Bill Silverfarb/Daily Journal
Brayton Williams, left, and Adam Draper co-founded a company called Boost VC in downtown San Mateo that helps take startup companies to the next level.
The Draper family knows a good thing when they see it.
Father Tim, after all, is the local brainiac venture capitalist who helped bring the world Skype, Hotmail and Tesla Motors who also recently opened the innovative Draper University of Heroes in downtown San Mateo.
Son Adam, 27, is following in his famous father’s footsteps and has already helped get six companies funded through a recently completed accelerator program in downtown San Mateo for startups through a company he co-founded last year with Brayton Williams called Boost VC.
Adam is the fourth generation of Drapers to take to venture investment. At 23, he was already helping later-stage companies raise money online but has since turned more toward the mentoring and coaching of others who have great business ideas and the entrepreneurial spirit.
The next class of startups will descend on downtown San Mateo June 24 as Boost provides housing and office space for 12 weeks.
The first class of startups included such companies as Ziibra, Scalpr, Heard About You, Favor, Rebel Coast Winery, Vectera and Gumball. All except the winery are pretty much Web-based driven companies.
All the companies lived together during the first class and a camaraderie developed between them, Draper said.
Heard About You or HAY is a Seattle-based dating website that dubbed itself LinkedIn for Lovin’.
Its founder Colin Hodge, Ziibra founder Omri Mor and another in the first Boost class stayed up late one night having a few drinks and debating whether men want to date first before hooking up or whether they want to hook up first and then date.
The conversation lasted the night and in the morning the three had a whole new idea called Bang With Friends.
“I believe I laughed really hard when they first told me their idea,” Adam Draper told the Daily Journal.
Bang With Friends’ premise is simple — everyone has a friend on Facebook with whom they would like to have sex.
“It was explicit and blunt and a real ‘sex sells’ moment,” Adam Draper said.
The three young men then set out on establishing a very simple app that lets users click a “down to bang” button on the Facebook friends with whom they want to have sex. If that user then clicks their button, Bang With Friends makes the introduction.
It’s anonymous — only users who download the app know who wants to “bang” them.
The site with its initial raunchy kama sutra logo garnered 700,000 users and no one was technically running it, Draper told the Daily Journal.
The site was built in one night earlier this year in downtown San Mateo and now has 1.1 million users all over the world. It gets about 70,000 “down to bang” clicks a day.
Colin Hodge, 28, has become a bit of a celebrity since it became clear he was one of the founders and currently works on Bang With Friends full time, he told the Daily Journal.
Hodge now lives in San Francisco and told the Daily Journal that he too has benefited from his own app by “banging” a friend.
Sex, Hodge said, is crucial to a good relationship.
Bang With Friends, however, is not just about having sex but about helping good friends break the ice and perhaps develop long-lasting relationships, he said.
The app is currently banned from the Apple Store and Hodge is working on getting that fixed.
In the meantime, copycats have already started to mimic the app.
The app is free and users must be 18, Hodge said.
The founders are not focused on making money yet but more building the brand, he said.
It may also develop from “Bang” to “Hang” with friends, both Hodge and Adam Draper told the Daily Journal.
Adam’s father Tim Draper calls Bang With Friends a great incubator story.
“It is good technology that can be used for a lot of other applications. Facebook started with something like a hot or not, and became a big social network. Interesting to see what happens here,” Tim Draper wrote the Daily Journal in an email.
Six of the seven companies invited to Boost’s first class got funding anywhere from $150,000 to $1 million, said Adam Draper, who is also big on the digital currency of Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer electronic cash system.
He also follows in his famous father’s footsteps of adopting superhero personas. Tim has dressed as Captain America for magazine covers and Batman for parties.
Adam wants to build an Iron Man suit and is willing to fund anyone who can make it happen.
“It definitely can be done,” he said. “Nothing is impossible.”
To learn more check out adamdraper.com; boost.vc; and bangwithfriends.com.
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