Gen Z VCs: Launching the First Peer Mentorship Program for Young VCs Around the Globe

Meagan Loyst
Gen Z VCs
Published in
4 min readFeb 1, 2021

Venture capital is a notoriously opaque industry. There is no formal recruiting for venture capital and few ways to understand what the industry is actually like from the inside. We’re here to change that. Gen Z VCs is launching our pilot peer-mentorship program connecting students and recent grads looking to break into venture capital with young investors and platform professionals.

Gen Z VCs was created as a way to connect young venture capital investors around the world. The group grew like wildfire. In one week, the Slack went from 30 to 1,600 members. Today, 4,000+ members are a part of the Gen Z VCs global community. Many of the group’s members are Gen Z and young Millennial VCs working full time in the industry. Due to the inclusive nature of the group, a lot of members are students participating in VC internships, fellowships, and scout programs or people simply looking to break into venture capital.

The purpose of the mentorship program is to empower young investors and increase access to the VC industry for all. Mentors are there to give honest advice such as helping navigate interviews and providing resources on how to source and evaluate companies. Their role is to help mentees figure out which steps to take next in their VC career. Most importantly their role is to act as a friend and guide for the next generation of investors following in their footsteps.

There is a major chicken & egg problem. Every other existing VC program/community/group is exclusive to those already in the VC. This creates a major access problem for those looking to break in. We posted the idea on the Gen Z Slack and wrote one tweet. Immediately we had hundreds of applicants and did our best to match everyone who signed up.

So, who is in the pilot program?

  • For our inaugural mentorship program, we had 124 mentors and 228 mentees sign up to participate. Many young VC mentors offered to take multiple mentees, which made it possible for us to pair everyone who signed up. The common thread among all of the mentor applications was a desire to help the next generation of investors break into VC — you’re never too young to start making an impact.
  • This is a truly global program, with mentors and mentees based in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand.
  • Most were paired based on geography with the hopes that one day, people will be able to meet up in person! It also offers more visibility into local opportunities and networks.
  • The majority of mentors were sourced from the Gen Z VCs community, and 61% are analysts and associates. Our mentors skew on the younger side, offering a real opportunity for peer mentorship. The majority of Gen Z VCs have just recently broken into VC within the past few years, so have timely insight and advice on ways to best position yourself as a college student or aspiring VC who’s a few years out of college currently working in industry.
  • We also had some more senior VCs volunteer as well, and we know they have a ton of wisdom to share with our young members as Principals, Partners, and Fund Managers.
  • Lastly, 8% of mentors also work on platform side where they give operational support to startups.
  • Gen Z VCs is a completely open and accessible community to everyone, and the diverse participants in our pilot program reflect that! There was no application to join — simply a desire to learn about VC and build relationships.
  • The majority of mentees (39%) are students interested in VC (both undergraduates and MBA students). There are also many who are currently working in industry or at startups, and those who have had some exposure to VC through internships and fellowships.
  • Student mentees come from 109 Universities all over the world. The desire to learn about VC has even brought a few high school students into the mix in this cohort.

Our first event will be held on February 11th — we’re excited to bring this incredible cohort together and foster strong relationships between current and aspiring VCs.

— The Gen Z VCs Mentorship Team

Meagan Loyst, Lerer Hippeau, Founder of Gen Z VCs

Thea Knobel, GSV Ventures

Alex Chung, Decibel

Zach Davidson, Village Global

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Meagan Loyst
Gen Z VCs

VC @ Lerer Hippeau | Founder of Gen Z VCs | Advisory Board @ Girls Who Invest