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Selecting The Best

First Year

Fellows are hand picked from Twitter and Hackathons.
We may allow for some of these individuals to refer up to 2 friends who they think would be great for the program. Friends might start shipping faster since they already have a connection with one another.

When Scaling

Once we have the initial cohort of 24 talented individuals, we have a larger voice that can help spread the word of Venture Years. Edify (a co-living startup), was able to get 600+ individuals in less than a month to apply to a summer of co-living in NY and SF, co-living which was not free. They did this with just 14 retweets from their first cohort. With 24 retweets from our first cohort, I’m sure we can reach a similar number of applicants as Edify did.
Once we have a large application pool we will go through the following process:
We select 120 applicants based on our .
These 120 applicants are invited to participate in a trial period where they are put on teams of 3 and given $15k to spend over 2 months. We track how much they are able to accomplish in that time in order to see who performs the best.
The top 20% from the trial period are selected for the 4 year program.

Researching Better Selection Methods

We will collect data about applicants beginning day 1, we will use this data in our selection process if we notice patterns emerge that indicate a given metric determines if an applicant is more or less likely to go on and build a valuable startup.
During the trial period, students self evaluate each other. Some pattern is likely to emerge from their responses to structured questions that shows which individuals we should accept into the program, based on how well individuals work with others and how well they perceive the abilities of others.
Before the trial period, students are asked to meet with 10+ other applicants. We record what percentage of meetings they show up on time to and which percentage of meetings they need to reschedule. Let’s see if this gives us a sense of how well they can manage their time.
Personality tests that might indicate great founders.
DNA testing to see if there are any genetic signs that might indicate who would be a great founder.
Video recording of applicant introducing themself. AI might be able to determine their communication ability.
Determining a minimum threshold and then selecting randomly anyone who meets that minimum. (proposed by Tyler Cowen, author of “Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Winners, and Creatives Around the World”)
Allowing previous fellows to interview and select the next set of founders.

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