Get $50k to start building something meaningful, no strings attached.
- 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
- New connections to a unique set of ambitious peers who are just as eager to build as you are
- Weekly programming tailored to you and your cohort’s interests
- Mentorship from other founders, many of whom started their companies in college and went on to raise funding from top tier venture funds
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.
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.
Our first cohort met in small groups with people like:
CO-FOUNDER & CEO, AGORA
Maria addressed the importance of founder-led sales and effective investor relationships.
PARTNER, SEQUOIA CAPITAL
Shaun shared his advice on securing key early hires, both as a founder and as an investor.
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.
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 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 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.
Our first cohort came 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:
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.
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 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.
- >$500MAssets under management
- 5,000Members in our network
- 10Unicorns we invested in before they were unicorns
- 16Unicorns where we placed engineers as early hires
Incoming, current, and recent undergraduate and graduate students.
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.
March 14th. Interviews take place through March and April.
Fellows will be notified by the end of April and publicly announced in May.
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.
No. You should do what you think is best—whether that means going back to college or not.
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.
June through August.
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.)
No. Given the current restrictions around COVID-19, your health and safety are a priority, and where you work from is up to you. (Of course, if you do want to stay in the Bay Area, that’s great!)
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).
We work with founders across stages and so if you would like to be considered for a pre-seed (or even seed) investment, you may let us know on your application. Your answer to this question will not affect how we evaluate you for the fellowship, it’s just helpful in understanding what could be the best next steps for us to work with you and support your venture.
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.
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org