Leading the Future of Venture Capital

Kauffman Fellows is a lifelong learning community for people who represent the future of venture capital.

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How We Work

Through our program components and network offerings, we help Fellows become the best investors in the world and deliver superior returns to LPs.

Select

Each year, we strategically select a cohort of accomplished investors and only admit the outliers. Each class is comprised of senior-level, globally diverse innovation leaders who we believe will change the face and course of the industry.

Accelerate

We create a dedicated space where investors from around the world can learn from each other, accelerate in their careers, and become the best version of themselves, so they can best serve the entrepreneurs they invest in.

Connect

We give Fellows the best predictor of success in VC—an unmatched network. Fellows stay connected through pop-up events, global summits, sector-specific groups, regional chapters, internal communication channels, and more.

“Kauffman Fellows embraces diversity from many angles and deliberately brings different and important perspectives to the group. Having GPs, LPs, and ecosystem shapers in my class brought incredible value to the discussions.”
Bianca Martinelli
 (Kauffman Fellows Class
21
)
Partner
Alexia Ventures
"Kauffman Fellows challenged me to strategize on firm building, and I value the guidance from their industry experts. They were supportive in raising a fund and connecting me with numerous LPs."
Austin Clements
 (Kauffman Fellows Class
25
)
Managing Partner
Slauson & Co.
“Being part of a diverse group (a true outlier compared to the industry), we’re privileged to go beyond sharing deals. We exchange successes and failures, look at the world from outside our own perspective, and abandon our comfort zones.”
Gabriela de Salles van der Linden
 (Kauffman Fellows Class
26
)
Venture Capitalist
Aggir Ventures
“Kauffman Fellows is hands down the most impactful global network in venture capital. We’ve decided to be the change we want to see in the industry. Each cohort has significantly outperformed the industry in terms of POC representation.”
Marlon Nichols
 (Kauffman Fellows Class
18
)
Co-Founder & Managing General Partner
MaC Venture Capital

Our Network in Numbers

940
Fellows Globally
680
VC Firms Represented
15%
Of All Unicorns as of March 2024 are Funded by Fellows
$329B
Total Value of Fellow-Exited Companies
61
Countries
In-Network
55%
Firm Founders
1/3
Of Fellows are Female
81%
Partner-Level & Above
NETWORK

Defined by our Community

Kauffman Fellows’ global network of top-performing investors have started hundreds of funds, raised and deployed hundreds of billions of dollars in capital, and helped found and pave the way for some of the world’s most groundbreaking companies.

Role
Partner, Head of Growth Equity
Class
22
Company
Bessemer Venture Partners
Role
General Partner
Class
23
Company
Lux Capital
Role
Partner
Class
11
Company
Kleiner Perkins
Role
CEO, Managing Director and Co-Founder
Class
15
Company
Ulu Ventures
Role
General Partner
Class
12
Company
Creandum
Role
Managing Partner
Class
23
Company
Everywhere Ventures
Role
Co-Founder & Managing General Partner
Class
18
Company
MaC Venture Capital
Role
Managing Partner
Class
8
Company
AC Ventures
Role
Founding Partner
Class
12
Company
Sozo Ventures
Role
Founder & Managing Partner
Class
26
Company
Cake Ventures

Our framework
for success
in venture

Since 1995, we've accelerated the growth of the leading minds in our industry.

We support Fellows through every aspect of innovation investing, from thesis development to human dynamics, deal flow, navigating public markets, and more.

Our Four Pillars

The Four Pillars in Action

A distillation of the traits, characteristics, and behaviors that we’ve learned from the best investors in the world over our 28-year history.

01

Radical Self-Belief

We believe in a willingness to bet on yourself and your convictions. The best investment opportunities are often non-intuitive ideas and non-consensus deals. The first step toward achieving radical self-belief is understanding your ‘zone of genius’ as an investor, or your one-of-a-kind superpower
at the intersection of your innate talents and passions.

02

Unique Investment Thesis

An investment thesis is more than defining a sector or market based on experience or interest. The best investors map their passions and convictions to an investment thesis. This connection ensures that the thesis will be unique, enhancing its attractiveness to LPs, entrepreneurs, and co-investors. Though elements of your investment thesis will change as technology rapidly evolves and product life cycles get shorter, the basics will remain the same.

03

Personal Brand

Your convictions, expertise, and investment thesis start to take form as your identity — the outward-facing version of yourself to the ecosystem. While personal brand has become mangled in false quantifications like Twitter or blog followers, it’s much more than that. We define personal brand as the “promise of the experience” when interacting with you as an investor. How do you treat people? How do you show up to every interaction? What are you known for? What can founders learn from you?

04

Human Dynamics

Ours is a relationship-driven business, and success depends upon building deep trust. We believe in developing the way we communicate and cultivating the skill of active listening. The best investors are acutely aware of how their style impacts others, and are successful in optimizing relationships with colleagues, partners, founders, board members, LPs, and syndicate members, as well as others in the ecosystem.

Building a VC industry that's reflective of society as a whole

Diversity and inclusion are about increasing the number of diverse voices in influential positions that will shape our future. Since our inception, we’ve gathered perspectives from every corner of the globe and are meticulously building a pipeline of investors who represent the fabric of our society.

Kauffman
Fellows
Research

Each year, Kauffman Fellows surveys our network of venture capitalists to gauge their expectations around macro economic factors, capital deployment, and fundraising. Will they invest, raise, and earn more compared to previous years or less? Read our reports to learn more.

VC Sentiment Survey 2024

Sampling of results from survey
of over 260 fund managers