ABOUT InSITE FELLOWS
InSITE Fellows is a 2-year Fellowship program, founded in 1999, and today comprised of 250+ passionate, driven graduate students at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Penn, Georgetown, Wash U, and other top universities. Through our unique programming and strong network of alumni we create a community of top students in business, law, engineering, and science who are interested in entrepreneurship, technology, and venture capital.
Fellows are chosen through a competitive selection process, and InSITE’s core programming is a combination of education by industry leaders, close collaboration with founders and venture investors, and launching startup businesses. The program also includes a high level of interaction with a large network of advisors nationwide and a powerful network of 700+ alumni.
There are many programs around the nation that support students interested in entrepreneurship, venture capital and careers in technology. There are also many organizations that create programming to assist entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses.
InSITE’s philosophy is that by far the most efficient, powerful way to support these efforts is to embrace them all simultaneously. Entrepreneurship and venture capital are tied to one another. By creating programming that encompasses both, we prepare our Fellows to become leaders in whatever field they choose to pursue. At the same time, our startups receive actionable advice, impactful support, and real deliverables from exceptionally well-qualified students.
Our partners form an integral part of the InSITE Fellows network by supporting our innovative student programming, working directly with our Fellows on special projects and internships, meeting with fellows and speaking at community events, and coming together for events like Kingpins of Silicon Alley. InSITE offers its sponsors a unique value proposition:
- Special Projects — our Fellows are available to work on tailored projects for our partners, from market analysis and due diligence to lead generation and portfolio company support. A team of 1-4 Fellows will work with you for 8-10 weeks on a clear set of deliverables.
- Dedicated Intern/Project Coordinator — one of our Fellows will work with you to find the best candidates for internships, special projects, or portfolio company support.
- Résumé Book — a complete listing of current Fellows across the country.
- Speaking Opportunities — we invite our partners to speak and serve as panelists at our Connect conferences, pitch nights, and industry events.
- Breakfasts — throughout the year, partners are invited to intimate breakfast meetings with small groups of Fellows who have demonstrated outstanding interest and ability.
- Recognition — partners are recognized on our website and event invitations, and often help create special events and additional programming.
- Network — access to our growing network of over 250 talented graduate student fellows and 700+ alumni nationwide.
- Deal Flow — Over the past 15 years, our Fellows have worked with companies that have raised more than $750 million in venture funding with exits in excess of $1.5 billion. every year InSITE’s consulting program receives hundreds of applications from promising seed-stage companies. Our Sourcing team meets with dozens of entrepreneurs to pick out the best.
Special Projects are at the core of our Partner Program. We give our partners a dedicated project coordinator who knows our community well and can put together the right team of Fellows with the right skills to meet partner needs.
- Goal : The goal of these projects is to twofold: to provide our partners with exceptional talent, and to provide opportunities for our Fellows to learn from and work with investors, entrepreneurs, and innovative companies. Projects have a well-defined scope, allowing the students to fully dive into the issues and deliver high-quality results.
- Structure : Projects run the length of one semester (fall or spring). Typically 3 Fellows work on a project, depending on sponsor needs and student interest in the topic. Sponsors typically meet with the teams 2-4 times over the course of the semester to discuss vision and progress on the project, though frequency depends on the nature and needs of the project.
Previous Project Examples
- Competitive mapping : “I’m interested in company X. Find me all of company X’s competitors, their investors, and basic service feature comparison. Which other companies might become competitors in two to five years?”
- Segment analysis : “I’m interested in technology niche X (e.g. “advertising widgets”, “smart grid”, “NLP news aggregators”). Find out how big is that market, who are the top three players, and give me an information-dense ten-minute overview of the trends and investment opportunities in that niche.”
- Existing leads analysis : “Here are 20 business plans / decks that were submitted to us, but which I haven’t had time to look at. Given our fund’s investment profile, please look through them, pick the most interesting two, and send me a very brief analysis about why they are interesting.
- Proactive lead generation : “Here’s the attendee list of an industry conference I meant to get to, but couldn’t. Please scan through the 110 companies that presented, and given our firm’s investment profile (geography, stage, technology), send me a list and brief analysis of any companies that might be interesting.”
Portfolio Company Support
- Examine new business models : “What would it look like if we were to develop an ad-supported model in addition to our subscription sales? Speak with potential customers to gauge their interest, develop financial projections, and identify top potential partners.”
- Competitive analysis : “Help identity all of the competitors in our space, the key drivers of their business models, and opportunities where for us to improve our competitive position.”
- Financial analysis : “My firm is looking at an investment in company X. Look at their financial model, see if you find any inconsistencies or unwarranted assumptions, and make a list of the top ten follow-up questions we should ask their CFO.” Or “please redo the company’s financials assuming that assumption 1, 2, and 3 are different. Clean up the model, and incorporate factor Y.”
- Product functionality : “Please log into the beta program of company X and its top four competitors. Make a list of the top five features that the competition has, but X does not, and give a brief assessment of X’s proprietary advantage.”
- Primary research : “Find a list of interview subjects and industry contacts who can give perspective on Company X’s market position, customer satisfaction, technical advantages, management team, etc. Conduct 10 interviews and succinctly synthesize your findings.”
- Valuation comparables : “Find a list of companies similar to company X, and determine their valuation multiples (e.g., EBITDA, revenue, P/E).”
- LP research : “Help us to build a list of LP’s that might invest in our next fund.”
- LP pitch deck help : “Compile industry statistics on fund returns and overall VC trends for funds of our size / focus.”
For more information:
InSITE is a 501(c)3 Not-For-Profit Organization