OCTOBER 20, 2020 — Venture capitalist Timothy Draper and his wife, Melissa, have committed $1 million to establish the Draper Data Science Business Plan Competition. The competition adds yet another innovative component to the new UTSA School of Data Science. The Drapers also plan to donate a hologram and programming to the university once it becomes available.
Hosted at UTSA beginning in 2021, the Draper Data Science Business Plan Competition will be open to college students from across the world and will further prepare them for careers in high demand, teaching them to be disruptors and leaders of their fields.
Teams will be encouraged to become familiar with a business model canvas and produce a product, service, web/mobile app, or a social impact idea that has the potential to change the world in which we live and work.
For some students, substantial monetary awards have supported the product development of their winning submissions post-competition. Planning for the competition is under way including an application process, eligibility, competition tracks, rules and guidelines, and faculty and community engagement.
“This gift will be transformational for UTSA and the School of Data Science as we launch the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “The competition is sure to attract the world’s greatest young minds, and produce ideas that will change our world for the better. This partnership opens many new doors of opportunity and exemplifies the value of activating innovation in our students.”
Timothy Draper is a third-generation venture capitalist and the founder of Draper University. His investments in Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, Hotmail, Twitch, Robinhood and more have built his reputation as a world-renowned tech investor. The Draper Data Science Business Plan Competition represents Draper’s first gift to the university and will generate invaluable opportunities for students who are interested in entrepreneurship and tech innovation.
“Data science will drive the future of artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning. It brings together academics from statistics, computer science, robotics, electrical engineering, physics, bitcoin, surveillance and psychology. As AI takes all the mundane parts of everyone’s job, it will span industries as disparate as autonomous vehicles, insurance, farming, defense, venture capital and governing,” Draper said.
“Data Science will drive the greatest transformations of the next few decades, and UTSA is leading the way toward training the next generation of data sciences. Business plan competitions tend to encourage and attract those people who are going to make that dent in the universe. Melissa and I have found these competitions to be a magnet for progress and change,” Draper added.
A bold vision for San Antonio’s downtown district is driving university and community leaders to build a knowledge economy and tech ecosystem for the city. The UTSA School of Data Science will position San Antonio as a national leader in cybersecurity and data science, attract government and industry partners, produce a highly skilled workforce, drive economic development, and create a vibrant downtown.
In 2018, Graham Weston, local business leader and co-chair of UTSA’s Campaign Leadership Council, made a $15 million gift to support the School of Data Science, saying “The School of Data Science will bring thousands of the most innovative students, faculty and researchers together and will accelerate everything else in our downtown tech ecosystem.”Similar competitions established by Timothy and Melissa Draper at Draper University and Smith College have proven widely successful, creating a competitive learning environment for students.
Roadrunners who plan to learn, teach, live, work or research at UTSA this summer are invited to attend one of these town halls where members of UTSA's Public Health Task Force will share updates from their recently released 4.0 report. The town halls will be a terrific opportunity to ask questions and learn more about summer campus operations.Virtual Event
Honors College students will be presented with their stoles to wear to Commencement. The Honors College provides stoles only to students who are eligible to graduate with honors.Retama Auditorium
Victory celebrations in San Antonio always include honking car horns, and we are carrying that tradition over to UTSA. If you are in San Antonio, join us for a nostalgic Commencement Drive around the Main Campus. This new tradition began in May 2020 and will begin at the Brackenridge (BK 5) parking lot adjacent to the Child Development Center. Vehicles can begin gathering at 5:00 p.m. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m.Brackenridge (BK 5) parking lot, Main Campus
In person ceremony for students recieving their doctorate degrees.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom, Main Campus
In person ceremoney for University College students.Retama Auditorium, Main Campus
This spring’s commencement ceremonies will be college-based and held at various locations on Main Campus. While the ceremonies will look different than in previous years, they retain many of the traditional celebratory aspects to rightfully honor UTSA’s graduating students. 10 a.m. (last names A-GO); 2 p.m. (last names GP-O); 6 p.m. (last names P-Z)Convocation Center, Main Campus
This spring’s commencement ceremonies will be college-based and held at various locations on Main Campus. While the ceremonies will look different than in previous years, they retain many of the traditional celebratory aspects to rightfully honor UTSA’s graduating students. 10 a.m. (last names A-GA); 2 p.m. (last names GB-O); 6 p.m. (last names P-Z)Recreation Wellness Center, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.