Building a company as a student is really, really, hard.
We’re here to support you by arming you with a powerful investor network, world-class mentors, and capital to help you move faster.
In 2012, Josh Kopelman, the founder of First Round Capital, had a spicy idea.
What if we brought together a group of all-start aspiring VCs and startup operators– who happened to be students– and asked them to seek out the best student founders building the next wave of great companies? They’d know better than the suits which of their friends, classmates, teammates, and lab partners were still in stealth building the next incredible thing, and who’s just chasing clout.
Thus, Dorm Room Fund was born. And it turns out we were on to something. Since then, DRF has invested in over 300 companies led by visionary student founders. Those founders have redefined industries, gone public, and are changing the world. And our student investment partners are investors at world-class funds, operators at hot startups and FAANG companies, and unicorn founders themselves.
In 2021, Dorm Room Fund started investing out of our first independent fund, backed by a collection of some of the best funds, VCs, institutional investors, and many of our alumni. Having graduated from our amazing launchpad at First Round Capital, we are honored to have brought more investors around the table to supercharge what we can do for our founders and community. With folks like Marc Andreesen and Chris Dixon, Bill Trenchard, Quiet Capital, Underscore VC, Garry Tan, Soraya Darabi, Charles Hudson, Susan Lyne, Hunter Walk, Insight’s Vision 2020 Fund, Plexo Capital, First Round, and many more around the table, we’ve 10xed what’s possible.
We’ve hand-selected a team of founders, mentors, and investors who are sharing ideas, connections and experience– and who are committed to DRF founders. Here at DRF, we’re all in. Come join the party.
Dorm Room Fund strives to be an industry leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. And with nearly 80% of our alumni graduating to be either founders or VCs, we're in a powerful position to drive change. Whether through our summer programs, our student investing team, or the founders we back, we're committed to using DRF's launch pad to cement more people who identify as Black, Indigenous, LatinX, female, LGBTQ+, non-binary, and/or underepresented in VC squarely at the center of our industry.
We’ve created programs like the Blueprint Project and Female Founder Track to use our resources to help empower and create opportunity for underrepresented students.
Learn more about the programs here.
DRF is the best place for students to build a company. We’ve learned many of the hard lessons for you. And aside from a check to build a company, you have an unparalleled student & alumni network, strong mentors, a community of fellow founders & investors, and hands-on help to get you to your seed stage. Once a DRF founder, you’re #DRF4Life!
In general, we operate on a screening basis. Once you submit an application, you may receive a "pass" message noting that we declined to fund, or you may obtain the first call. An investment partner will hop on a first call to better understand your company. If you move on to the next stage, you receive a second call. For the final pitch, you meet with a regional team, and if the majority votes in favor of the idea, we choose to fund you. After the final pitch, you can expect two days for a response or more time if we have follow up questions.
No idea is too early for Dorm Room Fund, but we love founders who have gone unreasonably deep and prove to us that they care about the idea. Whether you have extensive user research or a demo, we want to see proof that you truly care about a problem and understand your customers.
Yes! We recognize that many startup founders have brilliant ideas but may apply too early to Dorm Room Fund. As an example, Snackpass, which raised a $70 million Series B round, applied twice.
We expect at least one found member of the team to be enrolled or have graduated within the last year.
No, Dorm Room Fund invests in companies incorporated in the U.S. Startups can be incorporated in the U.S. but built internationally. If you have questions about company eligibility, reach out to us at [email protected].