We recognized early on the importance of recruiting next-generation talent into our companies. In 2012, we started the Kleiner Perkins Fellows program where we introduced students interested in technology and entrepreneurship, to opportunities at companies we believe in. By bringing in founders and executives as mentors, we created a supportive environment for Fellows to thrive in. Fast forward almost 10 years, and we now have over 600 talented individuals in our Fellows family. Many of these Fellows have gone on to become founders that we invest in, like Dylan Field (Figma CEO), or leaders at our portfolio companies, like Jorge Mazal (Duolingo Chief Product Officer).
Today we are excited to celebrate the 2021 incoming class! This year, we welcome 102 Fellows from 38 universities across 41 partnering companies—each pursuing their passion for design, engineering, or product management. New companies with Fellows include Alkira, Coda, Dexterity, Imprint, Infinitus, Interos, Nova Credit, Open Raven, Songbird, Watershed, and more. They join a long list of participating companies like Airbnb, Doordash, Robinhood, Pinterest, Slack, Plaid, and Stripe. As part of the curriculum, Fellows will learn how to build a company, find product-market fit, recruit, and scale from founders like Steven Galanis at Cameo, Alyson Friedensohn at Modern Health, and Thomson Nguyen at Hatch. They will also learn how to identify and invest in history-making companies from our Partners at Kleiner Perkins.
We aim to create a diverse and inclusive next generation of talent with the Fellows program. For the past 5+ years, we’ve been fortunate to have gender parity in the program and continue to focus on increasing access to the startup and venture ecosystems for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Tools like Loom, Welcome, and Handshake help democratize these opportunities by enabling us to reach and empower students all around the world. We’ve partnered with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving Institutions, and organizations like ColorStack to help increase diversity in the program. We know that a diverse talent pool is not only the right thing to do, it's also key to achieving high performance.
The journey of a Fellow doesn't end with the summer program. The community of alumni, founders, and mentors creates an enduring network for growth and development, and one that supports generations of leaders to come. We saw this come to life during our first-ever virtual Fellows Alumni conference hosted on Welcome in March 2021, with over 400 Fellows in attendance, and select speakers across consumer, fintech, robotics, blockchain, and more.
The Fellows program is made great because of the inspiring people in it. David Anyaeche, a 2021 Fellow, shares his story on the guidance, mentorship, and friendship he received during his journey with Pathlight. Wenhan Zhang, also in the 2021 class, shares her story on the gratitude and excitement she has for her opportunity at Moveworks.
Please join me in giving a warm welcome to all the 2021 Kleiner Perkins Fellows! To learn more about this year's class, visit the Kleiner Perkins Fellows website.
We will begin accepting applications for the next class of Fellows in fall of 2021. To learn more about the application process and selection criteria, please visit our website.