Published on April 11, 2024

Top 10 VCs for Student Founders

Published by Jerry Teng

Top 10 VCs for Student Founders

It's hard enough to get VC funding, even harder if you are a student with no prior experience.

You have to convince VCs to take a gamble on why they should expect a 20 year old to be a unicorn founder.

So at unistart, we made a list of VC firms who are renowned for taking those bets, offering support to help student founders to go from 0 -> 1.

1. Y Combinator: the most famous accelerator in the world. Backed 5000+ companies worth over $600B.

2. Neo: new accelerator on the block investing in young technical teams with better funding terms than YC ($600k at 1.5%). Most notable student entrepreneur investment - Alexandr Wang (Scale AI). They also have a dedicated founder track program for CS students called Neo Scholars.

3. Theil Fellowship: $100k grant to drop out of school. Notable recipients: Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum), Shahed Khan (Loom), Dylan Field (Figma)

4. Entreprenuer First: one of the best programs to find a co-founder and raise funding. Their thesis is to invest in talent before the idea, backed by legendary founders like Reid Hoffman (Linkedin & Inflection AI) and the Collison brothers (Stripe).

5. Techstars: the most active pre-seed investor in the world. Have accelerators in 25+ cities . $1 mil average raise post program and have backed 20 unicorns like ClassPass and Alloy.

6. Antler: true day zero investors. Launched a residency program in 27 locations to help founders go from an idea to a VC backed startup. Recently raised a sizable $285m fund to support growth stage startups.

7. Soma Capital Fellowships: the most founder friendly $100k funding - uncapped & no board seats. Have 700 portcos to intro to as your early customers. Backed decacorns like Ramp, Deel, Rippling.

8. Z Fellows: $10k + world class mentorship. Direct access to top tier VCs like Sequoia and Founders Fund. Their community of world class mentors include Marc Randolph (Netflix), Naval Ravikant (AngelList), and Dylan Field (Figma).

9. Dorm Room Fund: the original student run venture fund. Established by First Round Capital, Dorm Room Fund is a $10 million pre-seed fund that invests exclusively in student run startups.

10. Rough Draft Ventures: initiated by General Catalyst to support student founders. Their program is run by students at innovation hubs like MIT, Stanford, and Waterloo.

Did I miss any on this list? Shoot me a message via

To discover more investors for your startup, visit