August 21, 2023
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Summer Module Recap

Kauffman Fellows June 2023 Module Recap

Wow, we’re still reeling from a high-energy week spent in the Santa Cruz mountains with Fellows. We welcomed a cohort, graduated another, and hosted an incredible array of discussion leaders (ranging from industry veteran investors, members of the press, LPs, self-development coaches, and more) all while creating special experiences for our community that are designed to promote career acceleration, challenge existing beliefs, and achieve new levels of growth. An incredible module all in all, the week reenergized us of our mission to build a global community of diverse investors who operate with diligence, self-awareness, and purpose. Recap below detailing how the week went down! 

Welcoming KF Class 28

We kicked off our June module by welcoming 60 new Kauffman Fellows to our global network. Hailing from top firms, including Maveron, Pivotal Ventures, Female Founders Fund, Flybridge, and Ulu Ventures, among others, these Fellows are senior leaders in the industry. With $55B in AUM, KF28 is a diverse cohort across sector, stage, geography (16 countries), gender, and ethnicity (42% women; 55% POC). Learn more about them here. From improv to drumming sessions, nature walks, and garden tours – Class 28 was welcomed into the KF family in true fashion, taking part in a plethora of activities designed to break down walls and help Fellows quickly connect with one another. 

Jeff Harbach, Kauffman Fellows President & CEO, spent time welcoming Class 28, as did Allen Taylor (KF Board Member, Class 16).

Module Sessions

Throughout the week, we were joined by an incredible array of investors, founders, industry leaders, and professional development experts who led powerful and insightful sessions. 

Discovering Your Motivations through the Enneagram

Sierra Larson, Executive Coach & Facilitator at Conscious Leadership Group

Class 28 explored how the Enneagram can help foster a greater understanding of ourselves and others, helping to identify strengths and blind spots and giving us tools to work through conflicts and create healthier personal and professional relationships.

Zone of Genius

Diana Chapman, Co-Founder & Master Trainer of Conscious Leadership Group

Tapping into our Zone of Genius allows our creativity and focus to flow freely as we utilize our unique superpowers. With Diana’s guidance, Class 28 began the challenging task of identifying each of their unique zones of genius.

Cross-Class Network Day

On Wednesday, Classes 26, 27, and 28 were joined by KF Alumni for fireside chats, panels, and fellow-generated conversations.

Women's Breakfast Presented by Cartier Women’s Initiative

We hosted a women’s breakfast and fireside chat with the Cartier Women's Initiative, an international entrepreneurship program that aims to drive change by empowering women impact entrepreneurs. 

KF Network Reception Presented by Carta

We partnered with Carta to host a reception where Class 26, Class 27, and KF Alumni gathered to reconnect and welcome Class 28 to the Kauffman Family. 

LP Diligence: Building a Firm vs. a Fund

Kelli Cullinane, Managing Director at Next Legacy

Kelly shared valuable insights into the LP diligence process with a close look at the key factors that Next Legacy Partners considers during the diligence process. She shared an LP's perspective on data room material, shed light on their specific criteria to evaluate potential investments, and explored the nuances of building a firm instead of just a fund.

Empowering Emerging Managers: Building an Institutional Platform

Maurice Werdegar, Investment Partner and Chairman at WTI

In a fireside chat hosted by Samantha Wong (KF Class 26) of Blackbird Ventures, Maurice shared key ingredients for successfully building an institutional platform in today's dynamic landscape, delving into the rise of super angels and micro VC over the last two decades in Silicon Valley and what separates a great Fund I or II from a durable venture franchise.

Hiring & Succession Planning

Kanyi Maqubela, Managing Partner at Kindred Ventures

Kanyi explored the critical importance of attracting and hiring exceptional talent and succession planning in building successful firms. With strategies for identifying, attracting, and hiring top talent at various levels within venture capital firms, Kanyi discussed creating a culture to attract the right fit and foster growth.

Pitching the Press

Kathleen Osborne, Founder of Kamel PR

When working to build a firm's brand, personal brand, investor credibility, or relationships with reporters, knowing how to position yourself, your zone of genius, and your value proposition is key. During the session, Kathleen helped Fellows hone their press pitches. 

Strategic Life Planning Workshop

Jack Crawford, Impact Venture Capital (KF16)

Jack taught Fellows how to use familiar business tools to design and develop their own strategic plans for life. 

Demystifying Institutional LP Underwriting FGC

Matt Auxier, University of Chicago (KF27) and Susan Spears, UTIMCO (KF27)

This session offered a unique opportunity to delve into the underwriting practices of two university endowment limited partners (LPs). We explored various aspects of LP underwriting, including return targets, LP/GP alignment, diligence priorities, and the integration of venture capital within a broader multi-asset portfolio construction

Media Roundtable Panel

Krystal Hu, Reuters and Kia Kokalitcheva, Axios

Katie Sarro, KF's Director of Content & Communications, led a roundtable discussing two reporters’ insights on the future of VC media, best practices for pitching, and their POVs on the current state of the VC industry.

Unleashing Your Best Self: Mastering Stress and Harnessing Your Brain's Potential

Bill Tobin, LearningEdge Leadership

Our brains can be our greatest asset on the journey to becoming our best selves. Bill shared strategies for optimizing performance, managing stress effectively, mindfully approaching engagements, and cultivating a holistic mindset that supports personal growth.

Leading Through Change & Uncertainty FGC

Susan Mason, Aligned Partners (KF2) and Scott Chou, Employee Stock Option Fund (KF3)

Covering technological advancements, regulatory changes, global economic conditions, and societal shifts, Susan and Scott led an insightful discussion with Fellows on effective leadership strategies in times of change and uncertainty.

Pathways to Partner FGC

Ruby Nimkar, GreenHouse Capital (KF26) and Amal Dokhan, 500 Global (KF27)

Hosted by Kauffman Fellows who have recently made successful career transitions to partner-level positions, this session provided valuable insights, firsthand experiences, and practical advice for Fellows looking to make Partner or grow junior partners. 

Creative Thinking Workshop - From the Battlefield to the Boardroom

Judah Taub, Hetz Ventures (KF27)

In this interactive workshop, Judah explained and helped Fellows practice five mental-block-breaker techniques to generate effective creative solutions.

Recent Bank Failures and the Impact on the Broader Venture and Startup Ecosystem FGC

Dan Kimerling, Deciens (KF27), Mario Ruiz, Infinity Ventures (KF27) and Ann Kim, Stifel Venture Bank (KF24)

Dan, Mario, and Ann explored the repercussions of recent bank failures and their profound influence on the broader venture and startup ecosystem, delving into the rise of Fintech, its trajectory, and the potential it holds to transform the venture world.

Firm to Franchise FGC

Caio Bolognesi, monasheees (KF27), Sandeep Bakshi, Prosus (KF27), Karen Page, B Capital (KF27)

Led by Kauffman Fellows who have successfully turned their firms into franchises, they shared their journeys, vision, strategies, processes, and key takeaways, providing invaluable guidance and inspiration for those navigating the firm-building landscape. 

Can AI Help with Productivity? - FGC

Ben Metcalfe, Monochrome Capital (KF23), Maddie Callander, Boost VC (KF25) and Baris Aksoy, AV8 Ventures (KF17)

Exploring the intersection of venture capital and artificial intelligence, this discussion focused on the various productivity tools available to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of VCs in their decision-making processes.

Managing Your Time: Hosted by the KF Emerging Managers SIG 

Ernestine Fu, Alsop Louie Partners (KF17)

How do emerging managers prioritize their time? There is so much to do, and often a small team executing. Between sourcing startups, negotiating term sheets, spending time with LPs, portfolio management, media/events, and developing the fund strategy while growing the team, the Emerging Managers SIG discussed deciding what gets your attention. 

Scaling the Firm

Mar Hershenson, Managing Partner at Pear VC

As Pear’s co-founder and managing partner, Mar used her operational and technical expertise to discuss the ins and outs of scaling a venture capital firm

Personal Storytelling Workshop with The Moth

Anna Roberts, Manager at MothWorks at The Moth

Storytelling is a critical skill to master if you want to stand out as an innovative thought leader in the business world. Anna led Class 26 through a workshop identifying the essential, compelling elements of their own personal stories.

Navigating a Firm Through Macro Changes

Jenny Lee, Managing Partner at GGV Capital

In a conversation about the impact of transitional tech trends, the industry policy era, the Russia/Ukraine War, and the fall of SVB, Jenny Lee led a discussion about business and fundraising strategies to help VCs successfully navigate these macro changes. 

M&A Madness: Demystifying the Market Dynamics

Larry Chu, Partner & Co-Chair of Global Tech M&A Practice at Goodwin

Larry provided valuable insights to Class 27 on the dynamic M&A landscape, examining the macro environment and its impact on exit markets, IPO rates, & overall M&A activity. He also shared strategies for managing portfolio companies toward successful exits, even in downturns. 

Management Companies & General Firm Dynamics with Jeff Bloom

Jeff Bloom, Counsel at Gunderson Dettmer

From control issues to brand ownership to dilution/accretion issues to vesting arrangements and more, Jeff and Class 27 explored the dynamics of the two key VC firm management entities: the management company and the general partner.

From Established to Emerging: Lessons for Managers in Transition

Tomasz Tunguz, General Partner at Theory Ventures

Class 27 learned about the transition from an established firm to an emerging manager from the firsthand experience of Tomasz, who previously served as Managing Director at Redpoint Ventures.

Cultivate & Capitalize: A Synergistic Approach to Firm Culture and Investing Strategy Investing

Lauren Kolodny, Founding Partner at Acrew Capital

Lauren and Class 27 explored the synergistic relationship between firm culture and investing strategy to discover how aligning values, fostering diversity, and making collaborative yet polarizing decisions can enhance investment success. 

KF Class 26 Graduation

To cap off the highly eventful week,, we celebrated Class 26’s graduation from the Kauffman Fellows Program. It’s been a wonderful two years with these incredible humans, and we loved sharing memories and honoring the growth each of them has made. Each Fellow in Class 26 is truly unique and impressive in their own way, and we couldn’t be more proud of them.