DRAPER STARTUP HOUSE
39 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069716
Located along Ann Siang Road, one may easily miss Draper Startup House amongst the row of colourful shop houses. Don’t be fooled by the humble exterior of this startup house as this cosy snug hostel has huge ambitions. Previously known as Tribe Theory, Draper Startup House is a venture hostel which aims to connect, inspire and empower the world’s entrepreneurs, working towards the goal of enabling one million entrepreneurs by the end of 2030! Tribe Theory started 2020 with a bang, rebranding to Draper Startup House as they partnered with American venture capitalist Tim Draper in hopes of expanding the hostel locations globally, while building up the start-up ecosystem through programmes and events.
Draper Startup House understands the journey of entrepreneurship, hence they provide platforms and opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to explore and engage with likeminded people on the same entrepreneurial journey. The hostel itself has mixed dorms with capsule beds and communal facilities such as the restroom, kitchen area and workspace over at the loft. Aside from serving as a hostel, Draper Startup House frequently organises and hold events that are free of charge and open to the public! These events have a common purpose of strengthening the start-up community, providing a support and networking system for entrepreneurs. In fact, many of these events are initiated by passionate individuals who want to share their knowledge on specific fields which explains the wide variety of events available at Draper Startup House. The team is flexible and very open to ideas, so their events don’t have a fix schedule. The nature and theme of an event really depends on the individual who proposes an idea so it’s a surprise every time!
Image courtesy of Draper Startup House
With an increase in start-ups and entrepreneurship over the past few years, Draper Startup House is actively expanding to more international locations. They are currently in 8 cities including Bali, Singapore, Yangon, Estonia, Manila, Lisbon, Bangalore and Austin (opens in March 2020) reaching out to as many global aspiring entrepreneurs as possible. The start-up ecosystem also serves a critical role in supporting a start-up, which explains why Draper Startup House provides many resources for those interested in entrepreneurship. They produced a Draper Startup House Podcast, touching on various topics from entrepreneurship to self-discovery (yeah, it got deep real fast), a Draper Startup House Academy for interested individuals to pick up new skills, and even Draper Startup House Ventures, providing entrepreneurs a platform to receive better access to venture capital funding.
From the amount of effort and resources pumped into Draper Startup House, it is evident that the team is truly passionate about actively reaching out to entrepreneurs in hopes of building this start-up ecosystem. Driven by passion and purpose, people at Draper Startup House are very friendly and love conversing with one another, even strangers! They want to get to know those around them so that they are also able to connect with the community and not just exclusively to entrepreneurs. When we spoke to Vikram, founder of Tribe Theory, he was very approachable and friendly. He explained that their location along Ann Siang Hill has more significance than just being a hostel. In the past during the 19th century, there were many Chinese Clans along Ann Siang Road. These clans were established to help Chinese immigrants with accommodation and employment while providing a support system for them. Aside from practical assistance, these Chinese Clans also fostered unity and kinship among these Chinese immigrants. Vikram feels that Draper Startup House is a modernized version of these Chinese Clans, with similar concepts and purpose of building up and supporting the start-up eco-system. In a way, Draper Startup House is continuing the history and legacy of the Chinese Clans that were once operating there.
Image courtesy of Draper Startup House
A DEEPER PEEK
Kristine (20) is currently working at Draper Startup House as the front desk as well as in the community zone which helps with event set up, networking and guest relations. However, unlike most Singaporean youths, Kristine took an unconventional route after she completed her secondary school education. While most youths at her age were pursuing their tertiary education, Kristine backpacked to Europe, from London all the way to Poland, alone for 4 months at the age of 17! When questioned what made her decide to take this huge leap of faith, Kristine revealed her grandma came to Singapore from Malaysia at a young age and that inspired Kristine and gave her the courage to go backpacking. ‘Go big or go home’ were Kristine’s exact words when she made up her mind to go backpacking and thankfully, her first solo backpacking adventure was an enjoyable experience! The trip was an eye opener for Kristine, allowing her to discover the world and make new friends along the way. Aside from her backpacking passion, Kristine also loves to bake brownies! Baking brownies started off as an interest but working in Draper Startup House with constant exposure to entrepreneurship encouraged Kristine to start selling her brownies online @kristinesbrownies on Instagram!
Image courtesy of Kristine