William H. Draper

Bill Draper

 

William H. Draper III was a pioneer in venture capitalism and co-founded both Draper & Johnson Investment Company and Sutter Hill Ventures, the latter still being one of the world’s most prominent venture capital firms in the world based in the Silicon Valley having invested in companies such as Nvidia, Palm, Inc. and LifeScan.

In the 1980s, he began to turn his focus to public service and became the president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and would go on to be head of the United Nations Development Programme, where he traveled to over 100 developing nations, met over 50 heads of state and oversaw nearly 10,000 international aid projects.

He would return to venture capitalism in the 1990s where he would meet one of his most important partners, Robin Richards Donohoe.  Together, they would co-found Draper Richards LP, and in 2002, The Draper Richards Foundation.  The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation would go on to be a forerunner of the new and bold idea of non-profit venture capitalism, championing a new way of thinking in the non-profit sector by backing social entrepreneurs with not only grants but their experience and wisdom.  Supporting a wide variety of causes, Draper Richards Kaplan has advocated a platform of large scale impact through rapid expansion and sustainability and has helped foster and expand renowned, non-profit companies such as Room to Read, Kiva, A Home Within and Taproot with great success.

Bill Draper continues to work in venture philanthropy serving as co-chairman of Draper Richards Kaplan while remaining managing director of Draper Richards L.P and Draper International.  In addition to his work in venture capitalism, Bill Draper has also recently authored the book The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs.

See the included link to the Draper Visions Trailer for a preview of the full documentary, coming soon.