Baby pull me closer to your $50 million fund

Plus DRF companies on the Liftoff List, new HQ partners, and more!

The Syllabus is Dorm Room Fund’s bi-weekly newsletter bringing you the latest news for student founders, as well as startup resources, portfolio updates, and job opportunities from our community of companies.

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What student founders need to know

The Chainsmokers edge Closer to startups - Amid a global pandemic, the Grammy-winning duo announced a $50 million new venture firm, called Mantis. Both musicians have previously invested in startups using personal capital. Read more here.

Do you really need that MBA? - A study published in 645 Ventures tackles this dilemma, revealing surprising results about who MBA founders are, where they come from, and what their backgrounds and journeys look like. Read more here.

Slack off on Slack - Well, well, well. How the turn tables... If your 9-5 channels aren’t keeping you entertained, switch workplaces and tune into live, recreated episodes of The Office on Slack instead. WFH just got more fun. Find them here.

Dorm Room Fund News

What we funded

🌳 Trefo, a company that’s introducing a novel UAV-based approach to make forest surveying cheaper, faster and more accurate. Read more here.

What we’re celebrating

🏆 Ocular Technologies was named a semifinalist in MIT’s $100k Entrepreneurship Launch Competition. Read more here.

💰 Tava Health, a mental tele-health platform for employers, raised $3 million in seed funding. Read more here.

🚀 DRF companies made it to the Accelerated Liftoff List. We’re well-repped by Eat Makhana, Grow, KaoshiAPI, Sleek, Fuego, Cloud Agronomics, Sike Insights, Chefmark and Expedock — which together make up 36% of the list! DRF was the most common investor across companies. Read more here.

👔 Zann Ali, a DRF alum, has been promoted to Principal at 2048 Ventures. Read more here.

Welcome Our New HQ Partners!

This March, we put out the call for new partners to join our ever-growing Dorm Room Fund HQ team. The team focuses on supporting our portfolio companies and investment partners, creating content and internal tools, and building the DRF community. Each HQ member is a specialist-operator with outstanding expertise in a particular functional area.

After a rigorous selection process, we’re thrilled to welcome five new partners — Kai Furbeck, Mahira Dayal, Jeremy Navarro, Tanthai Pongstien and Kylie To — to the Dorm Room Fund family! Read more about them here.

Job opportunities from our network

Fullstack Software Engineer @ WellNested

Founding Engineer @ Workbench

Designer @ PostHog

Senior Analyst @ Exact Sciences

If these aren’t a good fit, check out the Dorm Room Fund job board! 

Additional reading and resources

MasterClass just raised $100 million for celebrity-fueled content - According to Bloomberg, this brings the entertainment-education company’s valuation up to $800 million. Read more here.

We’re all live-streamers now, and Zoom is our stage - Read more here.

Andreessen Horowitz backs Clubhouse - The new audio-based social app, which currently has fewer than 5,000 beta testers, is now valued at $100 million. Read more here.

A pizzeria owner made money buying his own pizza on DoorDash - The app listed pizza for $16 a pie, but paid the restaurant their listed price of $24. Through DoorDash, he cleaned out an $8 profit per pizza. Read more here.

Thanks for reading

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Working on something big? Apply to be considered for an investment from Dorm Room Fund. Know a student founder we should meet or have comments, questions, or suggestions for the newsletter? Send us an email at


Photo by Thomas Serer on Unsplash