An Inspiring Friday Field Trip

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  • January 24, 2013

The NEA office plays host to many different groups and individuals--from young entrepreneurs to seasoned CEOs, limited partners to industry colleagues, and friends both old and new. We are fortunate to have interesting and inspiring people come through our doors every day, and some of our favorite visitors of all are the students.

NEA's commitment to championing education is a central part of our organizational culture, and it's demonstrated through our investing strategy, our sponsorships and mentoring activities, and our deep affiliations with numerous academic institutions. We embrace the chance to interact with student groups, and when NEA's Chairman and Co-Founder Dick Kramlich recently had an opportunity to host an extraordinary group of students from The University of California, Berkeley, he jumped at the chance. (Well, figuratively jumped since he is currently recovering from a tennis-induced injury!)

Last Friday, Mr. Kramlich spent an afternoon with the prestigious group of 2012 HULA Scholars and their Silicon Valley tour guide Aaron Mendelson, a Haas School of Business alum and Director at Credit Suisse.  HULA (HAN-SF Undergraduate Leadership Award) is a merit-based scholarship program awarded annually by HAN (Haas Alumni Network) to recognize top Haas students who've demonstrated remarkable leadership achievements. As part of the HULA program, the enthusiastic group spent time touring VC firms and Silicon Valley businesses.

At the final stop of their field trip, the HULA Scholars were afforded an intimate look into the workings of the VC world. Mr. Kramlich offered a personal account of his storied career, the evolution of venture capital, and the history of NEA.

Participant Sandy Diao, a senior studying business administration, said, "We were not only inspired by his achievements, but by his humble and giving nature. He shared words of wisdom that I've hand copied into my daily planner: Respect failure. Don't be afraid of it."

A number of students expressed feeling motivated and inspired by their time at NEA. As Mr. Kramlich and other NEA partners noted following the HULA Scholars' visit, we owe them our thanks, as they have motivated and inspired us as well.

To find out more about HULA and see the 2012 scholarship recipients, please visit:

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