As a fourth generation venture investor, Adam Draper was pretty much predestined to work with startups. The son of Tim Draper, the founder of global VC firm Draper Fisher Jurveston, Adam has made it his mission to do everything in his power to help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life — without relying on his family name to do so. After taking the plunge as an entrepreneur himself, co-founding a capital raising and trading platform and an equity crowdfunding portal, the 26-year-old again finds himself back in the Draper wheelhouse: Early-stage finance.
In the summer of 2012, Draper launched his third venture, Boost.vc, a San Mateo-based accelerator that offers housing (in an on-site hotel), office space, mentorship and seed funding as part of its 12-week incubation program. But by today’s standards, considering the glut of startup accelerators that have emerged over the last two years, what was once an attractive model now almost sounds run-of-the-mill. I’d argue, and Draper would agree, that accelerators can provide more value for startups over the long-run by focusing on a particular vertical.
Today, Boost.vc is taking its first (experimental) step in that direction by focusing on one of the hottest verticals in the tech industry: Bitcoin. About three months ago, the decentralized, ungoverned currency became “an obsession,” Draper says, and since then, it’s been the focus of his blog, meetings and now, in part, his accelerator. Boost.vc will be dedicating half of its second batch (seven startups total) to companies building products and technologies around the Bitcoin ecosystem.