Reviews & Testimonials
Below are some reviews and testimonials from VU alumni. If you're interested in speaking with VU alumni, please e-mail VU's Head of Admissions at Jenna@Venture.University and she can match you with alumni with similar backgrounds.
Venture University has a powerful investor alumni network of 170+ individuals from around the world. VU alums have had a high success rate with >50% getting VC/PE jobs within 12 months of graduating, with roles ranging from Analyst to Partner level, launching their own funds as emerging fund managers, and professionalizing themselves as angel investors and/or family offices. See where VU alumni have gone after VU.
Alina Tioupikova, Cohort 2
“Venture University gave me the opportunity, the skills, and the knowledge to get noticed by top-tier VC firms. The partners at VU have a sincere desire to help you achieve your career goals, and were incredibly supportive during my journey in landing two venture capital job offers, and one at a top accelerator.”
After VU: Director at Techstars
Ben Steven, Cohort 2 Member
"In financial terms, ROI on my MBA was nothing compared to VU. After 3 months, I made 5 investments that I have upside in, received 3 job offers, and now I'm an Associate Partner at a VC fund focusing on my passion of Internet of Things."
After VU: Became An Associate Partner at Momenta Ventures
Vitor Lima, Cohort 2
“I had planned to spend the next 2-3 years slaving at an investment bank for a small shot at becoming a VC. Venture U provided me with an opportunity to leapfrog that pain and fast-track my career.”
After VU: Joined A Multi-Billion Dollar Family Office Doing Venture Capital
JP Bowgen, Cohort 5
"As someone who graduated from Northwestern University, and will soon be attending Chicago Booth for an MBA, I can personally attest to how valuable Venture University and VU Venture Partners has been to my career.
In the two months I have been at VU alone, I have personally evaluated over 200+ companies in the Consumer space, and from those, will be taking 2 companies to an Investment Committee for potential investment.
This Investor Accelerator gives you the ability to participate in all facets of VC, from sourcing, to diligence, to investment - an opportunity that seldom exists elsewhere in VC, especially at an early stage in your career.
Additionally, the experience has also opened up significant doors for me - I have already succeeded in landing a VC job from the program as a result of the invaluable experience I've gained while at VU. I am truly impressed by the people who go through this program, and the program itself, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to break into VC"
After VU: Joined as an Investment Associate at OCA Ventures
Jeff Lazcano, Cohort 7 & 8
"Excellent program! You gain high quality VC/PE investment work experience, with a very hands-on "learn by doing" approach with the apprenticeship program, as well as benefit from an amazing in-depth academic component provided by a top-notch team with an incredible track record. I had a stellar experience! I'm joining for a second cohort along with a bunch of others from Cohort 7!"
David de Jesus, Cohort 7 & 8
"Do it! You won't regret it. I was an Angel investor before VU, but I have an entirely new perspective for how I evaluate deals and feel I'm now performing at the top of my game. Venture Capital is an apprenticeship business and working alongside VU's team gives you a glimpse of what it's like to be working within a top venture capital fund,"
Yvonne Okafor, Cohort 2
“I’ve gotten more hands on experience than I could ever have imagined. After 11 weeks, it felt like we’ve been here for 11 months! We were able to go through the entire investment process from deal sourcing, due diligence, to making investments, and we developed critical skills you can only get by doing the job of a VC.”
After VU: Investment Analyst, Alitheia Capital
Grant Kendall-Bell, Cohort 2 & 3
"VU is an accelerator for investors that increases your chance of landing a job in VC or gives you the framework and support to start your own fund.If you're looking to get a good idea of what going through the program is really like, I would recommend reaching out to anyone who is currently at VU or went through a previous cohort. It helps to put a face to a name when you are learning someone's story. That being said, I'll quickly share some highlights here.I went through Venture University for two cohorts and I recommend applying, but make sure it's a good fit for your career path and goals. The greatest benefits are that you get actual VC work experience (e.g. deal sourcing, diligence, negotiating), your network in the innovation ecosystem will grow very quickly (e.g founders, investors, strategic partners), and you are in an immersive environment that speeds up your learning curve (i.e. you figure out how to do proper diligence, where to find the best deals, and how you can best add value as an investor).
An added perk is that they allocate part of your tuition to all the deals that you invest in during your cohort, so you have potential to get upside, and more incentive to do high quality deals. One last bit is that the people who come through the program are really good people. I've formed close relationships with the management team and they have been a huge support for me, as well as with my teammates that I worked on deals with. I'm currently syndicating investments and supporting an accelerator program both focused on my industry of passion, and I have the VU network to thank for helping me make this possible (plus a lot of my own hustle)"
After VU: Led his first investment (Made In Space), and then Launched Techstars Space Accelerator
Shuhan Zhou, Cohort 3
"Venture University’s instruction and talent resources are second to none compared to similar programs that attempted to provide similar curriculum.Over the course of the 11-week program and beyond, I got exposure to tremendous resources related to venture capital investing and practitioners with all kinds of background and expertise. It is a worthy experience for people interested in this space despite what stage they are in their career"
After VU: Joined Strawberry Creek Ventures
Johan Richards, Cohort 5
"I can highly recommend joining Venture University if you want to get an understanding of the venture capital industry. The same goes for if you are looking for a venture capital partner for your startup.I’ve gone through the program and have nothing but the highest regard and appreciation for the knowledge and expertise of the General Partners at the fund as well as the the high quality industry experts that form part of the educational experience when enrolling to form part of the academic program.Not only are the GP’s of the fund individuals with an exceptionally good track record and extensive network to assist any portfolio company that they invested in but if you really want to understand the venture capital market and learn from the some of most qualified people in the industry there are very few other alternatives available at this level.I have been involved in the entrepreneurial industry as consultant, mentor and leadership coach for more than 20 years, am a part time lecturer at an international business school, and consultant on the entrepreneurial development program of one of the top 5 local US business schools. I wanted to get a better knowledge and understanding of the venture capital industry in Silicon Valley and therefore joined the program. As an academic and scholar I have been exposed to some of the best learning experiences that is available all around the world. This rates right up there along anything that I’ve come across on my travels around the world"
After VU: Launched his own venture fund, Synergos Venture Partners
Daniel Grampa, Cohort 5
"My background spans finance (M&A/advisory, capital markets/trading) and entrepreneurship (corporate new ventures and serving more than a few startups and angels). If not for first becoming acquainted with one of the GPs that runs VU, I would have been skeptical of a "trade school for VC". However, I recently completed VU's 5th cohort and found the program exceptional.Skyler and Andrew are outstanding instructors, with deep VC knowledge and successful track records. The day to day did not feel like an academic program - it felt live as we sourced and screened deal flow, met with founders, and performed due diligence. The diversity of background, experience, and prior success of those attending VU is indicative of the quality of the application pool. Although competitive, I would recommend for anyone looking to break into VC, particularly for those with an unconventional background such as myself"
After VU: Launching his own startup studio fund.
Michael Son, Cohort 4
"VU provides a great foundation for someone looking to gain the necessary knowledge, experience and network to break into venture capital industry"
After VU: Went on to complete his MBA at Chicago Booth
Henry Ngan, Cohort 5
"The VU program is incredible, as it combines an academic program with an apprenticeship program, where you get real hands on experience doing venture capital, where you really are "learning by doing".The easiest way to view VU is similar to a “Startup Accelerator”, but for VC Investors, so it's an “Investor Accelerator”.After arriving here at SF, I have had the pleasure and opportunity of working with the General Partners (Sky and Andrew), who are top VC investors, and whom have significant experience, network, and their performance track-record speaks for itself.The academic week, fireside chats, night modules, on top of all other activities are what adds significant value to the apprenticeship program itself.When Cohort 5 completes our training program, we’ll have 100+ VU alums, now working at other funds, launching their own funds, or working at accelerators and startups, and this creates a powerful network that will be beneficial for years to come.I highly suggest those who are interested in the program to reach out to myself, or other VU alumni, and talk to real people who has been through the program. It's one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was certainly worth the time and tuition for the value I received," Henry Ngan