Kauffman Fellows Celebrates Its Most Diverse Group of Talented Leaders With Class 23
June 26, 2018
In a historic year for Kauffman Fellows, and the capital formation industry at large, the 2-year fellowship program welcomes 64 exceptionally diverse and highly talented leaders into Class 23. Selected from the most competitive and outstanding pool of applicants in the history of the organization, Class 23 is representative of the trending growth in the venture capital industry at large.
“We continue to be grateful for the extraordinary interest Kauffman Fellows receives from exceptional investors and innovation leaders around the world,” said Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach. “We have never seen so many incredibly strong candidates. The mission of Kauffman Fellows has always been to build a diverse cadre of leaders that best represent entrepreneurial ecosystems and society as a whole – the size and caliber of Class 23 reflects this.”
Fellows from the incoming class are remarkable individuals who are passionate about and have made a meaningful impact in their ecosystem. In addition, while over 50% of the class are mid-level and senior decision-makers at established firms, the program also has a strong focus on emerging leaders and new fund entrepreneurs. Non-VC investors such as LPs, family offices, and private equity comprise 22% of the new class. Kauffman Fellows continues to actively address the specific and growing need for a new, more diverse generation of leaders who can meet the challenges of the future. Representing 17 countries, Class 23 Fellows is comprised of 11% underrepresented minorities (vs. 2% industry average) and 35% women (vs. 8%). The Kauffman Fellows recruiting and admissions team is proud to share some of the achievements of the remarkable individuals in Class 23:
- First Ever Female Founder of a VC Firm in Palestine
- First Female Board Member of The Latin American Venture Capital Association
- Entrepreneur Who Turned a $200M+ Exit into a Venture Capital Firm
- A Fellow Who Walked 27 Days to Raise Funds to Build a Cancer Hospital in Sri Lanka
- A Nationally Ranked Mixed Martial Artist
It has never been more challenging for the admissions team to select candidates. “We were forced to turn down many competitive, influential, successful, and impact-driven leaders seeking admission this year. We are very proud of the strength and diversity of Class 23, thrilled by the high degree of excellence in this class, and excited to see them contribute to the world in incredible ways,” said Chairman Emeritus Jason Green. The Kauffman Fellows Program continues to produce outstanding investment and innovation leaders because of the support of the industry’s strongest leaders and firms. Top firms represented in the incoming class include VC firms such as Emergence, Sequoia, Upfront Ventures, Maveron and Ridge Ventures; corporate VCs from GV (Google Ventures), BMW i Ventures and Hanwha; LPs and PEs from Blackrock, Greenspring, KKR; and firms that support investors and entrepreneurs such as Silicon Valley Bank. In addition, Kauffman Fellows is delighted that the following are joining the Kauffman Fellows Network as first-time mentors or reprising their role as mentors: Brad Feld (Foundry Group), David Cohen (Techstars), Jenny Lee (GGV), Kate Mitchell (Scale Ventures), Matthias Ljungman (Atomico), and many more.
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