The James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Program-Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

The James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Program

This initiative fast-tracks the careers of Carnegie Mellon University's graduate students who are passionate about entrepreneurship in the technology arena.

The highly selective program develops each Fellow’s entrepreneurial potential and leadership skills through hands-on experiences, networking, mentoring and courses in entrepreneurship. The program's core is a mentored summer internship with a top-tier VC-backed startup within the high-tech, high-growth environment of California’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

This program is made possible by James R. Swartz (Tepper ’66), founder and managing partner of Accel Partners, a Palo Alto-based venture capital firm with more than $8.8B under management.


  • Summer internship at a top-tier VC-backed startup in California's Bay Area
  • Networking opportunities that include unique access to investors and business leaders
  • Speaker Series Roundtables that bring together Swartz Fellows with prominent entrepreneurial leaders such as Matt Rogers (Nest Labs), Lila Ibrahim (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Coursera), Andrew Mason (Groupon), Scott Griffith (ZipCar), and Jonathan Kaplan (The Melt; Pure Digital/TheFlip).
  • Mentoring and guidance from entrepreneurial faculty and staff, business community members, investors, and C-level executives
  • Cohort and community building with current and alumni Swartz Fellows
  • Entrepreneurship coursework
  • Stipend for networking trips to the California Bay Area


An applicant must be:

  • registered as a full-time CMU graduate student (master’s or doctoral program)
  • committed to and working toward completing a summer internship in California’s Bay Area
  • able to take two mini-courses in entrepreneurship
  • able to meet weekly with the Swartz Fellows cohort in the Entrepreneurial Leadership Proseminar (99-735), Fridays, 1:30-2:20 pm

Each Fellow must have permission from his/her program advisor. Please note that not fulfilling these requirements will jeopardize standing in the Swartz Fellows program.

Deadline to apply (including all letters submitted): Friday, August 26, 2016.
Selected applicants will be interviewed and Swartz Fellow candidates will be chosen by Friday, September 16, 2016.
Final Swartz Fellows will be selected by Friday, October 14, 2016.



a. Application Form

b. Uploaded Resume

c. Uploaded Personal Statement (2 pg max)

  • Entrepreneurial and technology interests
  • Entrepreneurial successes and failures
  • Goals (internship, immediate post-graduation, long-term)
  • Plans to contribute to the evolution of CMU's entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Role of the Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows program in achieving your goals

d. Two Letters of Recommendation sent directly to Dr. Emily Stark,

Recommenders—can be employers, colleagues, mentors or faculty instructors—should be able to attest to an applicant's entrepreneurial inclinations, interests, experiences, practices, or goals.


Questions? Contact Dr. Emily Stark,

CIE Calendar

Applying to the program

APPLY by Friday, August 26, 2016. 

2016-17 Important Dates & Deadlines

Deadline to apply: August 26
Candidate selection: September 16
Swartz Fellows announcement: October 14

Meet the Swartz Fellows

2015-16 cohort

Resume Book

View the 2015-16 cohort's resumes

Words from Jim

Jim Swartz

"What we have here in Silicon Valley now is just a really unique ecosystem. It is a very important job creation and economic value creation engine for the world. I think it’s important that these students be exposed to this, whether they decide to come here to engage as an entrepreneur or as a technology company. Some of them will be gripped by it. Others will just shrug their shoulders and move on. But at least they’ve been exposed. I think that’s the important thing.”

-Jim Swartz, Founding Partner at Accel Partners

what they say

"The Swartz Fellows program  taught me how to share and express my ideas more openly and effectively. More importantly, the program introduced me to more high-level connections, which is something that I could never get from outside of the Fellows program."

-Yanan Jian, 2013 Swartz Fellows, Master of Science in Information Technology, Very Large Information Systems Program, SCS

"It created a tectonic shift in my life. I'm excited about where I'm going and Swartz helped me get there."

-Anthony Prats, 2013 Swartz Fellows, Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services Program, CIT, CFA, Tepper


Swartz Fellows at Accel Partners

Swartz Fellows gather at Google Ventures

Matt Rogers & the Swartz Fellows
Matt Rogers of Nest Labs speaks with the 2013 Swartz Fellows

Lila Ibrahim & the Swartz Fellows

Lila Ibrahim of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers lunches with the 2012 Swartz Fellows