Kauffman Fellows Class 22

Bringing best VC practices to Poland. BPVC onboard Kauffman Fellows Class 22.

As it is still quite young, Polish innovations and VC industry needs knowledge, good practices and worldwide network to keep up the global pace and use its great potential. We decided that the cradle of the industry is the best place to get them from. Palo Alto, California, Kauffman Fellows – Class 22. That’s where our Marcin P. Kowalik spent a week of his time in June. Our Managing Partner is actually the second Black Pearls VC team member to take part in the Program, as Ewa Treitz succesfully completed her course last year.

About Kauffman Fellows

Established in 1995 and based in Silicon Valley, Kauffman Fellows develops leaders in innovation and capital formation through its 2-year program—a transformative opportunity designed to radically accelerate innovator success through self-reflection, peer learning, mentoring, and a structured curriculum taught by venture capitalists and global thought leaders.

Each Kauffman Fellows class is selected from a large applicant pool; candidates can be nominated by Kauffman Fellows, KF Faculty, or KF Board members, or they may self-nominate. Nominated candidates are then sponsored by their venture firms.

Class 22

Continuing in its mission to accelerate the development of innovation and venture capital industry leaders, the Kauffman Fellows Program has just announced Class 22, comprised of 51 top-tier investors hailing from five continents. The majority (61%) of this largest class to date are partners, managing directors, or CEOs of their firms.

Kauffman Fellows’ 2-year, mastery-level program challenges already-successful investors to be even more self-aware and nimble in their thinking. The Program is dedicated to promoting diversity: 35% of the class are women and 8% are from traditionally under-represented groups.

“I’m thrilled to welcome this incoming class of Kauffman Fellows; their combined experience and diversity is unparalleled in our industry,” said Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach. “This class represents some of the foremost leaders in venture capital and innovation ecosystems across the world. The impact they will have on entrepreneurs globally, as a result of their acceleration in our two-year program, will be immeasurable.”

“Meeting fellow VC investors from all over the world in the inspiring surrounding of Silicon Valley creates great energy”, commented Black Pearls VC Managing Partner Marcin. P. Kowalik. “It will be our responsibility to use this energy to help our entrepreneurs build global companies out of Poland”

Top firms represented by incoming Fellows include Blackrock, Social Capital, August Capital, 500 Startups, Microsoft Ventures, SoftTech VC, Tencent, Shasta Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Bpifrance, Merck Ventures, and the MacArthur Foundation, among others. A number of distinguished VCs are serving in this year’s mentor group, such as Dave McClure, Founder/Managing Partner, 500 Startups; Kate Mitchell, past chairman of the NVCA and Partner, Scale Venture Partners; David Cohen, Founder/Co-CEO, Techstars; Jeff Clavier, Founder/Managing Partner, SoftTech VC; David Sze, Senior Managing Partner, Greylock; and Josh Stein, Partner, DFJ.

Many of the Class 22 Fellows are already outstanding leaders in their fields, and all are passionate about fueling global entrepreneurship and innovation. Examples of these unique leaders are a 500 Startups GP launching a fund in under-developed economies in SE Asia; a principal investment officer in Africa keen on what she sees as the untapped potential of Nigerian startups; an LP managing private equities for the MacArthur Foundation’s $6.2B endowment; and a CEO who raised a $500M VC fund in Saudi Arabia for the largest telecom in MENA.

Members of the new class join some of the most trusted, diverse, and respected names in the global investment community. Over 500 Fellows comprise a lifelong network of leaders from more than 200 venture capital firms representing funds investing billions into startups in 40+ countries. Kauffman Fellows actively recruits women and minorities in the belief that communities are stronger and more capable of serving entrepreneurs with a multiplicity of viewpoints and backgrounds.

The newest Kauffman Fellows are as follows:

Liat Aaronson, Marker LLC
Biplab Adhya, Wipro Ventures
Michael Anstey, Cambridge Innovation Capital
Liron Azrielant, Meron Capital
Scott Bernstein, Lewis & Clark Ventures
Andris Berzins, Change Ventures
Chris Breidahl, Xponova
Roel Bulthuis, Merck Ventures
Tom Egan, LaunchCapital
Amir Farha, BECO Capital
Lisa Feria, Stray Dog Capital
Brady Forrest, Independent
Victoria Fram, VilCap Investments
David Goldberg, Corigin Ventures
Arvind Gupta, SOSV
Victor Gutwein, M25 Group
Vishal Harnal, 500 Startups
Mark Hasebroock, Dundee Venture Capital
Ray Hatoyama, Sozo Ventures
Roxanne Horesh, Union Tech
Jonathan Hsu, Social Capital
Jared Hyatt, Norwest Venture Partners
Marcin Kowalik, Black Pearls VC
Andrew Krowne, Dolby Family Ventures / Levensohn Venture Partners
Thad Langford, Flyover Capital
Jennifer Lee, Learn Capital
Elana Lian, Intel Capital
Chahra Louafi, BPI France
Lisa Marrone, August Capital
Raffaele Mauro, Endeavor Italy
Helen McBreen, Atlantic Bridge
Andy McLoughlin, SoftTech VC
Muhammad Mian, BlackRock Private Equity Partners
Jules Miller, LunaCap Ventures
Jacob Mullins, Shasta Ventures
Reinier Musters, Orange Growth Capital (OGC)
Eli Novershtern, Square Peg Capital
Alexandra (Lexi) Novitske, Singularity Investments
Eric Perez-Grovas, Jaguar Ventures
Melissa Richlen, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Elliott Robinson, Microsoft Ventures
Dave Rosenberg, GE Ventures
Suzy Ryoo, Cross Culture VC
Beaudean (Beau) Seil, Patamar Capital
Jessica Straus, National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)
Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, STV
Shobhan Thakkar, HealthX Ventures
Julie Wroblewski, Pivotal Ventures
Victoria Wu, Rakuten
Grace (Yun) Xia, Tencent
Yipeng Zhao, Embark Ventures

Read the whole story:

For more information, visit