June 20, 2021
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Announcing Kauffman Fellows Newest Cohort, Class 26

Today we’re honored to present to you the 57 newest members of the Kauffman Fellows global network of innovation investors. Hailing from top firms, including Kleiner Perkins, Greycroft, Precursor Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz (among others), Class 26 is a group of highly successful investors fueling entrepreneurs everywhere and supporting entrepreneurship as a catalyst for economic growth and social change.

The Kauffman Fellowship is a two-year executive education program dedicated to the world of venture capital and the cultivation of new technology, high-growth, high-impact startups — all with a focus on one’s responsibility as a leader in the industry. Each year, Kauffman Fellows identifies and develops a new cohort of accomplished investors who attend the two-year program part-time, while they are investing full time.

These Fellows have big funds to deploy: $30.8B in total AUM and 43% of the firms represented in Class 26 have an AUM of $200M+.

  • 86% of the class are direct VC investors
  • 73% are in senior positions
  • 64% of the class hold board seats

If you are interested in being notified when the application cycle for Class 27 starts, complete our Class 27 Interest Form.

Globally Diverse Trailblazers in VC

Class 26 joins a lifelong network of 765 Fellows spanning 6 continents and 670+ VC firms who 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. Collectively, we share similar world-view commonalities: that venture capital is more than just a big payday. It’s an opportunity to magnify your impact on the world and accelerate the change you wish to see.

The Kauffman Fellows Network spans 6 continents, representing 50+ countries globally — and is 9x more diverse than the industry average. Each year, we intentionally recruit, build, and design the incoming cohort with diversity as our north star and driving force. We’re proud to share that Kauffman Fellows Class 26 is a truly phenomenal group of global innovation investors that are diverse across sector, stage, geography, gender, ethnicity, and age:

  • Representation from 19 countries
  • 42% women, 2.7x the industry average of 15%
  • 51% people of color

Committed to Diversity, Today and Always

The world’s changed a lot in the last 26 years, but our mission to create a more equitable venture ecosystem and connect people of all backgrounds hasn’t. We’ve long believed in the need for inclusive VC and startups, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it drives better returns.

Today, each incoming Fellow will sign the KF Stewardship Pledge, a public commitment key to the fabric and mission of our organization that speaks to the privileged role of the innovation investor with our expectation in society that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Acknowledging issues that for far too long have run rampant across the VC industry, from power imbalances to discrimmination against women and minorities, KF Stewardship Pledge is not only a code of conduct — it’s about changing mindsets and behaviors. It’s a promise not only to promote a culture of inclusion and seek out diversity of all types, but also to push this agenda of sustainable inclusive prosperity in our work with ecosystem stakeholders — from LPs to entrepreneurs.

Note to the Dynamic Individuals of Class 26

Class 26, you’re about to embark on an incredible journey. We know there’s still lots of work to be done in creating a much more equitable industry and society — but together, we are ready to take on the challenges gracefully and fearlessly. As a network, we are all bound by the belief that positive change is inevitable, but we also believe it’s never passive. Over the next two years, you will break down barriers and borders all around the world. Fellows from completely different backgrounds, and even languages, will end up starting funds and companies together.

Drawing on the words of Ewing Kauffman, we challenge you to be different and challenge everything.

From the Kauffman Fellows Framework, to the structured curriculum, individual development plans, thought leadership projects, executive coaching, peer learning, and annual global summits — our mission is to support you in becoming the best versions of yourselves, so that you can best serve the entrepreneurs changing the world.

Most importantly, enjoy the road ahead! Tune in below for additional words of welcome (and advice!) from across the Kauffman Fellows network

Andrew O’NeillAnnie CaseAnton OrlichAshley LundströmBrian HollinsBryan SubijanoChihiro HosoyaChris LernerChristian JølckClaire Diaz-OrtizDaley ErvinDima KuzminDominic BriggsEarnest SweatEric HiltonGabriela de Salles van der LindenHiroki MatsudaJaime ZunzuneguiJen RichardJenny BarbaJohn ParkKristian BodekLiran GrinbergMac ConwellMaciej MalyszMaggie SprengerMarcello GoncalvesMaya Horgan FamoduMeg PaulusMegan Holston-AlexanderMichelle ScarboroughMike McCauleyMonique WoodardNasir QadreeNoor SweidPatrick KlasPavel LivshizPeter AckersonPhilip JungenRyan SandersSam GiberSamantha WongSamara HernandezSantosh SankarSean MendySherman Williams IIShikha GoyalShirley SpeakmanShubhang ShankarSierra PetersonSiobhan BrewsterSultan Fahd SalmanSurabhi NimkarSydney ThomasVlad EstiverneWarda ShaheenYao Meng

Kauffman Fellows Partners: Kauffman Fellows would like to thank partners Carta and the Business Development Bank of Canada. Canadians Mike McCauley and Shirley Speakman are the recipients of BDC Capital’s generous scholarships, while Monique Woodard and Brian Hollins each received a scholarship from Carta. This support further demonstrates both Carta and BDC Capital’s unique and broad support for the venture industry, and we’re delighted to partner with each of them.

If you are interested in being notified when the application cycle for Class 27 starts, complete our Class 27 Interest Form.

Originally published at on June 21, 2021.