Palo Alto, CA (June 14, 2017) – Continuing in its mission to accelerate the development of innovation and venture capital industry leaders, the Kauffman Fellows Program is excited to announce Class 22, comprised of 51 top-tier investors hailing from five continents. The majority (61%) of this largest class to date are partners, managing directors, or CEOs of their firms. Kauffman Fellows’ 2-year, mastery-level program challenges already-successful investors to be even more self-aware and nimble in their thinking. The Program is dedicated to promoting diversity: 35% of the class are women and 8% are from traditionally under-represented groups.
“I’m thrilled to welcome this incoming class of Kauffman Fellows; their combined experience and diversity is unparalleled in our industry,” said Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach. “This class represents some of the foremost leaders in venture capital and innovation ecosystems across the world. The impact they will have on entrepreneurs globally, as a result of their acceleration in our two-year program, will be immeasurable.”
Top firms represented by incoming Fellows include Blackrock, Social Capital, August Capital, 500 Startups, Microsoft Ventures, SoftTech VC, Tencent, Shasta Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Bpifrance, Merck Ventures, and the MacArthur Foundation, among others. A number of distinguished VCs are serving in this year’s mentor group, such as Dave McClure, Founder/Managing Partner, 500 Startups; Kate Mitchell, past chairman of the NVCA and Partner, Scale Venture Partners; David Cohen, Founder/Co-CEO, Techstars; Jeff Clavier, Founder/Managing Partner, SoftTech VC; David Sze, Senior Managing Partner, Greylock; and Josh Stein, Partner, DFJ.
Many of the Class 22 Fellows are already outstanding leaders in their fields, and all are passionate about fueling global entrepreneurship and innovation. Examples of these unique leaders are a 500 Startups GP launching a fund in under-developed economies in SE Asia; a principal investment officer in Africa keen on what she sees as the untapped potential of Nigerian startups; an LP managing private equities for the MacArthur Foundation’s $6.2B endowment; and a CEO who raised a $500M VC fund in Saudi Arabia for the largest telecom in MENA.
Members of the new class join some of the most trusted, diverse, and respected names in the global investment community. Over 500 Fellows comprise a lifelong network of leaders from more than 200 venture capital firms representing funds investing billions into startups in 40+ countries. Kauffman Fellows actively recruits women and minorities in the belief that communities are stronger and more capable of serving entrepreneurs with a multiplicity of viewpoints and backgrounds.
We are inspired by the ideals of Ewing Marion Kauffman, who understood entrepreneurship as a force that drives and fulfills individuals while improving society. He saw the need for a stronger ecosystem of leaders, ideas, and practices to support entrepreneurs in reaching their potential. In 1995 we set out as pioneers in building that ecosystem, with a focus on providing the capital that fuels it. Each Kauffman Fellows class is selected from a large applicant pool; candidates can be nominated by Kauffman Fellows, KF Faculty, or KF Board members, or they may self-nominate. Nominated candidates are then sponsored by their venture firms. Applicants interested in participating in the 2018 recruiting process should contact Katlyn Mease (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please provide your name, title, firm, and email address; you will be contacted when applications open in Fall 2017 for Class 23, which begins in June 2018.
The newest Kauffman Fellows are as follows:
For more information, visit www.kauffmanfellows.org.