Costanoa Access Fellowship 2018

Greg Sands
Feb 22, 2018 · 3 min read
Sophie Lalonde and Javaughn Lawrence, 2017 Access Fellows

When I think about the future of venture capital and tech entrepreneurship, it’s people like Sophie Lalonde and Javaughn Lawrence who are going to help lead the way.

Javaughn is a first-generation college grad and immigrant from Jamaica who studied at Yale before going on to Bain & Co. and then LinkedIn. Nowadays he works in venture capital at Eniac Ventures.

Sophie spent time working at Bain, Accenture and the Chicago-based venture firm, OCA Ventures before pursuing an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. These days, she is a Venture Capital Fellow at Foundation Capital.

Each are original and thoughtful thinkers who spent time with us last summer as part of our Costanoa Access Fellowship program. And that’s why I’m thrilled to announce that we’re now taking applications from the next crop of candidates for our 2018 program. More about that in a moment.

We created this fellowship a year ago to help aspiring entrepreneurs and investors from diverse backgrounds who wanted to pursue their professional dreams and make a difference.

At Costanoa, this touches on our core belief that we can build a better team — and a better industry — by casting a wider net and create more access for more people.

Unfortunately, the venture capital industry still struggles to reach beyond its historical comfort zone and open doors to talented folks from diverse backgrounds who haven’t always had the same opportunities to develop their investment skills and pursue their dreams.

I believe venture capital should be an open, more diverse place. You can argue whether the reasons are structural, stem from bias or some other reason. But we’re simply trying to do our part with the Costanoa Access Fellowship program again in 2018.

We’re looking for more candidates like Javaughn and Sophie who are thinking about making their careers in venture capital or as company builders who’d benefit from seeing the inner workings of a venture capital firm There are no set-in-stone qualifications; we’re looking for people with the curiosity and the drive to be tomorrow’s difference makers.

A couple of years working at a business is a plus. Maybe you’re thinking about heading to business school? This is an opportunity to get valuable experience how our world works. We’re also open to engineering or computer science students, though you don’t need a technical degree to apply. What we’re looking for is a clear love of technology or entrepreneurship. Exceptional professionalism, execution and comfort using Excel and other analytical tools are necessary. Achievement in your chosen fields, demonstrated ability to take on outsized challenges and rise to the occasion, initiative and leadership will be central to our process.

Before he left to take the next step in his career, Javaughn reflected on the time he spent with us last summer. What he said speaks volumes about why we do this.

“I count the Costanoa Access Fellowship as one of these enabling resources that can help someone fulfill the American dream. It has provided me with unbridled access to networks and knowledge within the technology and venture capital ecosystem. This fellowship has reaffirmed my conviction in pursuing my American Dream — that of starting a company — and repaying this country for its investment in me.”

That makes it worthwhile for us.

Interested candidates are encouraged to fill out this simple form. Once we receive your information, we will email you the full application. The two month fellowship will take place between June and August at Costanoa Ventures in Palo Alto.

The application deadline is Wednesday, March 21. We will reach out to final round candidates by March 28 for interviews. No resumes will be accepted. Questions? Email

It is the policy of Costanoa Ventures to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Costanoa welcomes different perspectives and a range of experiences that employees bring, including those based upon nationality, gender, culture, educational and professional backgrounds, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability age differences, job classification and religion. All employees are valued regardless of status and everyone is assured the right of equitable, fair and respectful treatment.

Costanoa Ventures

We back tenacious and thoughtful founders who change how business gets done.

Greg Sands

Written by

Founder and Managing Partner @costanoavc.

Costanoa Ventures

We back tenacious and thoughtful founders who change how business gets done.

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