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First Round’s Fast Track admittedly started as a bit of a fuzzy experiment. Back in 2016, we felt there was space to build a mentorship experience that could unlock insights, deepen relationships and advance careers — but only if it was structured well and avoided the issues that often plague mentorship relationships. We started small, pairing an intimate group of 20 early-stage founders with some of the most talented operators we knew, with a mission to bring more rigor to the mentorship process — from the frequency of meeting, to the content, to measuring effectiveness.

Fast forward to late November…


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Here at First Round, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to demystify the company-building process and share knowledge more widely — whether through interviews on the Review, new products like Discovery Assist that are custom-tailored to support founders, or curated learning programs like our recent inaugural Founding Designer Track and fan-favorite Angel Track.

The thread that ties each of these together is our fundamental belief that you learn the most from a mix of peers who are currently walking a similar path, and leaders who are a couple steps ahead and can help you find your footing. …


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A couple weeks ago we wrapped up our first-ever Founding Designer Track — a new community for those considering joining a startup as its first design hire. We are incredibly thankful to the coaches who lent their time and joined us as speakers, sharing valuable insights across a series of sessions, from choosing the right startup to join and establishing design as a critical function of the business and growing your team. To get an in-depth look at many of the key takeaways from this first-of-its-kind program, check out our new article on the Review.

As for the folks who…


By: Phin Barnes

During my time at First Round I have learned an incredible amount, and now, after a lot of reflection, it’s time to take that learning and commence my next chapter. Choosing to leave was a difficult decision, and like any commencement, this is bitter-sweet. I will always look back at my time at First Round with gratitude and carry the friendships I formed forward into what I do next.

Making choices that optimize for learning has always led to my best work and choosing to join First Round was no exception. Over the last decade, I have…


Meet our summer 2020 cohort and apply for our remote program this fall

By Ben Cmejla

Back in June, we welcomed 19 emerging angel investors to our 8th cohort of Angel Track. Over 9 weeks, they learn from top startup investors, build relationships, and level up as sources of advice and capital for founders. This cohort is joining a community that’s now 120 members strong, made up of some of the highest caliber operators and founders in tech who collectively have backed hundreds of founders, often co-investing with each other and with First Round.

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Meet our Summer 2020 Cohort

We are already several sessions into this summer’s program and are blown away by the range of expertise, experiences…


See how we’re expanding our mentorship efforts outside of the First Round community

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Back in 2016, we piloted a new program to connect members of the First Round community with high-impact mentorship. As we’ve iterated on the program in the four years since, we’ve used our learnings to distill the essential elements of successful mentorship and hone every detail of the initiative we now call Fast Track. Over the past eight cohorts, our powerful matching process and carefully-curated set of resources have helped thousands of pairs meet up for structured bi-weekly sessions — and walk away with a meaningful, career-changing experiences.

We started off with a focus on matching seasoned advisors and operators…


First Round logo
First Round logo

We don’t hire partners often. We’ve intentionally kept our partnership on the small side, only adding two new investing partners in the last eight years. Historically, when we have looked to grow First Round’s senior investment team, we’ve run those searches privately. As is the case with most venture firms, our recruiting process typically was opportunistic and relied on tapping into our existing networks of founders or angel investors.

Over the past several weeks, important discussions have highlighted why this recruiting practice props up problematic, structural barriers to including more voices in our industry. This post from Kapor Capital’s Brian…


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Here at First Round, we’re always tinkering with different ways to bring incredible people together, whether it’s in intimate guided dinners, annual summits, or carefully-constructed learning programs such as Co-Founder Forum and Fast Track. Time again and time again, we’ve seen the power of getting members of our community in the same room (or on a Zoom call these days) to share hard-won insights from big wins and honest reflections on missteps.

In the past few years we’ve experimented with a unique set of experiences called Unconferences, where we’ve brought together a curated group for peer-to-peer sessions to discuss select…


By Hayley Barna

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Like many of you, I’ve found myself using the word “unprecedented” over and over again these last few months. There are no adjectives that adequately convey how hard our country—and New York City in particular—has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet at First Round, we’ve been so inspired by how this #NewYorkTough community and the startup world more broadly have pulled together.

As we enter this new era, while we don’t know exactly what is ahead of us, we do believe that support for founders will be more critical than ever. We’re figuring out what…


Full-time, based in New York

First Round is a venture capital firm that’s laser-focused on helping seed stage companies win. Across our offices in New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia, we roll up our sleeves every day to help incredible founders build their companies from day one.

We’re looking to add a Chief of Staff to our team who will work directly with our New York City based Partner, Hayley Barna, as her trusted right hand. At First Round, individuals in this role supercharge our investment team by creating and managing processes that deliver world-class services and experiences to entrepreneurs. This role will engage across…

First Round

The first round for remarkable founders.

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