New Venture Fellows

Bringing expertise, rigor, and guidance for Duke Start-Ups

Overview of the Venture Fellows Program

Our New Venture Fellows turn their innovation and entrepreneurship passion into expertise. Our fellowship program is formed from carefully selected MBA students.  The Fellows are responsible for assisting Duke start-ups with a variety of activities, from putting together investor pitch decks, to assessing competitive landscape, to informing overall business plan development and corporate strategy.  The New Venture Fellows work closely with the Mentors-in-Residence (MIR), attend New Ventures Staff meetings, and form a vital cog in the Duke startup ecosystem.

The initial phase of the program (for first-time NVFs) pairs the Fellow with a MIR on a defined, semester-long project in conjunction with Fuqua’s Mentored Study program. Upon successful completion of the initial project, the NVF may be asked back to work in a paid position where they would be staffed on multiple start-up projects based on their expertise and the companies’ needs.

What we’re looking for

We seek exceptional individuals with a passion for entrepreneurship who are looking to commit about 10 hours/week to work with “live ammunition”—real start-up companies at their very genesis. Beyond that, there are no set rules. Some will excel in certain areas, but be light on others.

What is special about you and how can we help you achieve the impact you are trying to make?

Why do we need venture fellows?

Our Venture Fellows foster a network of innovators, leaders, Duke University and a diverse venture startup community.  By engaging in discussion with successful entrepreneurs, they provide analysis, operational support, source deals, and pitch ideas.

Team Concept

Ideally, every project will have a Mentor-in-Residence, a New Venture Fellow, and a representative from the Professor’s lab, all working together


Provide guidance, feedback, and strategic insight for other team-members. Effectively act as the first CEO of the newco.

New Venture Fellows

Second year Fuqua MBA students. Provide business research support, model-building, pitch deck work.

Lab Representatives

Experts on the technology both inside the lab and the overall landscape. Tasks revolve around generating/providing data, analyzing competition, and building the technical story.

Invention Managers

Guides patent process, handles license negotiation at appropriate time.

Head of DU New Ventures

Coordinates with other resources in the Ecosystem; provides support for the project.