We’re looking for the best and the brightest to join our newest class of Venture Fellows
📅 Deadline: Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:59 PM PT
💻 Join us: virtual info session on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM EST
Rough Draft Ventures is a world-class team of students whose goal is to empower student founders through capital, a strong network of investors, operators, and mentors, and a community of like-minded innovators. Even with the current challenges of some students no longer physically on campuses, we remain bullish on student entrepreneurship.
Over the past couple of months, we’ve reflected on our standard recruiting process, which relied on referrals from the existing Fellows class. We learned that by relying only on referrals, we’re inherently creating an exclusive pipeline to the program. We’re proud that women made up 60% of the RDV Fellows class last year, but diversity is multifaceted and we know there’s more work to be done. To that end, we are opening up our application process and expanding the program to new regions. If we want to support the best student founders across the country, we can start by making venture capital more accessible. This year, we’re doing things differently. Change starts with our student team.
We invite you to apply to join our existing Boston, NYC, and Bay Area teams. Driven by our belief to democratize venture capital, we will be expanding our footprint to the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South, and the Pacific Northwest. ⚡ Check out our application here.
We will be hosting a virtual info session on Monday, September 14 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET with Peter Boyce II, the founder of RDV and Partner at General Catalyst, along with current Venture Fellows. If you’re interested in attending the info session, register here.
🚀 Venture Fellow Program
As a Venture Fellow (VF), you will gain hands-on experience as an early-stage investor through sourcing, conducting due diligence, and leading the entire investment process. In addition to meeting with student founders every week, VFs will meet bi-weekly with their regional team to listen to pitches, engage in discussion, and make investment decisions. These sessions will also be an opportunity for VFs to learn about investing directly from partners at General Catalyst, portfolio company founders, and other top investors and operators in the industry.
Our goal is to equip VFs with a tool kit they need to become strong investors and founders. Our alum have gone on to found their own successful startups (Parade), launch venture funds and accelerators (Envision Accelerator), and start their own careers at venture firms including Canvas Ventures, BoxGroup, Founders Fund, and Redpoint Ventures.
We believe that students are a powerful source of creativity and innovation. Over the past seven years, RDV has invested in 200+ student-led startups (Mark43, Ribbon Health, Snackpass, Cobalt Robotics) that have gone on to raise over $1.5B in funding from leading investors and partners, including General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, NEA, Sequoia, Accel, and others. In the past 12 months alone, RDV portfolio founders have raised $133M.
🤓 Who Are We?
We’re a team of technology enthusiasts who proactively support our peers and the entrepreneurial communities at our schools and beyond. Our Boston, NYC, and Bay Area teams are made up of undergraduates, MBA students, Master’s students, and PhD candidates who have a passion for innovation and challenging the status quo. We will be virtually expanding our footprint to the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South, and the Pacific Northwest.
Each region will have a Senior Fellow to lead the group (a returning RDV Fellow).
🥳 What Do We Do?
The day-to-day of a VF is dynamic — here are a couple of things that you can expect:
- Meet with student founders and learn more about what they’re building and how we can best partner with them — we share our perspectives, provide advice, and evaluate whether we want to move forward with an investment
- Do market research to form our own theses about the future of a sector and make well-informed investment decisions
- Participate in weekly investment meetings to discuss investments, listen to pitches, and learn from best-in-class investors and operators
- Conduct due diligence, craft investment memos, and gather documentation to own the investment process end-to-end
- Meet regularly with our student founders and help them with their fundraising strategy, hiring, launch strategy, and growth — we also connect our founders to our world-class network of investors, mentors, and operators to guide them through their top-of-mind challenges
- Provide founders with a founder community, cohort class, and resources to help them prepare for YC, accelerators, and the next phase of their growth
Encouraging Student Entrepreneurship:
- Host community events, dinners, and talks for RDV and the broader student community
- Participate as judges and sponsors for Hackathons, Pitch competitions, and other community events
Engaging with the RDV community:
- Connect with RDV alumni to learn about their career paths and how to best support each other after RDV
- Engage with online/virtual RDV founder community to provide internal and external resources
👀 What We’re Looking For
We’re looking for:
- Demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship and supporting your peers: You are a leader in the entrepreneurial community (e.g. entrepreneurship club), have spent time working with your peers on a startup, or have actively organized/participated in entrepreneurship-related events. You know the ins and outs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at your school.
- Authentic passion for technology and venture: You love thinking about the future and how technology can solve problems in an innovative way. You’re up-to-date on the latest and greatest in tech and venture and have a genuine interest in learning about emerging technologies.
- Diversity of thought: You pride yourself in having a unique background and have forged your own path based on your interests. You’ve built your own perspective over time and are now the go-to person for autonomous vehicles, the future of food, growth marketing, etc.
- Generous in spirit (“selfless”): You feel fulfilled by helping others. You find joy in being a supportive peer and friend. You don’t think twice about giving a helping hand whenever you get the chance.
- Growth mindset: In your universe, there are no failures, just opportunities to learn and grow. You believe that risks are worth taking and if they don’t work out, then you can iterate quickly and move forward with a plan.
- Naturally curious: When thinking about the future, you’re constantly analyzing trends and categorizing themes. You enjoy thinking about the world in a creative way, building your own POV, and sharing your thoughts constructively. You welcome diverse perspectives and encourage your colleagues to express their viewpoints.
- Bias towards action: Not only do you have ideas for how to make RDV even better and your entrepreneurial community even stronger, you are comfortable translating your ideas into action. You feel empowered by working alongside an awesome team.
How long is the program?
The program will run from October 2020 through May 2021.
When is the application deadline?
Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:59 PM PT.
Where can I find the application?
Who should apply?
We welcome students of all backgrounds to apply. We are looking for independent thinkers who lead with selflessness. As long as you’re a full-time student graduating in 2021 or later, you’re invited to apply to join the Rough Draft Ventures team.
What will the application process look like?
We will review applications on a rolling basis, so please apply as soon as you feel ready. After reviewing your responses, we will decide whether to move your application forward. You’ll have two chats with existing Venture Fellows and then a final round interview with Peter Boyce II, the founder of Rough Draft Ventures and a partner at General Catalyst.
How many Venture Fellows will there be?
There will be ~25 VFs total. We will be iterating on the number of fellows based on our remote model and our plans for expansion. Although the program will be virtual this year, we will be incorporating new ways for venture fellows to get to know each other.
What is the time commitment for this program?
We expect at least 10 hours of commitment to the program per week. While part-time, we’ve seen that the more that VFs put in, the more they get out of it. The 10 hours will be split between meeting with founders during the week, conducting market research, learning from partners, and discussing pitches with other VFs. The program will be virtual for the entire year.
Will Venture Fellows be compensated?
All Venture Fellows will be reimbursed for any expenses incurred (e.g. coffee for a founder, uber rides to socially-distanced events, etc.). We are currently considering a stipend on a semester-by-semester basis.
Any other questions?