Endeavor South Africa Managing Director, Catherine Townshend, has been invited to join the Kauffman Fellowship – a highly competitive two-year programme dedicated to the world of venture capital and the cultivation of new high-tech, high-impact companies. She is the first candidate from South Africa to join the programme.
Only thirty-five Kauffman Fellowships are offered each year. They take the form of “practical apprenticeships”, which include professional coaching, mentoring by senior partners, and quarterly sessions of industry and leadership curricula conducted in Palo Alto, California.
As a lifetime member of the Society of Kauffman Fellows, Townshend – along with Endeavor South Africa itself – joins a network that links together hundreds of investment firms collectively deploying billions of dollars in venture capital.
“This is an incredibly exciting moment for Endeavor and for me personally,” Townshend said. “Endeavor is strongly committed to making smart, innovation capital available to its entrepreneurs. It launched its Investor Network in 2011 with the intention of connecting with local and international venture capital firms and its collaboration with the Kauffman Fellowship further endorses this commitment.”
The aim of the Kauffman Fellowship Programme is to identify, develop and network emerging global leaders in venture capital. Success means that entrepreneurs are building stronger, more enduring companies and, correspondingly, venture investors are realising enhanced returns. Endeavor is leading the global movement to catalyse long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.
Seen together, Endeavor and the Kauffman Fellowship represent an extremely powerful concept. “I believe that the opportunities offered me by this Fellowship will significantly boost Endeavor South Africa’s efforts in increasing the amount of smart capital available to our entrepreneurs,” Townshend said.
About the Kauffman Fellowship programme
The Kauffman Fellows Programme identifies, develops, and networks emerging global leaders in venture capital. Based in Palo Alto, California, the Kauffman Fellows Programme is administered by the Center for Venture Education. Inspired by Ewing Marion Kauffman’s legacy of promoting “economically independent individuals who are engaged and contributing citizens,” Kauffman Fellows to date have made $4 billion in venture capital investments, sparking growth in 400 new enterprises, $12 billion in annually recurring revenues, and the creation of 42 000 jobs.