In the rhythm of our year at True, there tends to be one speed (go!) and very little of the ebb and flow that we remember from our years in school. One of the rare exceptions to that lack of seasonality comes in the first week of June, when we welcome a new class of the True Entrepreneur Corps (TEC) to San Francisco to begin their summer fellowships with our portfolio companies. TEC began as an experiment in 2009 and has grown over the past five years to become a focused and fast-paced 10 weeks, exposing a dozen students per summer to the complete entrepreneurial experience and giving them the unique opportunity to understand what it’s like to work at a startup.
TEC has always been a program with a double bottom line. First, we recognize the need within our portfolio for talented and dynamic summer help, and the Fellows provide this in spades. Equally important, TEC allows us to contribute to the broader entrepreneurial community extending beyond the True portfolio. In 2009, we were helping introduce our small group of students to the wonders of entrepreneurship; fast-forward five years later to the present, and we now see many of our Fellows coming to TEC already having worked at startups or even having started their own companies. So, instead of beginning to kindle their interest in entrepreneurship, we are now pouring gasoline on fires that are already burning brightly. We feel wonderfully privileged to be able to share our resources and our community with talented young people who are the Founders and startup employees of tomorrow.
Our 2014 TEC Fellows are a diverse group by every measure: the five women and eight men come from schools in every corner of the country, from UNC to Middlebury, and Michigan to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Seven are computer science majors and six are studying other subjects including journalism, mechanical engineering and economics. Amongst the group are a jewelry maker, a number of amateur musicians and a fencer. Oh, and a rapper. No matter the differences in their backgrounds and interests, however, they are beginning work this week with the shared purpose of making the summer of 2014 a life-changing experience. In and out of the office, they will learn new skills, meet new people and do things they never before considered possible.
So, to Vijay, Jimmy, Christina, Sunena, James, Aaron, Jasmine, Randa, Kevin, Jake, Raghav, Audrey, and Faiq: welcome to True! We’re delighted to welcome you into our community and are excited for all that lies ahead of you, both this summer and into the future beyond.