Founded in 1994 as an experiment to educate and train future leaders of high-growth companies, Kauffman Fellows is now the premier leadership organization in innovation and capital formation.

Graduates from the two-year mastery-level program lead venture capital, government, corporate, university and startup innovation efforts. More than 500 fellows comprise a life-long network of leaders from more than 200 venture capital firms representing funds that invest billions into startups globally.

The program was created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in partnership with leaders in the venture capital industry and inspired by Ewing Marion Kauffman's legacy of giving back. Success is measured in the creation of new businesses that generate long-term returns for principals, investors and society as a whole.

Kauffman Fellows is committed to diversity and inclusion and actively recruits women and minorities.

In 2003, the program was spun out from the Kauffman Foundation and placed under the aegis of the Center for Venture Education. The Center, a nonprofit, post-graduate educational institute, has expanded the program.