In 2014, Blodgett suffered from an illness that left her hospitalized. While she was in the hospital, Sequoia reevaluated her life in the most amazing way, which ultimately led her to Draper University, where she would meet Draper University’s founder and her soon-to-be mentor, Tim Draper.
Blodgett taught photography as the basis of branding at an all-girl tech school across the street from Stanford University. She also spent nine years directing commercials and music videos before heading to Draper.
Although African-American women aren’t necessarily the bread and butter of today’s businesses, and despite Sequoia’s story and adversity, she doesn’t acknowledge herself as such, saying: “I’ve never considered myself a female minority entrepreneur.”
Blodgett is the co-host for ABC Family’s, StartUp U, which takes place at Draper University. The place where she now mentors other aspiring business owners and investors.
Out of all the respected mentors and judges on the show, Sequoia is portrayed as more of the confidant and trustworthy advisor than the rest. She manages to connect with the students on a personal level as well as a business level.
“I think it’s because we’re kinda of the same age, we’re able to relate.”Says Blodgett to HYPEFRESH.
“I feel it’s important to have that empathy and being able to connect on a deeper level.”
But despite her soft spot for her students, she never lets that interfere with business. As much love she shows her students is just as much tough love is distributed. One thing Blodgett has learned from Draper, if nothing else, is you can’t be soft on your protegé.
We’ll see how Sequoia’s advice and lessons come to play in the upcoming season finale of Startup U, which premieres Thursday, October 15, at 5pm EST on ABC Family Network.
“Tim know’s what a successful entrepreneur looks like. What I’ve learned from him, I will pass on to my students. Something you might see on StartUp U is that I’m very tough on them. I want to make sure they all have explored every area they’ve needed to explore in order to make their investments happen.” -Blodgett to HYPEFRESH
“Some of the students take my advice, some don’t. You’ll see who decides what on the upcoming season finale.” -HYPEFRESH