Draper University Spotlight: Allie Felix, former Marketing & Partnerships Manager
Allie: I first heard about Draper University at the largest collegiate women’s pitch competition that Tim Draper started at my college, Smith College. I was a student competitor, pitching an idea for a high-end women’s fitness & beauty studio. This experience led to my love for startups, and I went on to become the Marketing Coordinator for this competition, and then also went on to work for Tim Draper at Draper University.
Allie: My favorite part about Draper University is the people between its walls. While it’s hard to pinpoint one specific experience, I’ve made countless memories at our team off-sites, running programs, and at the office. It is amazing to work with so many inspiring, motivated, and intelligent people.
Draper University: What advice do you have to give for founders and CEO’s of startups who are marketing on a limited budget?
Allie: Be scrappy with your dollars. Growth hack your user base through different tactics (for great tactics join Vin Clancy’s FB Group Traffic and Copy), or create your social media images in-house on Canva.
Next, network like crazy. While you attend different startup events to build your network, actually focus on building meaningful relationships. Offer help and expertise to others — for free! It’s amazing what value these relationships bring when you stop seeing networking as a transaction. I advise you to read First Round’s Chris Fralic’s tips on becoming insanely well-connected.
Draper University: How do you suggest that startups think about things such as brand?
Allie: Branding in today’s world is hugely important, especially in such a competitive space. While launching a brand, make a style guide for the look at feel. This includes a 2–3 fonts, 3–5 colors, and writing copy for 1–3 different personas you are selling to.
Someone I think is doing branding extremely well is BLADE.
Allie: While working at Draper U, I learned just how scrappy I was. Our team is very lean, and I had the opportunity to manage all aspects of marketing and partnerships. By having freedom to test new ideas and create new processes, I pushed the boundary of what I could learn in many other roles. It was very rewarding to recognize just how capable I am. Plus, I was surrounded by amazing work peers whom served as a support system and always encouraged me to keep going.
Draper University: What do you think is one thing that makes Draper University different from any other entrepreneurial program?
Allie: Your time at Draper University is truly an opportunity to dive into the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem unlearn and relearn EVERYTHING, led by an amazing in-house staff and guided by some of the most talented influencers in Silicon Valley. To be surrounded by the most motivated and passionate individuals from all around the world who all want to build a business like you is such a powerful feeling and a unique energy. Pressing pause on life and committing 100% of your time to a life-changing opportunity has produced results unlike anything I’ve ever seen.