Hear from our 2019 Summer Associate Class

Janessa Harmon
Aug 12 · 5 min read

In 2011 we created our Summer Associates program to demystify the venture capital process and provide a pathway for individuals typically underrepresented in venture to enter investing. This year, our seventh year running the program, we were proud to welcome seven amazing individuals to our team for the summer. Our incredible 2019 Summer Associate Class, nicknamed the Magnificent Seven, embody our mission and commitment through their shared belief in each other, our founders, and social impact-driven startups and technologies.

Top to Bottom: Adam Aguilera, Chris McLemore, Haywood Perry, Jessica Leon, Batul Joffrey, Anthony Grullón, Zeinab Aboud

Here is a brief summary from each of them about what they learned this summer. Stay tuned for their full summer recaps.

Zeinab Aboud

My experience at Kapor Capital demystified the inner-workings of the venture capital ecosystem and refined my thinking as an investor. As I worked across the lifecycle of a deal, from sourcing to closing, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand how seasoned investors think about investing in companies and subsequently developed my own thesis about various sectors. Additionally, I gained operating experience by working closely with one of Kapor’s portfolio companies, tEQuitable, on an independent design thinking project. Kapor Capital’s Summer Associate Program was the perfect pre-MBA introduction to venture capital before I start business school at Stanford GSB this fall.

Adam Aguilera

My summer experience with Kapor Capital has been incredibly fulfilling. The opportunity to work with Kapor Capital portfolio company, Omada Health, has allowed me to get a sense of how a later-stage startup operates. Being on-boarded to the Omada team has allowed me to complement the investing experience at Kapor Capital with operational work. My time as a Summer Associate has further confirmed that I should strive to maintain a strong sense of intellectual curiosity, especially as I continue learning about health equity.

Anthony Grullón

My summer at Kapor Capital reinforced that my passion truly lies in venture, especially with the social impact investment lens that is unique to Kapor Capital. Over the summer I’ve gained unparalleled exposure that by itself would have been amazing but has also equipped me with mentors in venture, who I can see myself in. For example, I was able to report directly to the CEO of Kapor Capital portfolio company, Encantos, who, like me, also happens to be from the Dominican Republic! I could not have imagined a more unique and rewarding experience.

Batul Joffrey

Empowering. That is how I would describe these last couple of months at Kapor Capital. Every Tuesday, I pulled up a chair to the investment team meetings because I now had a seat at the table. Aside from gaining exposure to every aspect of a deal — from sourcing to closing — I worked with Kapor Capital portfolio company, Court Buddy, and also worked closely with SMASH Rising as a project manager of a pod of five scholars. I am grateful for being given the opportunity to be a part of this very unique and passionate community and feel empowered as I move forward in this space.

Jessica Leon

Kapor Capital’s Summer Associate Program affirmed my desire to pursue venture capital as a career. As I head into MIT’s Sloan School of Management this fall, I will continue to build on the rare exposure into the VC industry I’ve gained these last ten weeks. Above all, the experience illuminated the value my lived experiences bring to the Venture Capital industry. In addition to my role as a venture capitalist, I had the opportunity to work Kapor Capital portfolio company, Aclima, where I leveraged my Wall Street network to develop a strategy on how to approach the financial and real estate sectors; my work will have a true impact and influence on the long term vision of the company.

Chris McLemore

During my internship as a Summer Associate at Kapor Capital, I drafted multiple investment memos for our investment committee and conducted thorough diligence on startup prospects. This opportunity exposed me to Kapor Capital portfolio company, Encantos, where I was responsible for developing launch plans, pricing models, and go-to-market strategies for their upcoming brands. Overall, my experience was extremely positive having been exposed to multiple learnings and facets of business that will help me throughout my career. I am very thankful to have been selected as a Kapor Capital Summer Associate, develop a life-long relationship with friends turned to family, and look forward to embarking on the next stage of my personal journey.

Haywood L. Perry III

In supporting Partner, Brian Dixon, this summer, I’ve been afforded a front-row seat to the full spectrum of venture capital responsibilities — from managing deal flow, conducting due diligence & drafting investment memos, to advising current portfolio companies on strategies for facilitating growth, maximizing talent, and accessing capital. What I have most deeply appreciated about my time at Kapor, is that we put people first. Marginalized folks of color whose challenges so often are ignored — Kapor prioritizes those voices. I’ve learned so much from the Oakland tech ecosystem and have been so thankful to find refuge here in The Town. The best is yet to come.

The Bridge

Conversations at the intersection of tech, diversity, and entrepreneurship

Janessa Harmon

Written by

Operations Associate at Kapor Capital

The Bridge

Conversations at the intersection of tech, diversity, and entrepreneurship

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