Kauffman Fellows Program
|Founder||Ewing Marion Kauffman|
|Type||Non-operating private foundation|
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)
|Jeff Harbach (CEO)|
The Kauffman Fellowship, named after Ewing Marion Kauffman, is a two-year educational, networking, and leadership development program for venture capitalists. The Kauffman Fellows Program is a nonprofit with a 20-year history of identifying, educating, mentoring and networking future venture capitalists. As of 2011, it has graduated more than 250 fellows, who have worked at venture firms in the U.S. and internationally.
Today, more than 500 graduates lead venture capital, government, corporate, university, and startup innovation efforts in more than 40 countries. As of 2013, Kauffman Fellows have collectively made $6 billion in venture capital investments, sparking growth in hundreds of new enterprises, $15 billion in annually recurring revenues, and the creation of 50,000 jobs.
The Kauffman Fellows is a prestigious two-year program that helps investors enhance entrepreneurial access to venture capital by improving understanding and relationships between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.
Unlike an academic fellowship, the Kauffman Fellowship is tuition-based. Each Kauffman Fellow works full-time at their sponsoring venture capital firm, which funds the Fellow's tuition.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the Kauffman Fellows Program is administered by the Center for Venture Education, a 501(c)(3) post-graduate educational institution dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship throughout society. The mission of the Kauffman Fellows Program is to identify, develop, and network emerging global leaders in venture capital.
For firms and individuals considering a Kauffman Fellowship, the value derived can be measured along three axes: (1) investing apprenticeship, (2) leadership development, and (3) global network.
Kauffman Fellows are granted an efficient, critical exposure to the entire waterfront of investment approaches being practiced around the industry in these challenging and fast-changing times. Ideas are presented and discussions are moderated by leading practitioners – primarily venture investors, but also entrepreneurs, limited partners, policy experts, and academic thought-leaders. The result is a broad, well-informed foundation upon which to continue to build up one's career-long effectiveness.
During the two-year fellowship, each class explores and evaluates a range of leadership approaches and human dynamic topics. Kauffman Fellows come away with a series of formal and informal assessments of their own interpersonal strengths and weaknesses, and a clear, constructive view of how they are perceived by others, and why. The goal is to build up empathy, trust, honesty, and adaptability – traits that are crucial in a world that depends on collaborative risk-taking, sophisticated technical and operational assessments, and patient determination.
Success in early-stage venture investing has always depended on awareness and access. Knowing about promising new ventures is not enough; one must also earn a place at the table. The Society of Kauffman Fellows is dedicated to bringing people together and investing them with the knowledge and relationships that help businesses grow. Having built momentum and enjoyed an international expansion, the Society of Kauffman Fellows now represents a tightly-knit, well-placed and like-minded band of professionals. All are open and supportive – from charter class to the most recent program graduates, from supporting mentors, partners, faculty, and deans, to the many friends of the program who work as LPs and entrepreneurs around the world. For individuals and firms alike, the two-year Kauffman Fellowship provides a gateway for participating in and contributing to this thriving, trust-based network.
Center for Venture Education
The Kauffman Fellows Program originated as an endeavor of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, from which it was spun out in 2000, and is now managed by the Center for Venture Education, based in Palo Alto, California.
Notable Kauffman Fellows
- Trish Costello, Portfolia
- Mamoon Hamid, Social Capital
- Jenny Lee, GGV Capital
- Jason Green, Emergence Capital
- Shailendra Singh, Sequoia Capital
- Chris Lyons, Andreessen Horowitz
- Jeff Harbach
- Collin West
- Mala Gaonkar
- Michael McCullough
- Justin Rockefeller
- Winslow Sargeant
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