Ripple Ventures today announces its partnership with The Royal Bank of Canada’s RBCx as a program sponsor of the RippleX Fellowship. The program democratizes access to venture capital and startup building to underrepresented students across North America and has completed 11 cohorts. Roughly half of the participants have gone on to build their own startups, in which they have collectively raised over $50M. This partnership enables a new phase of growth for the tuition-free program and expanded resources for participants including access to the amazing resources from the RBCx platform to support entrepreneurs and startups.
As an extension of its fellowship program, RippleX is launching the Fellow Fund, which will invest $25,000 to $50,000 in student and first-time founders building companies within Ripple Ventures’ thesis. This initiative fills the large gap for underrepresented founders who struggle to receive the funding needed to get their venture-scale businesses off the ground. The program’s model of educating founders on company building and capital raising has significantly proven results given the success of its alumni.
“Cracking open the insular startup and VC ecosystem for the next generation starts by bringing young, diverse people into the industry. I started this fellowship program because I felt the struggles that every student out there faces when it comes to learning and gaining access to industry experts in startups and venture capital,” said Dominic Lau, Founder and Program Lead of RippleX. “Our goal is to provide an onramp for college students to learn about what it takes to launch a startup along with a hands-on experience of how venture capital firms operate and allocate capital.”
RippleX has three main pillars. It started with its flagship program which is a free, 12-week, cohort-based program that educates underrepresented undergraduate founders and aspiring investors about company building and venture investing while plugging participants into deep networks of entrepreneurs and venture investors. At the beginning of 2022, RippleX launched a free online course to scale its impact worldwide to any individual looking to learn from the program, but either was not selected to join or is unable to if they are graduated. Now with the Fellow Fund, the platform is one step closer to providing an end-to-end value chain to founders and aspiring investors.
To date, over 1000 students from over 60 universities, and 26 countries have participated in at least one of the program’s offerings, with 50%+ gender diversity and 90%+ BIPOC representation in each cohort. Alumni include founders of fast-growing companies like Lula, Utopia Labs, Rent Mount, Finary, and more. Other alumni have principally launched careers in venture, working at firms like General Catalyst, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Atlantic, and more.
“RippleX was an incredible learning experience. As a founder, going through the program helped me accelerate my understanding of building venture-backable companies and fundraising strategies. Shortly after the program, I went through Y Combinator and raised a seed round in less than 6 weeks. Beyond learning valuable fundraising skills, one of the most difficult experiences as a founder is going on the journey alone. I was fortunate to have met lifelong friends through the program and continue to pay it forward by being an active mentor/friend to fellow founders,” said Lyn Chen, RippleX alumni and current co-founder and CEO of WebApp.io.
“The RippleX fellowship is designed to be impactful for founders, investors, and individuals breaking into the technology industry. Modules cover everything from understanding market dynamics, how to conduct customer interviews, venture capital deal structure, reading through term sheets, and much more,” said Anthony Mouchantaf, Director of Venture Capital, RBCx. “It’s an honor to combine forces with the RippleX Fellowship to provide hands-on learning and resources for students around the world!”
The RippleX Fellowship is a true bridge for underrepresented students to dive into the world of founding venture-backable startups and becoming venture investors. To learn more about how to get involved visit: https://www.fellowship.rippleventures.com.
About Ripple Ventures
Ripple Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that empowers founders to build resilient companies. The firm specializes in pre-seed and seed funding for the next generation of enterprise software, developer tooling, and web3 infrastructure companies. Based in Toronto, Canada, Ripple identifies and invests in the founders of tomorrow across North America by creating a community focused on inclusivity, education, and personal growth.
Ripple is always looking around the corner to predict the trouble and setbacks founders will face to help them drive forward. Our portfolio includes innovative brands like Voiceflow, Roserocket, ZenHub, OnCall Health, and many more. The team at Ripple focuses on bringing access, transparency, education, support, and community with dedication, honesty, and hard work to founders in order to deliver exceptional experiences and outcomes. Ripple isn’t interested in being another name on the cap table - instead, Ripple is dedicated to providing deeply personal founder support throughout the life of a startup. By building meaningful relationships with our portfolio founders, Ripple offers value, insights, analysis, guidance, and mentorship. With first-hand experience in building and scaling companies, Ripple helps entrepreneurs every day, not just every quarter. For more info visit: www.rippleventures.com.
RBCx is a full-service, market-leading platform to accelerate the entrepreneurial journey at every stage of growth – providing access to a complete suite of capital solutions, innovative products and services, and operational expertise to help technology companies scale. www.rbcx.com.