Isn’t it funny how the best times in life seem to fly by? Because that is exactly how I feel about this year’s Lightspeed Summer Fellowship. It’s hard to believe that the program wrapped up last week!
For the past 12 summers at Lightspeed, we have been lucky enough to work alongside some of the brightest student founders. Our Summer Fellows — a group of undergraduate and graduate student-run startups — build their companies in our Menlo Park office, while completing a 10 week curriculum on the fundamentals of starting a company. Each week, our fellows learn about one theme from industry experts — everything from market sizing and effective storytelling to identifying core users. They also receive mentorship from a Lightspeed Investment Partner — with a weekly in-person check-in — and industry experts who are part of our advisor network.
This summer, we hosted 8 Summer Fellowship teams — hailing from as far as Germany, Venezuela, and Switzerland, and schools including Stanford, Berkeley, Cornell, Harvard, Prairie A&M, and MIT.
While the 10 weeks flew by, our Fellows moved fast to take significant strides towards fulfilling their entrepreneurial dreams and preparing for demo day — where each team pitched to an audience of top tier investors, including Lightspeed.
Note: Lightspeed offers to participate in the financing round of each Fellow team as part of the program.
- 2 of 8 teams raised seed financing of $500K-$1M
- 3 teams are currently fundraising
- 2 teams have decided to work on their startups part-time while finishing school
- 1 team has decided to shut down the startup
I had a blast spending time with our diverse set of Fellows. We had fun touring some of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley — including Nutanix, Rubrik, and Affirm, to learn from those founders and their teams. We also made sure not to take ourselves too seriously — whether it was our impromptu salsa dance competitions, attending Trevor Noah’s comedy show at Mountain Winery, or a picnic on the beach.
On behalf of the Lightspeed team, I couldn’t be prouder of our Summer 2018 Fellowship class. We had so much fun watching our Fellows find their respective paths as founders, and are grateful they chose to spend their summer with us.
We are looking forward to welcoming a new class of fellows next summer! And are excited to open applications in just a few months — November 19th, 2018.
Want to join us next summer? APPLY HERE to join Lightspeed’s Summer Fellowship class of 2019.
Want to hear more about what being a fellow is like? Keep on reading! Our Summer Fellows Class of 2018 share their experience below.
To all the student founders out there — happy first days back at school and we look forward to seeing your applications soon!
“I can not recommend a better summer experience. The Lightspeed Fellowship is perfect for anyone who ever dreamed of running their own startup and wants to make it a reality. While some internships give you a glimpse into how a business works, the Fellowship is an immersive experience that teaches you what you need to know and how you’re going to get there. The program is engineered to provide the perfect amount of support and help students explore what Silicon Valley is really like. A unique, incredible experience that will transform how you see the world.”
— Andrew Quirk, Co-founder, Pulse
“The summer fellowship was the perfect bridge from school to the world of entrepreneurship. It feels so validating to have a firm like Lightspeed take you seriously as a startup founder and give you the physical space and resources to get started. The programming was excellent but not overwhelming, giving us the time to really dive deep on our company. I’m also so grateful to have made wonderful friends in the cohort.”
— Nina Hooper, Co-founder, Lana Ed
“Lightspeed helped provide one of the best summers I’ve ever had. From intimate conversations with the partners to social events to workshops, the program enabled me to grow both as a founder and an individual. Saqib went above and beyond to make sure that companies at all stages would benefit from the program, and as a result, I’m much more confident in my ability as an entrepreneur. “
— Akshay Ramaswamy, Co-founder, Alma
“Without being too hands on, Lightspeed showed us exactly what was necessary for our team to succeed. We were serious going into the summer, but being around the partners and the other fellows made us take things to a whole new level. We really came together and had so many great experiences that pushed things forward, especially with Nikki, who was an amazing mentor to us throughout the program.”
— Camden McRae, Co-founder, IcebreakAR