Mark43. HubSpot. Warby Parker. What do these companies have in common?
They’re General Catalyst portfolio companies.
And they were all started by students.
Every day, student founders are hatching, building, and launching world-changing companies from their university dorm rooms.
Companies like these represent some of the greatest student entrepreneurship success stories in tech. But students haven’t always been regarded as entrepreneurs, and universities have often been overlooked when it comes to finding the next big thing. It’s taken the world some time to build conviction in student entrepreneurship.
We are lucky to have been one of the first firms on the scene. When Peter Boyce II and Nitesh Banta launched General Catalyst’s Rough Draft Ventures in 2013, it started as a Boston-based project to grow the city’s startup ecosystem. The first cohort of 12 students onboarded that spring.
Since then, we have worked with more than 70+ fellows and provided a platform for the most in-depth venture education available to students. Our alums have become world-class investors, founders, and operators. Some, like Aleeza Hashmi and Megan Maloney, have gone on to work at investment firms such as Bessemer, Insight, Primary VC, and even here at General Catalyst. Others like Deevy Bhimani and Amanda Deng have become world-class operators at companies like Roblox and Uber.
We’ve also worked with more than 200+ student founders, who have since raised more than $600M+ in follow-on capital. Student founders are the real deal. That’s why General Catalyst is proud to “double down” on its commitment to Rough Draft Ventures.
At General Catalyst, we’ve always been focused on investing in powerful, positive change that endures. With innovation comes responsibility – we can no longer build businesses solely for profit or growth. We need to build companies the right way, and engineer them both for growth and good. That is responsible innovation, and it begins as early as in the college dorm room.
Campuses have quickly grown into leading hubs for innovation, and student founders everywhere are taking it into their own hands to build the world they want to see. As student entrepreneurs redefine, engineer, and scale technology, we believe it is our responsibility to support them and leave the world better than we found it. And no one is better equipped to identify and support these student founders than their own peers. We’re excited to continue backing the student community and to foster responsible innovation at the earliest stages with Rough Draft Ventures.
Applications to join Rough Draft Ventures as either an Venture Fellow or a Platform Fellow open now through October 8th. 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.
We invite you to apply to join RDV regardless of your current location within the states. We also encourage diverse and traditionally underrepresented candidates to apply to the fellowship.
Visit roughdraft.vc for more information or join Jeremy Navarro and Zak Kukoff on Monday, September 20th, at 5 PM EST for an RDV info session and panel on breaking into VC! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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