Founder-hood has a reputation for being a boys' club.
Not at Dorm Room Fund.
Welcome to the Female Founders Track, a 9 session masterclass for aspiring founders who identify as women or non-binary and care about problems of Broadening Access. Whether you're a creative, an engineer, a banker, or anything in between, anyone has the potential to be a founder. Running from September 2018 to February 2019, Dorm Room Fund is bringing together a cohort of 15 up-and-coming undergraduates, graduates, and early-career women in the Bay Area to learn what it takes to start a company from rockstar female founders and investors in the First Round community.
How it Works
There are 9 sessions, which run from 6-9PM at First Round Capital in San Francisco. The dates are:
9/27, 10/11, 10/25, 11/8, 11/15, 11/29, (Winter Break), 1/24, 2/7, 2/21
The first half of each session will be a seminar or panel of trailblazing female founders and investors. They'll share their stories and provide advice related to specific topics we're tackling. The second half of the session will be a workshop to develop a toolkit of skills that will help you build a company.
The winter break is in order to accommodate school schedules, and gives program participants 2 months to build and test a prototype of whatever idea related to Broadening Access they're working on, whether that's for financial services or space travel. Workshops before Winter Break focus on ideation, prototype building, and finding cofounders, while sessions after Winter Break focus on finding product market fit, raising money, and scaling.
The Program Facilitators
- Who should apply?
Non-male identify students and early-professionals (think < 5 years out of school), who care about a problem of Broadening Access. You might lack any of the following: a peer-group of like-minded women who want to start companies, visibility into the founder and raising process, or a network that enables one to build a team and product.
- What is the theme of the program, and why is there one?
The theme of the program is Broadening Access. This could mean financial services, space travel, consumer beauty products or anything in between. If program participants come in wanting to solve similar types of problems, the program experience can be more tailored.
- Do I need to have an idea in order to apply?
No, participants do not need a specific idea. They should, however, be very interested in a problem space related to the theme.
- Is this program an incubator?
No, we do not expect program participants to end this program with a company, although that would be awesome! Founder-hood is a big decision, and should be made with financial stability in mind. The only goal of the program is to arm participants with the right tools.
- Is there a social component to this program?
Yes! We will be hosting non-mandatory social events, as this peer group will hopefully become your support group in future endeavors.
- Will I get to pitch to Dorm Room Fund or First Round if I have a company by the end of the program?
While there is no guarantee, you will have high visibility to partners at both funds.
- Do I have to attend all sessions in San Francisco at First Round Capital?
We strongly encourage everyone to attend all sessions. We ask about this in the application and it will be a deciding factor. If you cannot attend in person, follow along on Medium where we'll be posting resources and summaries on a biweekly basis.
- What costs are covered?
Dinners and event costs are covered. Please assume for now that transportation will not be covered.
- Who can I contact for more information?
Please email at email@example.com!
More from us...
The Future Female Founder Event
In July 2018, we hosted an incredible event at First Round where 100+ women showed up to hear lightning talks and breakout sessions from rockstar female founders and investors. We knew we had to capitalize on that energy, and provide Bay Area women with more tangible support and resources.
There is a clear shortage of women starting companies. From January - July of 2018, Dorm Room Fund's investments were only 15% women. We have the unique privilege of being around the smartest students in the world, and we're providing the support for those women to see that they're capable of starting a company to solve the problems they care about.