VCs in the Making 2.0

An Inside Look through the Eyes of Our Fall 2020 Venture Fellows Cohort

Last Fall, IDEA Fund Partners hosted our latest class of Venture Fellows, a rebranded program to provide on-the-job experience to student and young professionals looking to learn more about venture capital. These Fellows from around the country were not merely observers on the sidelines -they played an integral part in the team by being fully immersed in the deal review, due diligence, and broader strategy of the firm. Their contributions and insights will last much longer than the ten weeks they spent with us. They have shared some of their biggest takeaways from the summer:

Prem Roopani (University of Texas, Class of 2021)

“The Fellowship was an invaluable opportunity to learn about the inner workings of Venture Capital. From the get-go, the partners were very hands-on in asking questions and ensuring that Fellows are the first line of defense in analyzing companies. Coming in as a finance major without many investing experiences, I quickly found myself thinking about startups in ways that I was not exposed to from my classes or previous internships. Pondering the story, operations, and target market of an opportunity gave me a new skill set to analyze companies away from the traditional approach that is typically taught in school.”

Jim Yarbrough (Washington and Lee University, Class of 2020)

“It’s easy to tell others that you know in which direction you want your career to head before making any progress down that road. It isn’t until you get your feet wet after that first step, though, that you will truly know. My time with IDEA Fund Partners gave me plenty of room to take that first step into the world of Venture Capital. The scope of my responsibilities — sourcing deals, performing initial reviews of new deals, and presenting deals to the partners — combined with the various other opportunities I had to witness the VC process, gave me a unique opportunity to peek through the curtain. I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of the IFP team and hope our paths cross again soon.”

Linda Duraj (University of Texas, Class of 2021)

“My experience at IDEA Fund Partners has allowed me to understand the nuances of working in Venture Capital. I really enjoyed exploring deals, presenting at partner meetings, and sitting in on live calls with founders. The entire team offered valuable feedback on the deals we reviewed and our industry report on the Management of Transportation and Traffic. Through the internship, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of what determines an interesting company and the investment process. I am looking forward to applying what I have learned at IFP to a future career in VC.”

Andrew Chan (College of the Holy Cross, Class of 2022)

“During my time with IDEA Fund Partners, I’ve learned something new every day. Whether that be from the lunch & learns, looking at new startups and industries, speaking with founders or networking within the firm. Overall, it’s been an amazing opportunity to develop an understanding of the venture capital world while simultaneously applying that knowledge to do meaningful work at the firm.”

Dennis Gavrilov (UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, MBA Class of 2021)

“What I appreciated most during my time at IDEA Fund Partners was having the opportunity to gain a better understanding of Venture Capital that could only be absorbed through experience. Having prior taken Venture Capital and Business Plan Analysis courses, it was gratifying to be able to apply what was learned in those courses at IFP, but it’s from those critical thinking due-diligence discussions with colleagues at the firm, those conversations I got to shadow between IFP partners and founders, and those deep-dives into niche and innovative product markets that I truly gained a better understanding of the art that is Venture Capital.”

Sherif Shabana (Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, MBA Class of 2021)

“At IFP, I learned how diversity and inclusion can be integrated at the top of the funnel in the startup screening process. Inclusive entrepreneurship has never been more important and learning how VCs can embed D&I in their investment process was the highlight of my experience.”

IDEA Fund Partners is one of the oldest and most active early stage VCs headquartered in the Southeast United States.