Commerce Ventures is a venture capital investment firm based in San Francisco that focuses on early-stage investments in startups helping to digitize retail and financial services. Since our inception in early 2013, we have raised more than $250 million in assets under management and have invested in over 100 companies, including several of today’s most exciting category leaders like Bill.com (IPO), BillGO, Forter, Grabango, InAuth (Acquired by Amex), Marqeta (MQ), MX, Narvar, SessionM (Acquired by Mastercard) and Socure. As a small, collegial team of 13 people, we work hard to find exciting investment opportunities, help our portfolio companies grow and succeed, and move our ecosystem forward in positive ways.
As a firm, we recognize that the number of job opportunities in venture capital is small and that access to these jobs is not shared equally. We recognize that (even in spite of best of intentions) venture firms often seek familiar job candidates who emulate the backgrounds or experiences of the firm’s leadership. Doing so clearly prevents the industry from expanding access to a broader, more diverse set of potential participants. This is the problem.
At Commerce Ventures, we don’t want to be part of the problem – we want to try to be part of the solution. To that end, we have created the CV Access Fellowship. This program is designed for high potential college juniors and seniors from underrepresented backgrounds. The Fellowship will be a combination of education (we hope to teach our fellows about startups and venture capital), mentorship (we intend to spend meaningful time connecting with our fellows, discussing their ambitions and helping them think through how to accomplish them), and financial support (we will be providing a financial stipend designed to defray some of the costs of their education). Our goal is that, upon completion, our fellows will be better prepared for success and have fundamentally improved access to the field of venture capital…if that is their career ambition (but it doesn’t need to be).
We run two fellowships per year, generally coinciding with the Fall and Spring semesters. Over the course of 12 weeks, we will expect the fellow to commit to roughly 10 hours of work per work. Some of this will be working in real-time with our team and some will be independent desk work on broader projects that span the semester. Activities might include, but won’t be limited to, attending pitch meetings with entrepreneurs, learning the fundamentals of VC investing, and contributing to thematic work. The fellow will receive a stipend of $5,000 for the period of the fellowship (paid in twice per month installments). While candidates located near our headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area are preferred, it is not mandatory nor will remote participation be a disqualifier for applicants. At the end of the fellowship, we hope each participant will be able to complete a deliverable that showcases the knowledge they have gained during the program.
We will accept applications until June 4th through this application form. ALL applications will be reviewed and considered, but we can only select two fellows – one for the Fall Term and one for the Spring Term. We regret that we have this limitation, but we recognize that it is more important to provide a successful experience for one fellow than a mediocre experience for multiple.
June 12 – Application Form Closes (no more applications to be accepted thereafter)
Early to mid June – Initial applicant screening calls
Mid June through July – Interviews conducted, transcripts requested
Early August – Selection process complete and fellow announced
Mid to late September – Fall fellowship begins
Mid to late January – Spring fellowship begins
For more information, please contact email@example.com