Delta Fellowship

Get $50k to start building something meaningful, no strings attached.

Applications are due October 15th.
Shagun Maheshwari built the support system she needed to get product traction and validation.
Katie Mishra iterated on her prototype, met her co-founder, and raised seed financing.
Abhijay Bhatnagar accelerated the go-to-market timeline for Cloaked, their consumer trust & privacy company.

Get access to the capital and resources to help you build.

  • A $50k grant, equity free, no strings attached
  • Introductions to leaders at our portfolio companies, who can help with everything from building data infrastructure to refining your pitch to crafting your founding team
  • Founder coaching from our co-founders, Baris and Armaan
  • Weekly programming tailored to you and your cohort’s interests
  • Dinners, offsites, lunches, and other social events with your fellow fellows
  • Mentorship from other founders, many of whom started their companies in college and went on to raise funding from top tier venture funds

We're looking for exceptional people (no idea necessary).

We want to get to know you. If you have a technical problem you’re obsessed with solving, that’s great—but it’s not required, and it’s not what we’re evaluating.

  • You’re ambitious​.

    You have lofty goals for your future. You’re not content with the conventional. You want to do something different.

  • You’re innovative.

    You’re constantly solving the problems you see—building productivity hacks, creatively patching up the hole of your dorm room, leading a new initiative to drive change in your school.

  • You’re relentless​.

    Starting a company isn’t always easy and fun. It’s a rocky journey of ups and downs. You have to manage uncertainty and push through discomfort.


Weekly fireside chats, tailored to our fellows.

Fellows come together for weekly learning sessions, tailored to the stage of their ideas (or companies) and the knowledge gaps they’re looking to fill. Some sessions are just for fellows—check-ins, brainstorms, small group discussions. Others involve outside speakers.

Past cohorts met in small groups with people like:

Phil Libin

FOUNDER, EVERNOTE AND MMHMM

Phil explained his state machine for addressing startup growth and his framework for finding product-market fit.

Maria Rioumine

CO-FOUNDER & CEO, AGORA

Maria addressed the importance of founder-led sales and effective investor relationships.

Shaun Maguire

Shaun shared his advice on securing key early hires, both as a founder and as an investor.


Learn from other successful student founders.

Being a student founder comes with unique challenges. We pair fellows with mentors who were in their shoes not long ago—and have since turned their startups into high-growth companies. We know because we’ve been there since the early days.

Mentors include:

Henrique Dubugras

CO-FOUNDER, BREX

Henrique started exploring the idea for Brex as a freshman at Stanford. We wrote their first check, placed 3 of their first 15 engineers, and have invested in every round since.

Runik Mehotra

CO-FOUNDER, VISE

Runik began working on Vise as a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. We first invested in them in 2019 and have helped hire some of their earliest engineers.

Valentin Perez

CO-FOUNDER, MONTHLY

Valentin co-founded multiple startups at Brown, where he was a Human Capital ambassador, Kleiner Perkins Fellow, and part of the Rough Draft Ventures team. He started Monthly shortly after graduation, and we led the company’s Series A.


A few of our past fellows.

Fellows have come in with prototypes, alphas, ideas and problem statements. Some spent the time exploring and iterating on concepts. Others shipped new features, rebranded, and raised funding.

Here's a snapshot of a few of them (and here's a deeper dive on the second cohort):

Katie Mishra

KANGAROO

Katie began the program with a prototype. As a fellow, she iterated on her concept, met her co-founder, brought on new advisors, raised seed financing, rebranded the company, and completed a successful beta.

Shagun Maheshwari

Shagun and her co-founder, Alishba, brought on pilot partners, honed in product-market fit, and hired their first employee.

Maxim Serebryakov

Maxim and his co-founders, Andrés and Shawn, built their MVP, reached patent-pending status, and prepped to launch with early adopters in Asia. We led their seed round right after the fellowship.

Arsh Shah Dilbagi

Arsh and his co-founders, Cole and Ryan, onboarded their first merchants, hired their first employee, and raised a seed round for their payments processing API startup.


We believe the future belongs to those who can build it.

That’s why we do what we do—bridge the gap between engineering and entrepreneurship.

We work with student engineers to plan and build their careers, from finding the right internship or post-grad job to starting their first company. We help them understand the startup ecosystem and how to think about a path into it—the skills they need to develop, the pace and tailwinds of the market, the intricacies of equity and valuation, the pros and cons of big tech versus small startups, and, when it comes to it, offer negotiation.

We’ve helped engineers get pivotal roles at places like Brex, Snowflake, Livongo, Bolt, Anduril, and Applied Intuition.

We know this experience well–Human Capital was started when our founders were in college. We’ve spent the last 5 years helping young entrepreneurs dissect industries, test early betas, and acquire their first customers—then invest in them.

  • $500M+
    Assets under management
  • 5,000+
    Members in our network
  • 10
    Companies we invested in before they were unicorns
  • 16
    Unicorns where we placed engineers as early hires

FAQs

Who can apply?

Incoming, current, and recent undergraduate and graduate students.

Do I need a business idea or plan to apply?

No—we’re more interested in learning about and investing in you as a person. However, if you do have an idea or area of focus that you would like to explore, feel free to include it in your application.

When is the fellowship?

The winter cohort runs from January to April 2022. The summer cohort runs from June to August 2022. The application window is open for both—standard admission for winter, and early admission for summer.

When are applications due?

11:59pm PST on October 15th.

When will fellows be selected?

Fellows will be notified by the end of November.

Can I apply to be considered for both the winter and summer cohort?

Yes. And while the summer cohort application window will open again in early 2022, we encourage you to apply now if you’re considering it. It can’t hurt!

Will there be another chance to apply to the summer cohort?

Yes! We’ll re-open the application window again in early 2022, but (if you couldn’t tell already) we strongly recommend applying early if you’re interested.

Can I re-apply for the summer cohort if I get rejected for early admission?

Yes—go for it again, especially if you’ve made progress in the months in between.

Can I participate in the program while completing an internship?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it. We expect you to dedicate a significant amount of time to the program. That said, we’re happy to discuss it on a case-by-case basis.

Do I have to drop out of college after the program?

No. You should do what you think is best—whether that means going back to college or not.

Are you looking for solo founders, co-founder pairs, or teams?

All of the above. You can apply as a solo founder, but we’ve found most successful ventures are built by teams—so if you know someone exceptional you’d like to build with, mention them in the application and encourage them to apply.

Can I apply and participate as an international student?

Yes. We hope you’ll apply, no matter what country you live in. If you’re selected, you can work from wherever you want. If you have a visa, we’ll work with you to find the best way to have you participate. (There are tax implications for international students that you’ll need to handle, since each country has its own specific tax policies and regulations, but we’ll work through any issues with you together.)

Do I need to be in San Francisco for the fellowship?

No, but we encourage it, and think you’ll get more out of the program if you are. Past fellows have particularly appreciated the networking and community-building they got from the social events, dinners, and random in-person run-ins. But we’re also living in the middle of a pandemic, and your health and safety are a priority, so where you work from is entirely up to you, and we’re supportive of whatever decision you make.

What are the terms for the $50k?

The $50k check is awarded to you, without any direct equity investment tied to it, no strings attached.

You can use the grant however you want—for living expenses, office supplies, server costs, etc. Human Capital doesn’t take a percentage of the company (if fellows have already started one), and won’t require a percentage of the company in the future (if fellows raise money during or after the program).

What if I’m ready for a pre-seed or seed investment?

We work with founders across stages, so let us know in your application if you’d like to be considered for a pre-seed (or seed) investment. This will not affect your evaluation for the fellowship.

Can I participate in the fellowship at the same time as another incubator or accelerator program?

Yes.

Can I still apply if I’ve raised capital?

Yes.

Why is it called the Delta Fellowship?

When we talk about having an impact on the lives of the people we work with, we talk about the delta we want to create; we want to help them do something great they couldn’t or wouldn’t have otherwise done. We hope this fellowship does just that: serve as a catalyst to propel you to do something meaningful you might not have been able to do. (Also, we called it the Delta Fellowship before the variant, so that coincidence definitely wasn’t part of the plan.)

Where can I learn more about Human Capital?

You’re in the right place!  We’re a venture firm for engineers. With >$500M AUM, we’ve invested in more than 10 unicorns, including Snowflake, Livongo and Brex, and we routinely co-invest with top firms, including Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund, Accel and General Catalyst.

More questions?

Send them to deltafellowship@human.capital