup, teatoshi, that my co-founder and I plan to launch soon.

4. What do you wish to get out of Draper University?

The most valuable thing I wish to get out of Draper University is the connections with other entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. I think this is the most valuable aspect of the residential experience. Draper University has an online course, but you won’t get the same benefits as being there.

I think going to the residential program is important because entrepreneurs and venture capitalists share a synergistic relationship; there are so many ideas out in the world but without venture capitalists many [of] these projects wouldn’t be able to get off the ground or scale. You can create an app or e-service from space, but there won’t be any venture capitalists there; this is why you find so many entrepreneurs moving out to the Valley.

Hopefully, once I graduate from DU I can be apart of Tim’s or Adam’s incubator programs – that way I can stay in California and get my ideas out my head and into the world.

5. How can the bitcoin community help you?

The community can help by donating whatever spare bits they have in their wallet so I can cover the expenses of the program or simply by sharing this article. You can introduce me to someone who might be able to help or if you are a company you can sponsor me. I will wear your company gear, I will even shave my head if you want me to, all I really care about is being able to go.
You can donate in Bitcoin or Fiat, but I actually prefer bitcoin because gofundme charges about 8% and you can track the funds to Draper U’s address.

BTC: 1KfpoCwWcAbyxdiwqGvWtKcdGwcLhB4zuK


BTC: 1B2KkdUKh7i1RGkRxkdrxN9owDuo8RN5K4

He told me about his plan, and other than donating a few satoshis, I didn’t know how I could be of service to this fellow bitcoiner. Then I had a lightbulb moment: I’ll write about it.

While putting together the questions below for John to […]

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