Jasmyn Howell in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in June 2021. Courtesy of Denise Williams.

Jasmyn Howell is an MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. She’s part of the 2021 Blueprint Investor Track. You can reach her at jasmynh@wharton.upenn.edu.

Tell us about you.

I’m originally from Westchester, New York, but moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for high school. For college, I attended Spelman College, a historically Black and all women’s college located in Atlanta, Georgia where I majored in economics.

During college, I became interested in healthcare when I started volunteering with the Atlanta Mobile Market, a nonprofit social enterprise based in Atlanta. The mission is to provide nutrition education and improve…

Raaghav Goel in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in California. Courtesy of Raaghav Goel.

Raaghav Goel, a senior at University of California, Berkeley, studies electrical engineering and computer science. Born and raised in India, he works at a stealth startup back home during his gap year. He’s part of the 2021 PRISM Investor Track, a diversity program aimed at queer communities, and identifies as gay. You can reach him at rgoel@berkeley.edu or @RaaghavGoel on Twitter.

What are you doing in your gap year?

I’m trying to knock off some tough graduation requirements and work at a startup in India as a product manager. …

Shub Gaur in Fremont, California. Courtesy of Shub Gaur.

Shub Gaur, an investment partner on the San Francisco team, joined the Dorm Room Fund team in October 2020. He co-founded Spree, a chrome extension that automatically compares prices for you. You can reach him at shubgaur@usc.edu or @shubgaur on Twitter.

How did you get involved with venture capital?

I’m a rising junior at the University of Southern California studying computer science and business, and I have fallen in love with startups. I’m really fortunate to have been introduced to entrepreneurship really early, through a few friends at USC who introduced me to amazing campus organizations TroyLabs and LavaLab. …

Courtesy of Female Founder Track.

Lan Jiang, managing partner of the San Francisco team, leads the fourth Female Founder Track with Chloe Lopez-Lee. In this interview, which has been edited for clarity, Jiang shares her experiences leading the track. You can reach both of them at clopezlee@dormroomfund.com and lanjiang@dormroomfund.com.

How did you end up leading the track?

I joined Dorm Room Fund this past October 2020. During my interview, I remember raving about the diversity programs that DRF offers and really believing the tracks are what accelerate DRF as a student venture fund. …

Adrian Hackney in March 2021 at Boston, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Laura Goodfield.

Adrian Hackney, a rising junior at Harvard University, studies social anthropology, government, and economics. He’s part of the inaugural 2021 PRISM Investor Track. Reach him at adrianhackney@college.harvard.edu.

Why PRISM and venture capital?

I came into college not knowing much about venture capital or investing. But pretty early on, I started to meet different people just to ask questions and see what’s going on in the venture capital space. During my sophomore year, I did two internships in VC, one of which was focused on investing in underrepresented founders, and both of those experiences piqued my interest.

When I found out about PRISM, I was so…

Venture capital needs to raise its bar. For women, the questions “what is venture capital” and “why does it exist” remain inaccessible.

That’s why, here at Dorm Room Fund, we launched our first three-week masterclass by women, for women. The Female Investor Track helps women starting their careers in ventures to transition and grow in the industry. Through speaker sessions and venture capital lessons, we consider the value of females added to the industry and the ways women can make their mark in a male-dominated industry.

From 400 applicants across the world, 15 female and non-binary investors joined the summer…

Arjan Guglani, on the right, talks during a working session of UpRound Venture’s first investment. Courtesy of Natalia Brzozowski.

Arjan Guglani is a rising junior at the University of Michigan and part of the 2021 PRISM Investor Track. You can reach him at aguglani@umich.edu or on aguglani.com.

How did you learn about startups and hear of PRISM?

In college, I’m busy with UpRound Ventures. We find Midwest startups and pass them along to venture capitalists. I had the chance to become president as a second semester freshman because no one was raising their hand to do it. I was lucky enough to revive that organization. As president, we raised a $100,000 seed fund. And funny enough, we’d say, “We are the Dorm Room Fund in Michigan” in pitch meetings.

The Candelytics team enjoys time and fish tacos at the beach after a successful demo for the Coast Guard and other maritime agencies in San Diego. From left: Clark Yuan, James Parker and Bryan Lee. Courtesy of Bryan Lee.

Dorm Room Fund welcomes Candelytics, which makes 3D data more accessible, intelligent, and impactful. Co-founder Bryan Lee, a former Army helicopter pilot, talks about his foray into entrepreneurship and DRF’s newest portfolio company. You can reach Lee at bryan@candelytics.io.

Tell us about your team.

I was an active duty army officer and flew helicopters for the Army. I’ve had several deployments to Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and West Africa for the Ebola outbreak.

My co-founder, James, worked for a firm that designed wireless technology for the intelligence community. Our third co-founder, Clark, was once an active duty army officer. …

Firms like Backstage Capital have cited that as little as 10% of venture capital deals go to women, people of color, and LGBTQ founders. Today, sexism, racism, and homophobia — and unconscious bias — continue to disadvantage many entrepreneurs, particularly when it comes to crucial early-stage financing. For members of the LGBTQ community, is it a good idea to come out while raising capital?

According to a recent study from StartOut, a nonprofit serving LGBTQ entrepreneurs and businesses, 37% of LGBTQ founders choose to remain closeted while raising capital. …

Courtesy of Dorm Room Fund

In private email groups and small social circles, underrepresented investors share their stories. It often starts with a lack of representation that deems them lucky if they spot the right startup. The stories show that they face far more hardship raising money than their white counterparts, and ultimately, many decide to pass on investing.

These people represent the 3% Black and 3% Latinx in venture capital communities — a fraction compared to the 80% of investment partners who identify as white.

That’s why we brought back the Blueprint Investor Track.

Eight members of the 2020 Blueprint participants joined Dorm Room…

Dorm Room Fund

Built by students and powered by @FirstRound, we provide our founders with access to strong investors, mentors, and a $20,000 check. Visit dormroomfund.com.

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