Saturday, October 21, 2023

Team MAGIC @ Draper University Herothon

After the disappointing showing at Junction ASIA, an opportunity to atone for past sins immediately presented itself. Having heard a lot of good things about Draper University, I decided to enroll in the online Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship course to see what it was about. To go off on a tangent, I almost did not get accepted for the program. I was almost not able to do the 15-minute online screening interview, as I was experiencing technical difficulties with my microphone. Being badly shaken, fumbling through the first few questions, and the interviewer not being in a good mood, I somehow managed to find my composure, and finish the last 5 minutes of the interview strong. I got accepted into the program. I guess all the grilling we got from the mentors at FI🌱 does help build up startup muscle memory.


And wow, what an experience! It was a huge cohort of more than a hundred people. Most them were sponsored by government programs(in particular, in Central Asia and Africa), it was a really interesting to experience to see how entrepreneurship is transforming those regions. In the middle of the program, there was the Herothon(Draper University Hackathon), which they divided us into groups of 5. The theme of the Herothon was to create an app for ChatGPT. With the mistakes from Junction Asia still fresh in my mind, I settle quickly into focusing on what needs to be done. With another talented team for the weekend, of Nicole, Nurland, Andrea, and Bogdan, we managed to come up with Nicole AI

Nicole AI accelerates market validation through a ChatGPT-powered reasoning engine.


Nurland did a fantastic job creating the Android and iOS app, Andrea came up with the business model, and Bogdan came up with the idea to name the project "Nicole AI".  When it came to the Herothon presentation, it was plagued with network issues, as the slides were not changing on the screen during pitch. However, Nicole, a talented young pitcher from Calgary, pulled through, and despite the technical difficulties, her firm voice managed to convey our message. We came in 1st place🥇

It was a great result, and it helped me remember what it was like to work with a good team which could execute. Unfortunately, we did not get an investment for Nicole AI, as it is hard to keep the momentum going for a hackathon team. Everyone has different priorities(as we all had our own startups, ideas and/or school to pursue), and different paths to walk. Ultimately, as a closing act, we made an application to Y Combinator, to see if we could keep the ball rolling...🏀

All in all, Draper University was a great experience, and now we can call ourselves proud DraperU Alumni🎓

We pledge to fail, fail, & fail again until we succeed💪

We all became Heroes🪄🦸‍♂️🦸‍♀️🤖🚀

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