Faves app features. Courtesy of Faves.

Faves, an app that connects friends over content curation and link sharing, recently held a workshop for our community on consumer social growth. The DRF community company has amassed an impressive waitlist of 95,000, counting Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Ancestry.com, leading VCs and Heads of Product at social media giants among its early adopters. Here’s a quick snapshot of what Faves covered in the workshop.

Big thank you to Tyler Maloney (Founder) and Hamza Alsamraee (Head of Growth) for their incredible insights.

You can now get early access to the app here. To access the Faves Early Adopter Slack…

Shreyas Parab skydiving in California in March 2021. Courtesy of GoJump San Jose.

Shreyas Parab, an investment partner on the San Francisco team, attends Stanford University. He applied to Dorm Room Fund his freshman year of college, was rejected, then reapplied his sophomore year.

Walk us through your DRF application journey.

I applied formally my freshman year, got the Superday interview, then was rejected. And to be honest, luckily, they didn’t have to give too much feedback because after the conversation, the glaring holes in my knowledge and background were obvious. In my senior year of high school, I heard about Dorm Room Fund through the First Round Capital holiday video. First Round Capital is based in Philadelphia, which is…

While working at an NYC venture capital firm, Alexa Spagnola spends a weekend at the beach in August 2021. Courtesy of Alexa Spagnola.

Alexa Spagnola, an electrical engineering and entrepreneurship student at the University of Pennsylvania, heard about Dorm Room Fund through a message from a friend. With an initial interest in biotech, software, and defense, she joined DRF and pivoted to venture capital.

“I’d jumped from one thing to the next, and always enjoyed learning in an iterative way,” Alexa said. “Initially, that’s why hackathons appealed to me. Learning how much venture seems to parallel that made it so interesting.”

From projects at NASA to Google, Alexa decided to try to get into venture capital starting fall 2020.

“I made it my…

Investment partners Trinity Donohugh, Jasman Singh, and Sreya Parakala answer questions on applying to Dorm Room Fund and how best to stand out.

Tell me about your background and why you applied to Dorm Room Fund.

Trinity: I joined DRF back in November. I’m a rising senior at Stanford majoring in Computer Science and History. Most of my background has been in tech, both on the strategy side and on the engineering side. I actually had interviewed for DRF my Sophomore year and did not get a place on the investing team. I interviewed again my Junior year, which was when I joined.

My background has been on the engineering side. Prior to…

Lauren Gilbert poses for a picture in Houston in July 2020 to announce her admission into the Wharton School’s MBA program. Courtesy of Lauren Gilbert.

Lauren Gilbert attends The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s part of the Blueprint Investor Track aimed at Black, LatinX, and indigenous students.

How did you become interested in startups?

I went to the University of Texas at Austin for undergrad where I majored in supply chain management and Business Honors Program. Right after graduation, I went to work for a downstream oil and gas company called Phillips 66. I entered through their procurement early rotational program and did about five different roles during my eight years with the company. I learned a lot during my tenure there, but after so much time I felt…

Sisters Astha and Ayushi Sinha created Yustha Yoga, South Asian inspired athleisure. Courtesy of Ayushi Sinha.

Sisters Astha Sinha and Ayushi Sinha joined the 2021 Female Founder Track with Yustha Yoga, which makes South Asian inspired athleisure. In this interview, which has been edited for clarity, they share how they created the idea of the startup, conducted early user interviews, and tested pricing.

How did you create the idea of a brand for Indian athleisure wear?

Astha Sinha: From the get go, it was a conversation in our living room talking about the misappropriation of Indian culture and designs. For example, you think about boho tops and Indian henna designs. Culture wise, we were talking about how the fundamentals of yoga sometimes get lost. In yoga class, you’re trying…

Amelia De Paola at MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts in August 2021. Courtesy of Amelia De Paola.

This summer, I had the opportunity to participate in Dorm Room Fund’s First-Ever Female Investors Track (FIT), a three-week masterclass that empowers the next generation of women and non-binary investors. FIT couldn’t have happened at a better time for me: I’m about to start my MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and am fortunate to have some time before the school year starts to reflect on the type of impact I want to make with my future career in venture capital. …

From left: Sparrow CEO Harrison Hochman, COO Daniel Kahn, and CTO Griffin Morris in New York in August 2021. Courtesy of Harrison Hochman.

Harrison Hochman, co-founder of Sparrow, talks about building the student finance startup during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How did you meet your co-founders?

By way of introduction, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, went to Stanford for an undergraduate and graduate degree, and was lucky enough to meet Daniel three years ago in Tel Aviv, when we were both a part of a program. He was working for a venture capital firm, and I was co-founding a variant of Sparrow. We started off as friends and ended up really becoming close. In the summer of 2020, right as COVID was rolling around, I asked him…

Chinasa T. Okolo at a CRA-Grad Cohort Workshop in Waikoloa, Hawai’ (March 2019). Courtesy of Chinasa Okolo.

Chinasa T. Okolo is a computer science Ph.D. student at Cornell University. She’s part of the 2021 Blueprint Investor Track, aimed at supporting the next generation of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous investors.

Tell me about you.

My parents are Nigerian and immigrated to the States a couple of decades ago. Experiences of family members suffering from poor access to healthcare got me interested in this field. I also had the pressure of becoming a physician for my parents, but I don’t like to touch people, so that wasn’t an option for me. …

Rahul Bathija at Yosemite National Park in August 2021. Courtesy of Rahul Bathija.

It’s never easy trying to figure life out so quickly. For me, it felt like a blink of an eye going from a carefree childhood where I spent every day outside on a bike with friends — with hobbies like basketball, robotics, and gaming — to getting caught up in the rush of work.

A lot of us can relate to that experience in our late teens and early twenties of making a “decision. It was tough, but through that process, I met some amazing people, found a love for creating things, and got a job at Dorm Room Fund…

Dorm Room Fund

Built by students and powered by @FirstRound, we provide our founders with access to strong investors, mentors, and a check. Email: info@dormroomfund.com.

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