The venture capital and startup investing space has become much more crowded in recent years. As partners try and raise money for their new funds and international investors pour money into startups, great deals are harder to come by. Unless one works at a world class, vaulted VC firm such as Sequoia, Accel or Andreessen Horowitz, the entrance of new players makes sourcing the best startups even more difficult than before. Early-stage seed VCs thus find themselves needing to creep earlier into the startup life cycle. One creative firm doing just that is Dorm Room Fund, a completely student run venture capital firm backed by First Round Capital. DRF seeks to form long-term relationships with student entrepreneurs in college; they aim to invest and have an influential role at the true genesis of their startup journeys. Today I had a conversation with Nilesh Kavthekar, a Penn student and a partner at Dorm Room Fund seeking the best student run companies to invest in. I discuss with Nilesh about topics such as: 1) The current startup landscape in Philadelphia 2) Common attributes of the most successful student entrepreneurs 3) How Dorm Room Fund determines which startups to invest in - *four big things they look for* 4) The impact of crowdfunding on the venture capital space 5) The important of forming a relationship with the founder as a venture capital firm ...Among many other things. This is definitely an episode that gives a lot of great advice to students looking into the tech landscape and So enjoy this interview, and contact me through the form under 'participate' if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. Be sure to rate The Disrupter Podcast on the iTunes store as well. Thanks!