Prestigious Kauffman Fellowship Awarded to Rady Student
Minehart | May
Niall O’Donnell, a student in the Rady School of Management has been named by the Center for Venture Education as one of 30 Kauffman Fellows for 2006. The Kauffman Fellows Program educates, develops and networks emerging leaders in the venture capital industry.
As a Kauffman Fellow, Niall will work as an associate at a venture capital firm while participating in the two-year Kauffman Fellows educational program. The educational curriculum includes classroom time, conferences, an international symposium and a customized leadership program. The tuition for the Kauffman Fellows program is $55,000, which will be paid by Niall’s new employer, RiverVest Venture Partners.
Niall’s journey to the Kauffman Fellowship
began with an information session for Rady School
students led by current Kauffman Fellows. Niall then
completed the 40-page application and was selected
from a field of 260 to move on to the semi-finals
for the life sciences, which consisted of interviews
with venture capitalists and Kauffman Fellows.
Upon learning was a finalist, Niall packed his bags
for San Mateo once again, to participate in a mentor
event where finalists spent time with venture capitalists
who were serving as mentors for the program. Niall
took this time to pitch Defibra, the company he created
with Rady classmates for their “Lab to Market”
course, which won his team second place in a venture
competition earlier this year. The mentors were impressed
with his presentation, which Niall attributes to the
Rady School saying, “"Before I came to
Rady I had limited finance knowledge and no experience
pitching an idea to potential investors. Through the
Rady MBA I was mentored by local venture capitalists
and experienced firsthand pitching biotech start-ups."
Three weeks later, Niall received an offer to do his Kauffman Fellowship at RiverVest Venture Partners, a St. Louis firm that invests nationwide in emerging medical device, biopharmaceutical and other healthcare venture opportunities. Niall will begin work this month and have his first Kauffman event later in the summer. He will return to UC San Diego in August for his Rady School commencement ceremony, as part of the school’s first graduating MBA class.