SAN MATEO (KCBS) – A new type of school for would-be entrepreneurs is coming to downtown San Mateo. The City Council late Monday night approved a plan to open Draper University for Heroes.
The brainchild behind Draper University of Heroes is Tim Draper, a Menlo Park venture capitalist in his early 50s. He was considered instrumental in the launch of such cutting edge tech companies as Skype and Baidu. In 2011, he plunked down more than $15 million for the dilapidated Benjamin Franklin Hotel and, according to published reports, he did so “on a whim.” He subsequently began forming a plan for a three-building campus to educate innovators.
The nearly vacant Benjamin Franklin Hotel will be used as one of the buildings, with two other downtown structures supplementing the plans. The City of San Mateo, in turn, is behind the plan because of its potential to foster the image that San Mateo is an incubator for innovation and cutting-edge development.