Rough Draft Ventures, the VC fund for student startups that’s backed by General Catalyst, recently announced the start of a new initiative called The RDV Academy. College sophomores and juniors are invited to apply to the program for the chance to spend three months working at high-growth startups throughout Boston and New York City during the summer.
“It’s an opportunity to connect young talent who aren’t necessarily ready to start a company today with tech startups in Boston and New York,” Peter Boyce, co-founder of Rough Draft Ventures and VC at General Catalyst, told me. “We see it as a chance to make even more future founders.”
Students looking to go through The RDV Academy must be pursuing a tech-heavy major, as the program will place them on professional engineering teams. The hope is, through The RDV Academy, young college students will strengthen their software skills while personally experiencing what it’s like to help scale a fast-paced tech company. Ultimately, it could give them a solid foundation on which they can build their own companies further down the road.
According to Boyce, students will be placed at one of 10 companies, five of which are located in Boston and five in New York. Organizations that have signed on to take RDV Academy students under their wings for a summer include B12, BlackDuck, Cadre, Catalant (formerly HourlyNerd), Drift, Giphy, HubSpot, Kensho, M. Gemi and Oscar Health.
“They will not only be getting better at software engineering, but they’ll also be picking up best practices we already implement with founders through Rough Draft Ventures,” Boyce said. “They’ll know what student entrepreneurs need to succeed… to get them thinking about starting a company by their senior year.”
RDV ran two pilots of the program this fall, including one during the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston. Selected applicants will be invited to an overnight Startup Trek in Boston or NYC this winter, so they can spend time at the participating companies’ offices and have some face-time with the founding and engineering teams there.