This week, we’re thrilled to kick off our Spring Module in London with Class 27. Nearly reaching the halfway point of their two-year journey at Kauffman Fellows, Class 27 has been sharing deals, co-investing, challenging each other, and achieving new levels of growth.
This Module’s theme is “Human Dynamics,” and Fellows will be taken through a series of sessions that will have them challenging everything they thought they knew. As we like to say at Kauffman Fellows, “There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone.”
Some of the key areas Fellows are working through in this Module: What are the best methodologies for hiring, firing, and growing teams? How can I be a more effective listener and take in feedback with less reactivity? What’s the Enneagram, and how does this play into my limiting beliefs? How do geography and cultural norms impact our perspectives and working styles? What does unconscious bias have to do with inclusive leadership? How can organizational design help my firm effectively grow and scale?
To help drive home each of these areas, we are joined by a roster of incredible discussion leaders who spoke to a variety of topics:
- Kindred Capital’s Founding Partner, Leila Zegna → Managing Difficult Conversations
- Serial entrepreneur, operator, and investor Saul Klien of LocalGlobe → The Business of People: Developing Talent
- Michael Norton is the Co-director of The Enneagram Group → Identifying & Overcoming your Limiting Beliefs
- Simone-Eva Redrup → Spilling the Tea on Leading Across Cultures
- Sara Rywe, Partner at byFounders VC (KF Class 27) → Career Development Plans + Strategic Resource Planning and Compensation Practices
- Francesca (Check) Warner, Partner at Ada Ventures, and Co-founder and CEO of Diversity VC → The Infrastructure of Inclusion
- Hian Goh (KF Class 20), Co-founder of Openspace Ventures → Organizational Design and People Strategies
Class 27 Snapshot
The 59 investors in Class 27 are leaders in the industry and hail from top firms, including Bessemer Venture Partners, 500 Global, Intel Capital, SoftBank, Naspers, Redpoint, Monashees, and Legend Capital, among others.
- $50B+ in total AUM
- 46% of the firms: AUM of $200M+
- 83% are direct VC investors
- 80% are in senior positions
- 42% are founding members of their firms
- 76% hold board seats
Class 27 is a passionate, talented, phenomenal group of global innovation investors who are incredibly diverse across sector, stage, geography, gender, ethnicity, and age.
- Representation from 18 countries
- 47% women, 2.7x the industry average of 15%
- 51% people of color
- 56% U.S. domestic; 44% international
Class 27 Key Milestones
Since joining the Kauffman Fellows Program, Class 27 has raised over $2.3B to be deployed to support entrepreneurship across the globe, including in Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the United States, and more. From promotions to industry accolades to the successful launch of a new VC firm, the leadership, dedication, and excellence of Class 27 have been widely recognized.
- Joon Sung Park (Class 27), Managing Director of Legend Capital, was selected as Venture Capitalist of the Year in Japan. While Legend Capital also ranked #1 in venture capital investment returns by Nikkei, a leading financial newspaper in Japan.
- Samantha Lewis was promoted to Partner at Mercury and named a Rising Fintech Star by Business Insider.
- Ashley Mayer (Class 27) launched Coalition, a fund and operator network designed to increase diversity on cap tables and help founders access some of the top minds in tech.
- Amal Dokhan (Class 27) was named one of 2023’s Most Powerful Businesswomen by Forbes Middle East.
- Seth Corder (Class 27), Brett Morris (Class 27), Camila Noordeloos (Class 27), and Haley Zollo (Class 27) were featured in Business Insider’s Most Important VCs in the Midwest.
- In an interview for Forbes, Ita Ekpoudom (Class 27) discussed the necessity of investing in female founders, sending LP dollars to female investors, and the powerful impact of both.
Thanks to Our Partners
Using a holistic two-year program and leveraging a global network as a lifelong resource, Kauffman Fellows selects, accelerates, and connects emotionally intelligent leaders in venture capital so they can lead and invest with purpose. Each year, we add a new cohort of 60 accomplished Fellows who attend the two-year program part-time while they are investing full-time. We intentionally recruit, build, and design the incoming cohort with diversity as our north star and driving force. This is made possible by the kind support from our partners, BDC Capital, Carta, and SVB, who join us in our mission of creating a more equitable venture ecosystem.
‘’From launching our GP Academy program to sponsoring 11 Fellows, our partnership with Kauffman Fellows has evolved over the years to deliver strong outcomes, an unparalleled network, and accelerated growth for Canadian funds, all with the goal of creating a healthier VC industry,’’ says Ela Borenstein, Vice President, Venture Capital Incentivized Programs at BDC Capital and Kauffman Fellow, Class 17.
We believe a greater venture capital industry begins with leaders operating with diligence, self-awareness, and purpose. With the help of our partners, we’re able to bring this mission to life.
“Carta is building the platform to serve the future of venture capital. We’re proud to partner with Kauffman Fellows to support the incredible graduates who will shape the future,” says Vrushali Paunikar, Chief Product Officer at Carta.
“As a leader of innovation for 40 years, SVB is proud to partner with Kauffman Fellows to support the success of Class 27. Through our Access to Innovation platform, we commit to leverage the full scope of SVB’s capabilities and expertise to support this impressive group of Fellows as they shape the future of venture,” says Courtney Karnes, Managing Director, Access to Innovation at SVB.
Class 27 Fellows
Ainhoa (“Noa”) Maiz ● Alexander Chee ●Alexandria Lafci ● Alicia Lenis ● Alison Rapaport Stillman ● Allan Boruchowicz ● Amal Dokhan ● Ashley Mayer ● Brett Morris ● Caio Bolognesi ● Camila Noordeloos ● Conrad Shang ● Dan Kimerling ● Dario Villena ● David Guérin ● Ebony Brown ● Erica Duignan Minnihan ● Gita Sjahrir ● Gyan Kapur ● Haley Zollo ● Han Shen ● Hernan Fernandez ● Huiting Koh ● Ita Ekpoudom ● Jesse Draper ● Jonathan Bradford ● Joon Sung Park ● Judah Taub ● Julia Klein ● Julian Eison ● Karen Page ● Laura Gaviria Halaby ● Leticia Jauregui Casanueva ● Lomax Ward ● Lucanus Polagnoli ● Marell Evans ● Maria Buitron ● Mario Ruiz ● Mary D’Onofrio ● Matt Auxier ● Meera Clark ● Michael Fanfant ● Michael Soerijadji ● Misbah Naqvi ● Muneeb Syed ● Nathan Harroch ● Patrick Arippol ● Roi Bar-Kat ● Ross Strike ● Samantha Lewis ● Sandeep Bakshi ● Sara Rywe ● Sarah AlSaleh ● Sasha McKenzie ● Seth Corder ● Susan Spears ● Tomer Strikovsky ● Wes Panek ● Zoë Chambers
Class 28 Selection Announcement
Every June, we announce our newest cohort — and since October of last year, we’ve been hard at work recruiting, interviewing, and assessing Class 28 candidates. We strategically design each year’s cohort by only admitting the outliers — globally diverse investors who will change the face and course of the industry. Stay tuned for the Class 28 announcement this summer!