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Draper Startup House Podcast

Draper Startup House Podcast

By Ajay Prakash
This is a one of a kind podcast that will take you a mile in the shoes of different people across the world. We all feel lost and unsure of where we want to go or what we want to do. Together by learning from people who have done different things, we can discover what we like and move forward.

I’m your host, Ajay Prakash, a serial entrepreneur, and I’ve gone through product, marketing, theoretical physics, development and several other roles to figure out my passion. I’m still figuring it out and hopefully, together we can learn and discover new opportunities.

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Starting Companies to Solve Your Own Problems
Today we dive into what it means to be an entrepreneur and some of the best ways to start a company. We learn through some amazing stories from my friend Lily Wu. She started her first business at the age of 16 selling shoes which garnered half a million in revenue before she even graduated high school. In university, she started her second business, Austern International which ran international career boot camps and had over 1000 students and 7 figures of revenue. She is passionate about emerging business technology and education.  We Discuss: What it was like to start her first business Why she started Austern International and what problem it was solving The philosophy of starting companies that solve your own problems Building Habits Resources: Join NewCampus: Join the DEN: Atomic Habits by James Clear: Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger: Educated by Tara Westover: Dirty Money on Netflix: Explained on Netflix:
June 17, 2020
Is Culture Causing Premature Deaths to Startups
Oh boy, do we have an interesting episode for you today. Today I talk to Melody, an extremely experienced people operations manager and recruiter. She previously was Southeast Asia - Manager of Recruiting at McKinsey & Company and an Associate Recruiter for Lucasfilm. Now she focuses on helping startups and SMEs to overcome challenges related to People, Organisation and Performance (POP Partners). We discuss: Melody's time as a recruiter and what she has learned through that process Why is culture important for startups When to start considering culture The biggest reasons for failing a startup When should you hire HR/ People / Culture Managers What are some strategies to implement now How does COVID-19 change things for remote working and culture? Resources: POP Partners and Melody's Work: Work Rules by Laszlo Bock: The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle: Join the DEN:
May 28, 2020
What does it mean to build a community?
In this episode, we talk to my friend Alex who is the founder of Kampung Collective, a community of hundreds of community builders across Asia. We go into the details of what it means to build a community and what makes a community manager. Key Topics: Why Thailand is a unique location for building out your business What does community mean? Where does the authenticity for communities come from? What kind of businesses need communities? What skills does a community manager need? What are the common issues that community builders have? What is a community builder or community manager? Key Resources:
May 4, 2020
The Pathway to a Data Powered Future
Welcome back! We're here with season 2. Season 1, we had over 400 listeners and this year we're going to be bigger and better than ever before. Thank you to everyone who has been with us since season 1 and those who are tuning in now, welcome and hope to see you stick around!  This episode is definitely one of my favourites with Sean Moss-Pultz, the CEO and co-founder of Bitmark Inc. a startup working to extend traditional property rights to the modern-day by creating tools that recognize people as the sources and owners of their own digital assets and data.  What we dive into: Sean shares stories about his time in university and what it was like to study and start companies An exploration of Sean's journey in mobile phone design and creation Why are digital property rights important? What can people do to make sure that they safe and protected in the information era? What does it mean to protect my digital property rights on Bitmark? What does the future of data look like? What is a future that uses data responsibility? Get Connected with Sean: Personal Website: LinkedIn:   Bitmark:   Restore your trust in data: Get Connected with Draper Startup House: Join the Draper Entrepreneur Network (DEN):  Join our Entrepreneur Certificate (EC): 
April 15, 2020
How you can unlock the ability to work from home
Today we dig into the world of remote working with Matt SD, the host of Remotise - a podcast aiming to get more people into the world of working remotely. Matt also has extensive marketing experience and has worked with some of the best YouTubers around such as Jumpcut Studios (Simple Pickup), Engineered Truth, BuzzFeed and YOMYOMF. Key Topics: Why Vietnam is unique and why Matt is working from there right now What it means to be a remote worker How can you dive into remote work What it was like working with some the best YouTubers in the businesses Whether going to university is a good investment and how you can go about building your skills if you decide to go into media Key Resources:
December 1, 2019
Battling discrimination through fashion and music
Today, I chat to Harmony 'Anne-Marie' Ilunga, a refugee who came to Hong Kong in 2011 and someone who has faced discrimination in her line of work as a model. To fight this discrimination and celebrate what makes people difference - she formed Harmony HK. Now she uses fashion and music as a way for people to celebrate diversity and ensure that no one else has to face what she went through. Key Topics Food in Democratic Republic of Congo and what makes it different What Harmony HK is and the inspiration for starting it What it was like being a model from the DRC in Hong Kong Role models in the fashion space Why Harmony studies psychology What have been the pitfalls and challenges in starting this company Why is fashion important? Why should people care? Key Resources
November 24, 2019
5 Powerful Ways to Master Self Learning
With the world changing so rapidly, people must learn much faster and more frequently than ever before. However, some people find it difficult to learn more skills because they lack the motivation and the right mindset for doing so. In this podcast we cover 5 ways that this can become easier. Topics we will cover: My personal anecdotes of rapid self learning The power of ‘why’ Goal setting and planning out your learning Accountability and how it can have an incredible effect on motivation and success Some resources for learning online Resources: Udemy: Lynda: Audible: My Podcast: Goal Planning & Accountability Study:
November 9, 2019
Working at the fringe of technology - Life as a CTO
In this episode, we dive into decentralization and blockchains as a technology. We then dive into the life of my good friend, Loong Wang who is the CTO of REN. We go through his time in university and how taking some time to implement his knowledge through starting companies and working has been immensely beneficial. Key Topics and Learnings The growth of technology and how they change over time The power of decentralization and blockchain Where we are in terms of development and where we will go for blockchains What it was like in university and why you should potentially take a gap year How you can learn immensely by implementing your learnings by working in companies and startups Technical leadership and what it means to be a CTO How to get into development Resources: REN Project: Lean Startup:
October 27, 2019
The Power of Being Lost & Cultivating a Mission Statement
In this episode, we dive into the life of Vikram Bharati, the founder of Tribe Theory. We learn about how the company came to be and Vikram’s personal journey and growth. The discussions get a little philosophical as we dive into what it means to be lost and cultivating your personal mission statement. Key Topics and Learnings Being lost and some of the benefits that come from it Taking a leap and diving into something when you feel what you’re currently doing isn’t right. “There is no one truth” when it comes to life Cultivating a mission statement and vision for yourself and a company The beginnings of tribe theory Working at a big corporation vs a small company The rebranding from Flavours of Icecream to Tribe Theory Podcast Resources: Tribe Theory: Tribe Theory Academy: Tribe Theory Podcast:
October 20, 2019
Using Entrepreneurship as a Tool and Catalyst for Education
In this episode, we learn about starting a company as a university student and how it can be one of the best ways to supplement your education. We also dig into how Amir was able to grow from 0 to 100k users within a few months and very little budgets. Finally, we look at social media platforms and how they have changed and will continue to change over the next few years. Key Learnings and Topics: How did Amir come up with the idea of Timeweave (a scheduling application for university students that has over 100k users) Advice for student entrepreneurs who would like to start a company The reason why starting a company in university can actually just be an amazing way to improve your skillsets as opposed to actually making riches How university impacted our learning and growth both personally and academically. Did it help us in the workforce? Balancing user growth over revenue. Should you focus on growing your user base rapidly or create a sustainable revenue source? How did Timeweave actually grow from 0 to 100k users in such a quick timespan? Selling products or services using untraditional content marketing. How to create ads that are disguised and don’t come off as selling something to people. The saturation of Facebook ads/posts and how to stand out from the crowds. Our prediction of what is happening with Facebook and other social media platforms and how to make sure as business owners or marketers we can ensure we stay in the limelight. How to resolve conflicts with your team and ensure that you can make arguments into constructive growth periods. Key Links: Principles by Ray Daleo Book - Principles by Ray Daleo Website - Timeweave - University scheduling application - Synergy HSC Tutoring -
October 6, 2019
From University Student to Forbes 30U30
In this episode, we learn more about me, the host of this show with the assistance from my friend Roberta. I talk about my journey through university and starting companies whilst balancing several different jobs and courses. Key topics: Why I studied what I studied and how it helped me with my entrepreneurial journey How I got started as an entrepreneur and my motivations at the very early stage The beginnings of Real Skills Education and how it scaled to the organisation it is today Starting a beer company called Tailor Brews and how it helped me exponentially grow as a founder and develop my skillset What is Perlin and what do I work on at the moment. What is a product manager and what does my day to day look like We dig into the emotional side of being a founder and how it’s been dealing with anxiety throughout that journey What do I do outside of work and keep myself occupied? (Spoilers: I play Dungeons and Dragons) Why did I start the Flavours of Icecream podcast and why did I call it Flavours of Icecream Why the lack of skills is just an excuse to not start something. Resources: My website: Real Skills: Perlin: Google: (You’ll get this if you listen!)
September 19, 2019
How to Begin Venturing into Venture Capital
David Lu is the Co-Founder of Textbook Ventures, a non-profit organisation inspiring students to embrace entrepreneurship and be catalysts of change. In this episode, we learn about Venture Capital and how you can get into this field of work even without much experience at all. We go over what exactly David does and also his personal tips on how you can break into space whilst in University or still in the early stage of your career.  Key Topics and Learnings We discuss David's journey into the Venture capital space and how his experiences have led him to where he is today How university may not be exactly what you want to do but that's okay What are some tips and tricks for people who are interested in Venture Capital  How to effectively find a mentor in the space that you are interested in How the machine gun strategy for meeting people for opportunities just doesn't work. Doing things that don't scale. Resources: Venture Deals by Brad Feld: Fred Wilson Blog: The Twenty Minute VC: David Lu’s LinkedIn: 256 Ventures: Virgil Capital: Texture Ventures:
August 2, 2019
An Introvert's Guide to Networking and Finding a Mentor
In this episode, I discuss the topic of networking and finding a mentor. I go through how originally I was very introverted and found it hard to meet new people and how I go about it now. Key Learnings and Topics: - What my journey was like through networking and how I went from a complete introvert to what I’m doing now - What is networking and how do you approach it - Inbound vs Outbound networking - Strong ties vs Weak ties - What is my definition of a mentor - Do you need 1 or many mentors and what would you use a mentor for? - How do you find a mentor? - ACTIONABLE: Go ping 10-20 people in your industry on LinkedIn and try to get a coffee with them. Key Resources: - LinkedIn: - Ping me if you'd like! - Amazing Books for Networking: - How to Win Friends and Influence People: - Quiet Leadership:
July 14, 2019
Getting over the coding hurdle and expanding your skillset
Today we learn about how someone can learn how to code and get into the tech sphere when you may not have a technical background or degree. Vaibhav Namburi has started a development agency and became a well sort after developer when he graduated from a completely unrelated field. We also dig into his agency and how he was able to grow it so rapidly without just one short year. Key Learnings & Topics: - How can you find the shortest pathway for getting over the initial hump of learning code and make it much easier for yourself - How Vaibhav was able to get his first software development job after self-learning coding after graduating from an unrelated field - Why you should chase a good boss and not a good company - How do you enable yourself to be able to learn on the job really quickly and rapidly - Getting feedback on your code from external people using interesting tricks suggested by Vaibhav - Making the leap from traditional employment to self-employment - Why is Five2One named the way it is and the humble beginnings of the software product development shop - We discuss our first sale stories as these are always really interesting and how they help us learn a lot about ourselves - How to scale an efficient team for the long term and how it will make or break your company - How Laddr is currently trying to revolutionise the ways that recruitment is being conducted for technical team members Links: - Vaibhav’s Development Agency: - Laddr - Developer Portfolio: - Vaibhav’s LinkedIn: - Built to Sell: - Getting to Yes: - Split the Difference: - How to Win Friends and Influence People:
July 9, 2019
The New Work Order, Preparing for 2030
 Note: Audio is a bit off on this, so apologies for that! Hope you enjoy anyway. In this solo presentation style podcast, I go through the New Work Order report by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and some of the order employment reports to provide my tips and tricks for preparing for the next 10 years of employment. It's not enough for us to just get through the year, it's time for us to think long term and make sure we stay relevant. Key Learnings and Topics: - The main employment statistics for Australia and Young People. - The driving factors for 2030 employment - Jobs nowadays and in the future are demanding enterprising skills over hard skills more and more. - The Job cluster model provided by the FYA on ensuring that you don't become to tunnel-visioned in your university degree or education. - My main advice on ensuring you are adequately prepared for the new few years of your professional life. Key Resources: FYA New Work Smarts Report (2018):…rkReality_sml.pdf FYA New Work Order Report (2015):
July 9, 2019
The Art of Growth, Scaling from 100k to 1M+
In this episode, we dig into Yohan’s entrepreneurial journey and how he first started developing websites as a teenager. We then move into how he has mastered the art of growth and now runs a growth consultancy where he deploys methods he has honed over years for other companies. Finally, we explore failures and how they can be a blessing in disguise in how they help you grow and mature as a founder. Key Learnings & Topics: - How to get into development and entrepreneurship for the first time - Can you develop the skillset of entrepreneurship or is it something that you are born with? - How to derisk your startup journey both from a monetary and time perspective. Can you sell this in an economical and scalable manner? - How leadership can impact the success of the company and what being blindsided as a founding team can do to your company. - What is product market fit and how this relates to your company more than you think. - What is growth? - Why has the field of growth become such as new up and coming field? - How can someone get into the area of growth and make this their career? - Getting a ‘zenkai boost’ from your failures and tribulations in your entrepreneurship journey and in life generally. - Top tips from Yohan for starting a company Important Links: - Yohan’s personal background: - Yohan’s first company: - Learning about Growth: - Shortcircuiting your Personal Growth:
July 9, 2019
Flavours of Icecream. (Now Draper Startup House Podcast) Let's see how we go!
Here we go! The first episode for flavours of ice cream, not sure where this is going to go but today I just get into the motivations behind the podcast, who I am and the story of my first startup! Key Topics: - Why am I starting this podcast? - Who is this for? - Why is it called Flavours of Ice Cream - Who am I? - What the format of this podcast is going to be? - How can you get in touch and ask me a question - An anecdote of my first startup - Real Skills and how it was formed Resources: - My Website: - Real Skills Education:
July 9, 2019