Sequoia Capital

We help the daring build legendary companies

Venture Capital
  • Program Type
    Venture Capital

In 1972, when Don Valentine founded Sequoia Capital, the term “Silicon Valley” was less than two years old. A veteran of the nascent semiconductor industry, Don had helped power the growth of personal computing and networking. With Sequoia’s first $3 million fund, he backed both Apple and video game pioneer Atari. That Don chose “Sequoia,” a tree that lives thousands of years, rather than naming the firm after himself surprises no one who knew him. It was his humility and commitment to empowering the next generation that has enabled our team to stand the test of time. We’ve partnered with each generation of legendary companies since then, from Cisco to Google to Instagram to Airbnb and Stripe, and beyond.

From the start, we have ensured that when our founders win, so do great causes. Sequoia invests primarily on behalf of nonprofits and schools, with organizations such as the Ford Foundation and Boston Children’s Hospital forming most of our limited partner base. Working for them gives us a greater sense of responsibility and purpose.

Sequoia, 1972 and beyond

    The creative spirits. The underdogs. The resolute. The determined. The outsiders. The defiant. The independent thinkers. The fighters and the true believers.
    These are the founders with whom we partner. They’re extremely rare. And we’re ecstatic when we find them.
    We partner early—sometimes when a company is no more than an idea. We know these crucial first decisions can have an exponential influence on the curve of success.
    Our style is not for everyone. We push when we see potential. We are direct. Some don’t like our approach. Most who know us do.
    Our team mirrors the founders with whom we partner: hungry overachievers with a deep-rooted need to win. Many come from humble backgrounds. Many are immigrants. Many formed or built companies of their own before joining Sequoia. Each shares the mindset of an entrepreneur, and knows what it means to walk that path.
    We value teamwork over showmanship. Our contribution to a company always comes from several of us working together. We’re skittish about the first person singular, and don’t care to see our names in the press.
    Our team is small. We prefer a few people with diverse strengths focused on a small number of companies, and we are always mindful of lessons learned — some painfully — that are eternal truths. Our network is strong. Our advantage comes from four decades of legendary founders helping each other.
    Long ago we made nonprofits the backbone of our limited partner base. Working for these charities brings intense meaning to what we do. It gives us a heightened sense of responsibility.
    We’re serious about our work, and carefully choose the words to describe it. Terms like “deal” or “exit” are forbidden. And while we’re sometimes called investors, that is not our frame of mind. We consider ourselves partners for the long term.
    We help the daring build legendary companies, from idea to IPO and beyond.

Future Phases

Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.

Let’s Get Started.

To apply or join the program, please submit an application.