We are seeking exceptional candidates for Kauffman Fellows Class 22. There are no rigid rules regarding requirements; often, exceptional candidates excel on one criterion, but are light on another. We have found that the “it” factor (see below), for example, can offset a lack of credentials or a lack of experience.

Selection is based on a comprehensive review of the full spectrum of the applicant’s qualifications and character presented in the Nomination Form, Application, recommendations, and interviews. We consider eligibility factors, which carry no pre-assigned weights, as a guideline and exercise flexibility when considering each individual candidate as a whole.

Key Eligibility Factors

The following eligibility factors are considered when evaluating candidates who apply to the Kauffman Fellows Program:

  1. Degree(s) or equivalent from an accredited college or university
  2. Depth of domain expertise in technology, a scientific field, or business
  3. Current status as a full-time investment professional
  4. Career level attained
  5. Number of years of investing experience, defined as deal sourcing, due diligence, and influencing investing decisions

Enhanced Eligibility Factors

These factors may improve your candidacy:

  1. Nomination and strong endorsement from a Kauffman Fellow, Kauffman Fellows Mentor, Kauffman Fellows Faculty, or Board member, or your Managing Director (or equivalent)
  2. The “it” factor – a hard-to-describe stand-out factor that could be having an unusual mix of experiences, being a catalyst for connecting people, having a well-defined vision, or in some way offering a unique point of view
  3. Significant accomplishments in career and life
  4. A unique investment thesis
  5. Likelihood of meaningful contributions to the vitality of the class and the Kauffman Fellows Society

Selection Criteria

Each candidate is unique. We consider the complete person as a combination of their goals, the opportunities they have chosen, their successful and unsuccessful experiences, and the impact they have had. Holistically, we seek certain intangible qualities such as the following:

  1. Ability to benefit from and contribute to the Kauffman Fellows Program
  2. Core values of integrity, authenticity, empathy, humility, gratitude, and vulnerability
  3. A passion for investing and for helping entrepreneurs succeed
  4. Active listening, intellectual curiosity, and an openness to different points of view
  5. Ability to thrive in ambiguous situations and to take rational risks
  6. An entrepreneurial approach
  7. Resilience, determination, maturity, and insight when faced with difficult circumstances
  8. Potential to be a global leader in innovation investing