The Houston-based Slavin Family Foundation has launched a new fellowship program that offers support, mentorship, and a scholarship to a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing potentially world-changing entrepreneurial projects.
The Slavin Fellowship program will primarily be run remotely, with the Foundation’s team and its contacts, and the Fellows themselves, located across the US and the world. According to the Foundation, this will enable it to leverage resources to help each Fellow at the greatest convenience to him or her.
The Fellowship team is led by Nick Slavin, the Foundation’s CEO and trustee, and consists of top professors in the sciences and humanities, entrepreneurs, investors, and other leaders. Slavin is an entrepreneur and founder of EES Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm focusing on energy and sustainability technologies.
“The Fellowship is designed to provide students with entrepreneurial interests the resources and support they need to pursue their ideas while staying in school, something few, if any, other programs offer,” says Olav Sorenson, Frederick Frank ’54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management at Yale University, and a member of the Foundation’s advisory board.
“We’ll take a sincere interest in the students in our program at a time when they’re faced with a wide field of choices, and help them chart the best path forward,” says Slavin.
There are three application deadlines annually. For the 2015-2016 year, they are October 15, 2015; February 15, 2016; and June 15, 2016. The program will last one year, beginning as soon as a Fellow is invited into the program. Upon the awarding of a Fellowship, the Foundation will discuss with the Fellow, in coordination with a sponsoring professor, ways it can help the Fellow and his or her project over the course of the year. Fellows also receive a $2,500 scholarship.
“The mentoring aspect and the quality of the team’s connections are what make this meaningful,” says Erica Lutes, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission at the U.S. Embassy in Belgium, and a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. “It’s not just money and no follow up.”
Lutes says she feels the access and benefits offered compare well to other long-standing foundation scholarship programs.
On its website, the Foundation states that its hope is that its long-term impact will be as “a meaningful supporter of independent thinking and the exploring spirit that pushes the boundaries of what is possible.”
“We believe that helping and encouraging the most gifted and dedicated young leaders with a heart to help humanity is one of the most efficient and leveraged ways that we can make a positive difference in the world,” says Slavin.
A fuller description of the Slavin Fellowship, including application instructions, can be found at http://slavinfoundation.org.