Application to the Kauffman Fellows Program consists of three phases.

  • First, candidates are nominated: preferably by Kauffman Fellows, Kauffman Fellow Mentors, Faculty or Board members, or the candidate’s Managing Director (or equivalent), but if such nominations are not attainable, by self-nomination.
  • All nominations are carefully reviewed, and then selected candidates are invited to participate in the second phase by completing our online application.
  • Candidates with strong applications will then be invited to participate in a series of interviews—in person, when possible, or via online video.
  • From the many excellent candidates, we design a class of Fellows who will best contribute to each other’s learning, and support individual and mutual goals and successes.

Phase 1: Nomination

Nominations will be accepted online starting October 4, 2016. Candidates may be nominated by a Kauffman Fellow or Kauffman Fellows Board Member, Faculty, or Mentor using our online

Nomination Form

Nominations will also be accepted from a candidate’s Managing Partner (or equivalent), regardless of affiliation with Kauffman Fellows.

The enduring legacy of our founder, Ewing Marion Kauffman, is providing access to a quality education to help people reach their full potential. He was particularly interested in providing opportunities to people with limited access to resources. In the spirit of continuing Mr. K’s legacy, if a candidate meets the eligibility factors but does not have a nominator, the candidate may instead submit the Application Form and check the Self-Nomination box. If you would like to nominate yourself, please contact us at for instructions.

All nominations are reviewed based on professional accomplishments, core values, leadership potential, and ability to benefit from and contribute to the Kauffman Fellows Program and to the broader Kauffman Fellows Society. Nominated candidates who meet the selection criteria will be invited to continue the process by completing an online application. Self-nominated candidates who meet the selection criteria will be invited to interview with Kauffman Fellows.

We look forward to learning more about your experience, aspirations, and potential—and to getting to know you as a person.

Phase 2: Application

The application phase of this process consists of several parts. First, candidates fill out the online application form, and also submit letters of recommendation and official transcripts. There is a $250 non-refundable application fee, payable through PayPal as part of the online application.

The following items are required as part of your application:

  • Application
  • Resume/CV
  • Two written recommendations
  • Official university transcripts
  • For Self-Nominated Candidates: Contact for a telephone recommendation

Candidates can download a PDF of the application in order to prepare their information in advance of starting the online application form.


We request that your two written recommendations come from individuals who are not your Nominator. Please ask your recommenders to use our online

Recommendation Form

The best recommendations are written by individuals who know you in your capacity as an investing professional, and as a human being.

One recommendation should be from a representative of your firm. If your Nominator works at your firm, please submit a recommendation from a former boss. If you are the most senior partner at your firm, please submit a recommendation from a board member or a peer at another firm. The second recommendation should be from an entrepreneur with whom you have worked closely. If you have questions about selecting recommenders, please contact us at


We strongly encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, as there is an advantage to applying in the first or second round. Applications are reviewed as they are completed, and acceptances are offered on a rolling basis until the class is full. Will we turn away exceptional candidates in Round 3? Not at all. But Round 3 is more competitive, as available space in the class may be limited.

It is important to make arrangements for your recommenders to submit documents as soon as possible, to ensure timely consideration of your application. University transcripts are also required as part of the application—only official university transcripts sent directly to Kauffman Fellows will be accepted. Applications will not be considered until all documents have been received.

Phase 3: Interviews

Each application will be given careful consideration by the Admissions Committee. Candidates with strong applications will move on to the interview phase of the application process.

Interviews play a vital role in the selection process. Our Society seeks Fellows who are at the cutting edge of investing and innovation—and who can also build and nurture relationships with diverse groups of entrepreneurs, co-investors, limited partners, and domain experts. We want to learn about you as a potential member of the Kauffman Fellows community.

The written application only goes so far in portraying an accurate picture of who you are. There is much more we’d like to know about you—and you about us. What we desire in our interviews is a sincere two-way interaction that gives us a window into how your mind works and who you are as a human being. We want to hear about your goals, motivations, and passions; your strengths; and also those areas you are hoping to strengthen in the Program. We want to know how the experiences of your personal journey formed the character of a unique person.

We prefer to interview candidates in person, but given the geographic dispersion of our candidates, we often connect via Skype or Google Hangouts. You will most likely be interviewed by someone in your domain of expertise, and you will definitely be interviewed by our senior team members. If you submit your application in the final round, there will be a very short period of time to schedule the interviews. We appreciate your flexibility.


Exceptional candidates will be offered acceptance into Kauffman Fellows Program Class 22 based on the strength of their application and their interviews, on a rolling basis. Please read Deadlines and Tuition for additional requirements for entrance to Class 22.

Fellows are selected for admission without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, physical ability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.


Class 22 will be composed of 40 to 45 Fellows. It isn’t possible to predict exactly how many candidates will accept an offer of admission; to help manage these uncertainties, we maintain a waitlist.

The waitlist is by invitation only. We offer a select group of qualified candidates the option of placing themselves on the waitlist. This list is not ranked. If there are seats available, just prior to March 1, we will review all candidates on the list and offer admission to the candidates whom we feel best complete the class. These candidates will then have seven (7) calendar days from the date of notification to accept admission and pay tuition.

Candidates admitted from the waitlist are still eligible for a work-study scholarship. However, our scholarships are very limited, so it would be prudent to make alternative arrangements to pay full tuition. Candidates are under no obligation to accept being on the waitlist and can remove themselves at any time.

Fellowship Begins

Module 1 for Class 22 will be held in Palo Alto, California from Sunday, June 11 through Wednesday, June 14, 2017.