Molly Fowler

CEO, Dorm Room Fund

A motivated group of people can do just about anything. I’ve seen it in action from a local barbecue that turned out an entire neighborhood to vote for the first time, to a city that wouldn’t stand for buildings that wouldn’t stand in an earthquake. When the energy of large, distributed communities is met with the hustle and dedication of people and organizations, we can come together and take on any and every challenge.

There’s something particularly energizing about working with students — their drive, focus, and ambition for the future is completely contagious. From coaching young entrepreneurs to turning out college students to vote in campaigns — politics’ version of startups — a focus on future generations has been a guiding principle throughout my career.

That’s exactly why I feel so fortunate to find myself at First Round. As the CEO of Dorm Room Fund, First Round’s student investment fund, I get to work with an incredible crew of young individuals that are motivated — and empowered — to architect the future by investing in and supporting their fellow student founders.

I draw my motivation from those who surround me, which is why I’m fired up each day by the Dorm Room Fund and First Round teams’ commitment to each other and our founders. Whether it’s a late night practice session before a pitch competition, the countless founder interviews our student partners take on, or their dedication to recruiting an incredible, diverse new cohort of students to follow on in their footsteps, Dorm Room Fund’s students are constantly investing in each other and our community. I’m honored to play a role in shaping Dorm Room Fund’s vision and strategic direction as it continues to scale as the premier on-campus venture fund.

Prior to First Round, I dreamed up the future of cities at Intersection, an Alphabet/Sidewalk Labs-backed urban tech company. Before that, I helped to run a city in the here and now by working out of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office in Los Angeles — a spot I landed after I convinced him to let me run his field team while he ran for office. When I’m not running DRF (or helping others run for office), I wear a few other hats, including that of an intern at my local wine store, the front woman of a country band, and a lifelong opera student.