Billionaire Offers $1M Charity Donation if People Watch His Reality Show

Tim Draper is making a major plea for viewers to ABC Family's 'Startup U.'
Tim Neely/ABC Family

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 DuffyTim 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."