As a complement to your institution’s programming, for graduate students who are passionate about entrepreneurship, technology and venture capital, the InSITE Fellowship offers your campus and students:
- Participation in the nation’s premier elite graduate student community composed of the most driven entrepreneurs and early stage investing minds on top university campuses.
- Advanced cutting edge training and tools to ready these Fellows to engage in the startup and venture capital world, supplementing and amplifying your campus’ existing academic entrepreneurial offerings.
- Access to the national calendar off highest quality conferences, training and events, giving your students exposure to the preeminent entrepreneurial and venture programming offered.
- A platform to highlight the most interesting innovative ideas being developed on your campus through InSITE’s national network.
- Involvement in the top National non-academic support system of mentors and advisors to supplement academic programs that your university has created.
The InSITE Fellowship was founded in NYC in 1999 by a group of Columbia and NYU students with a singular goal: create a real-world, hands-on experience for graduate students passionate about startups, technology, and venture capital.
After more than 15 years and the participation of more than 500 Fellows, InSITE has developed truly unique programming, combining entrepreneurship and venture capital training as part of the single program like the ecosystem that they share, not as two separate tracks, which is the more traditional academic approach.
InSITE is the only program approaching venture capital and entrepreneurship in this way. With this unique vantage point, fellows are better equipped for whichever field they choose to pursue. In the words of Fred Wilson, “This program was way ahead of its time … and a leader in commingling students with the startup community.”
InSITE Fellows have helped startups raise over $500MM and boast an impressive list of alumni Fellows and companies. Since its founding, InSITE has experienced praise from the university community and from the entrepreneurial community at large.
The founding Fellows were predominantly business and law school students. However, as the program developed, it became clear that the program would be equally valuable to STEM graduate students. This has led to significant growth, adding academic programs, universities and geographies.
Today’s Fellowship program is composed of 180 top graduate students attending Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Stanford, Georgetown and, in business, law, engineering, computer science, design and PhD and post-doctorate programs in natural sciences and medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Weil Cornell and Rockefeller, who are interested in entrepreneurship, technology and venture capital.
Fellows are chosen through a competitive selection process. Roughly 15 percent of applicants are offered admission to the program, which spans roughly four semesters. InSITE’s core programming is a combination of education led by industry leaders, and small group projects pursuing startup ideas and working closely with founders and venture capitalists.
The founding class of InSITE Fellows recognized that full immersion requires more than joining a school club. Seizing the opportunity to create a more rewarding experience, develop real world skills and build meaningful relationships with entrepreneurs and venture investors, the InSITE Fellowship was formed.
Through self-organizing and creating an actual offering to help startups prepare for investment, InSITE Fellows gained immediate exposure to an industry that is not traditionally well served in an academic setting yet maturing very quickly.
As Fellows have graduated and become alumni, they have been willing to support fellows that are passionate about entrepreneurship, technology and venture capital, providing these students are willing to dedicate the time and effort to make an impact on startups, the community and the Fellowship itself.
As Fellows graduated from the program, there was a universal desire to ensure that for students that were passionate and willing to dedicate the time and effort, that the Fellowship afford them these opportunities.
Today, InSITE provides robust programming led by renowned and respected industry experts. Over the course of a semester, interdisciplinary teams of students prepare companies for investment and growth culminating in a pitch day at the end of the semester. InSITE’s strong national network of alumni and advisors offers fellows a high level of interaction with thought leaders across the country, both virtually and face to face.
Over 600 Fellows have graduated from the program and many have stayed actively engaged as InSITE alumni fellows and companies, contributing to a long roster of success stories across the nation.
The result is an ecosystem that is successful and enriching for all parties:
- Fellows learn what it takes to prepare a company for funding. Over the course of the semester, Fellows work with founders or on their own business ideas to identify challenges the businesses may face and overcome them
- Early stage Companies benefit from experienced graduate talent (typically with significant pre-graduate school industry experience) helping them to refine their businesses and presentation, in the effort to raise capital.
- Investors benefit from a pre-vetted pool of companies who are prepared to to raise capital. They also benefit from an engaged pipeline of highly qualified, pre-vetted students who are a pool of future venture capital and founder talent.
InSITE – Filling an unmet need on campuses around the nation
The most passionate entrepreneurs on campus can always use additional support and more access to capital, and over the past decade InSITE has seen a great deal of success developing complementary programming to enhance already innovative programming at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU and Stanford.
This year, InSITE is once again expanding beyond New York City, Silicon Valley, and Boston, to universities that have a nationwide reputation for their strong graduate STEM programs and research.
InSITE is partnering with these universities to recruit small groups of intensely passionate, driven students who will create a strong foundation for InSITE on these campuses.
Overall, InSITE values getting Fellows “out of the building”. InSITE is about bridging theory and practice. We are proud that InSITE campuses gain a reputation in the startup community for “walking the walk”. Fellows learn from their direct experience working with companies as well as partaking in a robust calendar of national events. Over the next year, here are just a few of the events that InSITE will be hosting and gaining unique access to around the country.
In addition to the calendar of national events, InSITE campuses organize a diverse body of programming to acquaint students with all aspects of the startup funding ecosystem.
2014 – 2015 Campus Rollout
InSITE will live within your university’s current framework and work with you to tailor the program to your specific needs, taking into consideration existing curriculum and campus programs, student needs, and local communities and infrastructure.
In an effort to launch the InSITE Fellowship on your campus during this academic year, the following timeline has been created:
Starting in September, InSITE would like to achieve two goals on your campus:
- We would like to gain a better understanding of the current entrepreneurial infrastructure and leadership on your campus. This ranges from clubs and centers, to the university tech transfer office, to professors focused entrepreneurship or venture capital. We would like to set up a call (or series of calls) to discuss this framework with you.
- It only takes a few, but we would like to begin identifying students that university leadership believes would be interested in learning about a program like this. As with other campuses we will ask interested students to apply and current fellows and alumni with similar backgrounds and interests will vet candidates based on the criteria.
As the Fall progresses, our national team will work with you and potential Fellows to identify interesting projects on your campus these projects often come from the students themselves, local startups, national projects, the tech transfer office, or local incubators.
Once this year’s Fellow class is selected, as we have done across the nation for more than a decade, Fellows will have access to some of the best training available today. These sessions are led by industry leaders, that not only understand the topics, but also know the trends today and how these topics are changing. Topics include a variety of industry standards such as the How to Properly Structure Your Startup, Angel Financing process, Founder Safeguards and Protection, term sheet negotiations, structuring an acquisition, and building a team.
We pride ourselves on having created a true community over the years and fully intend to support this aspect of the program in the same way as we expand. We expect our Fellows to contribute far after they graduate and the best way to ensure that, is to create unique valuable opportunities while they are fellows.
The quickest route to this integration is for new InSITE campuses to be brought into the fold as soon as possible, starting with our robust calendar of events. As you can see, this year brings a full and diverse offering for InSITE Fellows and we look forward to welcoming your students to our national network this year.