SAN FRANCISCO--Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins has announced the first class of recruits for its engineering internship program, which aims to place selected students in Kleiner-funded startups over the summer for work experience and mentoring.
The program, announced last year, attracted thousands of applications from over 100 universities in the United States, with just 25 picked from the crop for placement at Kleiner portfolio companies, including Klout, Path, Chegg, Nest, Zaarly, One Kings Lane, Opower, Flipboard, Crittercism, Nebula, Zynga and Shopkick.
The initiative is supposed to give smaller startups access to affordable raw engineering talent, difficult in an area where big players like Google, Apple, Facebook and others can outbid smaller outfits to acquire the talent they want. It will also afford the engineering students work experience at some of the most cutting edge startup companies in the area, and valuable networking opportunities, with a seal of approval from Kleiner Perkins to add to their resume.
The fellowship students also get paid at what Kleiner calls a “competitive” rate.
“The caliber of students who applied to our program was extremely high, making the selection process very difficult,” said Kleiner Perkins, on the program’s website.
Despite the thousands of applications, however, only two female engineers made the cut to Kleiner’s fellowship program. Kleiner Perkins would not comment on the gender discrepancy when asked.