DRF Diversity Tracks: Introducing Prism and FIT

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Dorm Room Fund

|April 13, 2021
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We are proud to announce the creation of two new programs, Prism and Female Investor Track, and the continuation of our Blueprint and Female Founder Tracks to uphold our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Representation, access, and inclusion matter deeply to us at Dorm Room Fund. We’re committed to building investment teams and backing startups that strongly feature members who identify as LatinX, LGBTQ+, non-binary, female, Black, Indigenous, and other groups underrepresented in venture capital.

We have a long way to go, but we are not content to conform to the inequitable norms of our industry. We are determined to raise the bar for VC and founderhood, to learn and to do better, to hold ourselves accountable for our shortcomings, and to pursue growth and justice in our actions as individuals and as an organization.

Read below for more information on what we’ve been working on!

Prism — Inaugural Program!

Program Name: Prism Investor Track

VCs do two main things: Invest in startups shaping the future of the world and generate big exits for their fund. Most funding, however, goes to white, straight (cis) men based in Silicon Valley. We’re here to change that.

We’re excited to launch Prism Investor Track, Dorm Room Fund’s 6-week masterclass supporting the next generation of queer venture investors. We’re bringing together a select cohort of talented LGBTQ+ students to gain a new community and learn from the best startup investors in the business. We’re discussing things such as: fund math, evaluating a startup pitch, sourcing 101, investing in queer focused startups, and so much more!

Speakers include:

  • Lee Edwards (Root VC)
  • Maria Salamanca (Unshackled VC)
  • Sam Altman (YC, Open AI)
  • Monica Black (Function VC)
  • and more!

In particular, we are looking for: 

  • Undergraduate or graduate students with an anticipated graduation year of 2022 or later. (This includes incoming candidates as well)
  • Community builders with a love for supporting startups in their growth and scaling
  • Insatiable curiosity about all things. Whether you’re deeply curious about blockchain and NFTs or passionate about tech policy, we’d love to learn more about you.

Dates: June 12th – July 17th. Meetings every Saturday (11am-1pm PST / 2pm – 4pm EST)  with events sprinkled in between!

Application Open: Now!! Deadline on May 2nd @11:59pm PST/ Check us out here https://prism.dormroomfund.com 

Contacts: Ivan Zhao

[email protected]

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivanzhao8/

Female Investor Track — Inaugural Program!

Program Name: Female Investor Track

Description: This year, we are launching our first ever Female Investor Track, a 3-week, fully remote masterclass to help women build and grow their career in the venture ecosystem. Our aim is to provide a community of mentorship, learning and sustainable growth for women who are passionate about thriving in the venture capital industry to make sure that access to resources is not limited by your demographic. 

Where do you come  in?

We are looking for an awesome cohort of students to join our inaugural Female Investor Track!

In particular, we are looking for: 

  • Undergraduate or graduate students with an anticipated graduation year of 2022 or later. (This includes incoming candidates as well)
  • Community builders with a love for supporting startups in their growth and scaling
  • Drive to learn about new trends, ecosystem enablers and different perspectives 
  • Can commit 3 hours per week over 3 weeks to attend our cohort sessions
  • No prior investing experience is necessary. Experienced candidates are welcome, and inexperienced candidates looking to learn more about VC are equally welcome!

What can I expect to learn during the Female Investor Track?

The Female Investor Track will help participants answer questions such as: What is venture capital and why does it exist? How does my identity add value to the industry? What do I need to know to thrive in this ecosystem? You’ll be learning from some of the best investors, fund managers, and founders in the game; all of whom have set their mark in the industry as thought pioneers in a typically male-dominated industry. The program will culminate with an opportunity to apply 3 weeks of learning to evaluate the pitches from this year’s Female Founders Track! 

Dates: July 11th-July 31st 2021

Application Open: April 21st- May 21st; Find the application here

Contacts: Sreya Parakala

[email protected]

[email protected]

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sreyaparakala/

Blueprint Investor Track

Program Name: Blueprint Investor Track

Description: We are thrilled to announce the launch of cohort two of Blueprint Investor Track: an 8-week, VC masterclass for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students around the country. 

Building off of the success of our first cohort in 2020, our aim is to provide this year’s cohort with a curriculum, mentorship, and a strong community to develop a ‘blueprint’ on how to jumpstart your journey into venture capital. Our sessions will focus on topics like how VC funds work, evaluating a startup pitch, sourcing 101, intro to business models, and much more! You’ll be learning from some of the best investors, fund managers, and founders in the game.

We are looking for an awesome cohort of students to join this year’s Blueprint Investor Track!

In particular, we are looking for: 

  • Undergraduate or graduate students with an anticipated graduation year of 2023 or later. (This includes incoming candidates as well)
  • Team players with an interest in supporting entrepreneurs and who like to take initiative in helping their peers. 
  • Hustlers with curiosity about new technology or business trends and a desire to spark discussions and share viewpoints.
  • No prior investing experience is necessary. Experienced candidates are welcome, and inexperienced candidates looking to learn more about VC are equally welcome!

And we’ve got skin in the game— we’ve had several Blueprint Investor Track alum who have gone on to become Dorm Room Fund Investment Partners! 

It takes a village to create a new reality, and we believe that through bold and genuine efforts, we can build a more equitable venture landscape. We’re excited to take on this new challenge and advance our community into a more diverse future!

Dates: June 26th – August 21st

Application Open: April 21st – May 21st

Contacts: Jarrod Barnes, Chris Quaidoo

[email protected], [email protected]

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jarrodbarnes

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-quaidoo/

Female Founder Track

Program Name: Female Founder Track

Description: In 2019, less than 3% of all Venture Capital investments went to female-led companies, let’s change that together!

Female Founder Track (FFT) is back! FFT is a 6-week virtual program culminating in a pitch day judged by guests and members of DRF’s Female Investor Track program. FFT creates a structured opportunity for promising female founders to develop their ideas into successful companies. At least one founder of the applying company must be a student, and companies should be prepared to begin fundraising for a pre-seed round by the end of 2021.

Dates: June 21st, 2021- July 26th, 2021 and Pitch Day on August 2nd 2021

Application Open: April 10th, 2021 – May 11th, 2021. Apply here!

Contacts: 

Lan Jiang: [email protected]

Chloe Lopez-Lee: [email protected]

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lanjiang9/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chloe-lopez-lee-20b9b0104/

FAQs:

What are the eligibility requirements to be involved in any of these programs? 

You must be a student 

Can I participate in more than one program?

All of our tracks overlap with one another at some point throughout the summer. Though we would love to have you involved in multiple initiatives, we suggest you pick the program that teaches you skills that you most want to learn and runs through a timeframe that you can commit to. However, our programs run annually, so there will always be a chance to become involved the following summer in another initiative.

What program is right for me?

Each one of our programs are tailored to build a community of support within the venture capital and startup industry, increase access to incredible mentors and deliver lessons from the best in the game. However, there are differences in the fundamental goals of each track:

  • If you are a budding female founder, apply to our Female Founders Track!
  • Are you looking to dive into the venture capital industry with other women? Strongly consider our Female Investors Track.
  • Looking for an investor masterclass with fellow Black, Latinx and Indigenous students? Try out the Blueprint Investor Track!
  • How about being part of a cohort of LGBTQ+ venture investors? Prism is the program for you!

What does Dorm Room Fund look for in their candidates?

Our programs all have different requirements and time commitments. However, there are a few key characteristics that we love to see in our students:

  • Hustle: Students that have the drive to keep pushing, learning new things and working to improve themselves and their community.
  • Passion: Love for the startup industry and venture investing and curiosity to understand the fundamental motivations behind the way the ecosystem works.
  • Team Spirit: Someone who strongly believes in the value of cohort-based learning and community building and who has consistently shown their collaborative nature in their projects and activities. 

Note: Applications for Dorm Room Fund HQ are open now! Find out more here.

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