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We’re excited to introduce you to our third Female Founder Track cohort: a group of 21 incredible women, working on 11 different startups.

When FFT went virtual this summer, we knew we had the unique chance to reach schools — and speakers and mentors — from different backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, majors and locations around the country. Our participants have founded a diverse selection of companies, ranging broadly from solutions to help tackle menopausal symptoms to material management for the construction industry. We’re ecstatic that we had the chance to help their projects scale.

Over six sessions, participants learned about building MVPs, obtaining and maintaining product market fit, hiring, pivoting and fundraising. We’re ever grateful to our guest speakers — Deirdre Clute at Rightfoot, Cissy Chen at Citizen, Jess Lee at Sequoia, Sarah Guo at Greylock, nicky Goulimis at Nova Credit, Nicole Gibbons at Clare, Olamide Olowe at Topicals, Mollie Chen at Birchbox, Ilse Calderon at OVO, Kelly Watkins at Abstract, Hayley Barna at First Round, Mar Hershenson at Pear VC, Parul Singh at Founder Collective, Amanda Johnson at Mented, and Andrea Tang at AbinBev — who shared their hard-earned insights with the…


Dorm Room Fund is excited to announce our investment in Proper Good, a zero-prep 90-second meal solution made with clean & functional ingredients in flexible, transparent packaging.

Packaged soups today aren’t appealing to the modern consumer

Many may not have guessed this, but packaged soup is a billion dollar industry. More than 250 million Americans eat it, making it the 6th most commonly purchased ready-to-eat item in the US.

Currently, most packaged soups use low-quality ingredients and are incredibly high in sodium; there are few “good for you” choices with real, clean ingredients in ready-to-eat form. This does not align with current consumer trends towards sustainability, alternative diets, and the desire to eat “clean” and “fresh.” …


Dorm Room Fund is proud to announce our investment in Sleek, a company building a technology-driven platform that helps customers skip lines and crowds, and reduce long wait times. Americans spend an excessive 37 billion hours in lines every year. This is now more than just inefficiency and a waste of time — in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have become more cognizant of their surroundings and the health dangers that come with exposure to crowds.

The Process of Waiting in Line can be Excruciating, and Hasn’t Been Reinvented in Ages‍

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Photo by Stefan Barkman on Unsplash

The biggest innovation today for waiting in lines is the “take a number” system at an average deli counter. You’re handed a slip of paper with a number on it, and when this number is called, you can order your sandwich. Sleek has taken this concept and made it digital. And that’s where the magic comes in: By adding surge pricing, live wait times, and a host of clever technologies, Sleek lifts this antiquated system into the modern world. …


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Dorm Room Fund is excited to announce our investment in Trefo, a robotic forestry startup founded by Penn Ph.D. student Steven Chen and CMU Ph.D. graduate Dr. Michael Shomin. Trefo tackles the age-old, yet critical, problem of forest surveying — an essential metric for landowners, governments, and private institutions looking to manage forests, track carbon emissions, and fight climate change. Trefo leverages autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and computer vision to extract forest metrics with pinpoint accuracy and precision.

Forest surveying: a decades old technology

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Forest surveys are both critical and necessary for timberland landowners to manage their forests. Beyond inventory management, forest surveys also play a key part in the fight against climate change — helping quantify carbon emissions, wildfire statistics, and other tangibles. …


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According to the National Venture Capital Association, 80% of investment partners at venture capital (VC) firms are white, compared to 3% Black and 3% Latinx. This has large implications for the entire startup ecosystem. Research by MaC Venture Capital and the Kauffman Fellows shows that 70–80% of venture rounds go to companies with White Founding Teams. The same research shows strong evidence of a clear selection bias when it comes to capital allocation: the diversity of our VC teams are affecting the diversity of successful founders. VCs have the power to change this story.

Since the inception of Dorm Room Fund in 2012, we’ve had 250+ student investors join our family, all of whom have gone on to do awesome things in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. About 30% of our partners launch careers in the VC world after graduation, taking on investment roles at places like Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer, BoxGroup, PayPal Ventures, First Round Capital and Kleiner Perkins. Some DRF alumni have even started their own venture funds! …


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How can student startups build strong relationships and stay close to customers in a socially distanced world? At Dorm Room Fund and Drift, we think it starts with conversations.

We’re excited to announce a brand new partnership to bring Drift, the world’s first conversational marketing platform, directly to Dorm Room Fund’s community of over 300 student startups across 40 universities.

As student founders navigate rapid change and adapt to uncertainty, it’s clear that startups need to learn faster and build stronger relationships with customers than ever before. That’s why we’re giving Dorm Room Fund community companies access to:

  • Drift for Startups | The power of Drift with a 93% discount for early-stage…


Repeating pattern of female entrepreneurs and Dorm Room Fund and Female Founders Track logos
Repeating pattern of female entrepreneurs and Dorm Room Fund and Female Founders Track logos

Last year, 88.2% of all venture capital funding went to all-male teams. By contrast, only 11.8% of venture capital funding went to teams with at least one female founder and a mere 2.7% went to all-female teams. These numbers highlight the massive gap between the number of men and women who have access to the resources, network, and support to start a successful company.

At Dorm Room Fund, we’ve helped power over 300+ student-led startups through providing a $20,000 check, a sprawling network of investors and mentors, and an unbeatable community of founders. And in this past year, 50% of our funding went to teams with at least one female founder. …


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From corporate offices to warehouses, the way many of us work has changed more in the first three months of 2020 than in the previous 30 years. That’s why Dorm Room Fund is excited to announce our investment in Grow, a platform that empowers teams to give, request, and track high-quality feedback to achieve more no matter where they’re sitting.

Feedback is broken

After meeting at Cornell Tech, founders Ryan Sydnor and Richard Hill realized how much of their personal growth and professional success had been driven by peers, mentors, and managers who prioritized sharing constructive feedback.

But after hearing others’ experiences, they realized that skills to share effective feedback are far from universal. According to Gallup, only 19% of millennial professionals say they receive regular feedback at work, with fewer than 17% reporting that the feedback they do receive is meaningful. Even employees who do get consistent feedback often lack good ways to capture, track, and share the guidance they’ve received to improve over time. …


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This is the application for Dorm Room Fund’s remote HQ team. Applications for our Boston, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco Investment teams will launch in the Fall of 2020.

Are you ready to help run the world’s leading student venture fund? If so, keep reading.

Welcome to Dorm Room Fund, a student-run venture fund created to help student founders build game-changing startups.


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Dorm Room Fund is excited to announce our investment in Workbench, a next-generation software platform to power the supply chain operations of any company building physical products. While building their first hardware company, Workbench founders Prince Ghosh and Lucas Fridman realized supply chain management was a massive problem. With first-hand exposure to this inefficiency, Prince and Lucas set out to level the playing field by making hardware as easy to produce and manage as software.

Supply Chain Management Is a Nightmare

Information mismanagement and difficulty sourcing suppliers at every stage of a company’s lifecycle create massive bottlenecks that are paid for with time and money.

Small companies are mashing together general-purpose tools like Asana, Dropbox, Excel, and Quickbooks with a smaller sample using Python scripts and Zapier to automate some workflows. However, these tools were never meant for heavy-duty supply chain management, and lead to a lot of manual work to keep these systems usable. …

About

Dorm Room Fund

Built by students and powered by @FirstRound, we provide our founders with a strong network of investors, access to world-class mentors, and a $20,000 check.

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