William H. Draper, III, MBA 1954

Draper Richards, L.P.

Interview conducted in December 2010

William H. Draper III, HBS 1954, started his career in venture capital with Draper Gaither & Anderson, the first venture capital firm west of the Mississippi, working there with his father from its creation in 1958 until he left to cofound Draper & Johnson Investment Co. in 1962. Three years later, Draper & Johnson merged with Sutter Hill Ventures to great success. From 1981 to 1986, Bill served as president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, continuing on to become the administrator and CEO of the United Nations Development Program, serving until 1995. Upon returning to Palo Alto, California, Bill founded Draper International, later Draper Investment Company, to focus on global investment opportunities in Europe and Asia; a year later, he cofounded Draper Richards L.P. to bring attention to domestic technology companies. He is also a cofounder of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a venture philanthropy group focused on early-stage, high-impact organizations. He shared more than forty years of venture capital experience in an interview at HBS in December 2010.

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