Over the last five years, our Fellows have made an amazing impact on New York City’s startup community. Read about some of success stories that we’ve had the pleasure to be a part of…and hear from some of our Fellows!


# of Fellows: 165
# Companies: 161
# Rounds of funding: 362
# of Forbes 30 Under 30 recipients: 26
# of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 recipients: 11
# of Crain’s 40 Under 40 recipients: 9
# of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies recipients: 8
# Acquisitions by Fellow owned companies: 18
# Acquisitions of Fellow owned companies: 11
Amount investors spent to acquire 11 Fellows’ companies: $806.7 Million*
Total amount funding: $2.4 Billion

* amount has not been disclosed for five of the acquired companies


MakerBot (’11) acquired by Stratasys: $403 million
Learnvest (’12) acquired by Northwestern Mutual: $250 million
Hunch (’11) acquired by eBay: $80 million
Niche (’15) acquired by Twitter: $50 million
Songza (’13) acquired by Google: undisclosed
comiXology (’13) acquired by Amazon: undisclosed
Grand St. (’14) acquired by Etsy: undisclosed
Poptip (’14) acquired by Palantir: undisclosed


Harry’s (’14): $287.1 million

Foursquare (’11): $162.4 million

Warby Parker (’12): $115.5 million

Rent the Runway (’12): $114.4 million

Etsy (’11): $97.3 million (publicly traded as of April 2015)

ShopKeep (’13): 97.2 million

LearnVest (’12): $72.13 million (acquired in March 2015)

Conductor (’11): $60.65 million

Schoology (’13): $57.1 million

Plated (’14): $56.4 million

Paddle8 (’16): $51 million

FiftyThree (’14): $45.1 million

Stats are as of December 2015


“If you’re building a business and you need to accelerate, Venture Fellows is the kind of program that can help that happen. You think about the people who talk with fondness about the Mentors that have helped them in their business careers. Good Mentors who you can develop a long term relationship with… really help develop you as a leader, and I certainly felt that. Venture Fellows is the kind of program that instantly plugs you into the most powerful network that there is in New York City in venture capital, and technology, and entrepreneurship. The best of the best come to New York to make their dreams happen. Being in that environment is inspiring and incredibly motivating. New York is the place to be.”

     –Shane Snow (VF ’13), Co-founder and CEO, Contently

“The best reason to be part of Venture Fellows… is it’s ticked off every important box for me – new people I can trust as Mentors, new people I can trust and bounce ideas off of as peers. I was comfortable with my Mentors, asking questions that I might have been embarrassed to ask, getting information that has led to new investments, new revenue streams. So it’s been really interesting to be able to learn from their successes and failures, and again avoiding pitfalls that they fell into that I didn’t have to because of them. Venture Fellows is unique, Venture Fellows is informative, Venture Fellows is all about networking.”

     –Elias Roman (VF ’13), Founder and CEO, Songza

“It’s the best position to be in. To learn more from someone who has been there and done that, who knows the whole New York scene, and who has the heart for it. What’s important with a mentorship program is the spirit of sharing.”

     –Reese Fernandez-Ruiz (VF ’13), Founder and CEO, Rags2Riches

“It’s been tremendously helpful to interact with the mentors and get their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities we’re dealing with. They’ve also been very generous with opening their networks and making introductions to other valuable resources. The Venture Fellows program has been a wonderful experience for us.”

     –Bill Tan (VF ’12), Founder and CEO, Transcendent Endeavors

“I run a company back in Ethiopia. When I started my factory 7 years ago, we had 5 people. Now we have 90. We’re going global and that’s been successful. Why I’m here now is to seek opportunities and support to open my retail store in New York City. I think it’s going to be a big challenge, but I’ve started it already. Through the NYC Venture Fellows program, I’ve met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. We’ve been chatting about different issues, business opportunities around the world, and the challenges that we’re each facing. So this is a big opportunity for us as a group to meet and discuss the future of our businesses.”

     –Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (VF ’12), Co-founder and Managing Director, soleRebels (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

“Being a NYC Venture Fellow has been very helpful through networking with fellow entrepreneurs at similar stages. Mentorship as well—having an engaged mentor who runs a large—but not too large—business has been a huge gift.”

     –Philip James (VF ’12), Co-founder, Lot18

“Being selected into the Venture Fellows means joining a network of intelligent, driven, and community oriented founders who know that supporting each other’s growth will make each one of them better leaders, and in turn, help them continue to grow their already successful ventures.”

     –Joey Ortiz, Director of Partnerships, Coalition for Queens

“No matter the buzz or early accolades, the transition from promising young startup business to successful leading company can be extremely difficult. We want to make it easier for entrepreneurs to succeed, and when they do, we want them to succeed in New York City. The NYC Venture Fellows program will capitalize on the willingness of accomplished business leaders to help the next generation of entrepreneurs make it and to help New York City.”

     –Michael R. Bloomberg, former Mayor, City of New York