10:54am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Billionaire Offers $1M Charity Donation if People Watch His Reality Show
Billionaire Tim Draper wants people to watch his ABC Family unscripted series.
The founder of Draper University and one of the cast members on the Disney-owned cable network's Startup U has offered a sizable charity donation in exchange for viewers to the freshman series.
"Tell all your friends to watch Startup U Tuesday at 10:00 on ABC Family. I will give away $1 million to charities if we get 1 million viewers this week," Draper wrote on his Facebook page.
Picked up to series in April, Startup U hails from the producers of House of Food and follows a group of entrepreneurial millennials as they embark on a semester at Draper University in Silicon Valley. Led by billionaire founder/venture capitalist Draper, the seven-week program teaches the fundamentals of launching a startup company under the mentorship of America's business leaders.
Students will pitch their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists with the hope that they'll receive a life-changing investment to launch their business. To date, more than 150 Draper graduates have received funding totaling more than $15 million from mogul investors and Draper. Startup U hails from Ugly Brother Studios, a Sky Vision partner. Mike Duffy, Tim Duffy and Draper serve as executive producers. Startup U will begin production this month in San Mateo, California.
The series premiered Aug. 11 and its most recent episode drew just 47,000 viewers. Startup U is one of three new unscripted series ABC Family picked up as it looks to expand its slate of originals in an effort to court what it has dubbed "Becomers."