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Brother John L.G. White (Spring 2005) Named To Prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program's 25th Class

Silicon Valley-based Kauffman Fellows has announced that Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Brother John Lee Gaston White has been named to the 25th class of Kauffman Fellows a global initiative that fosters innovative leaders through a 2-year venture capital fellowship, industry events, summits, and a venture capital fund. To date, there are more than 713 Fellows and over 1,000 distinguished mentors engaged in the program.

Prior to earning his B.A. Degree in Sociology from Morehouse College in 2007, Brother White graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute where he served as the first African-American Regimental Commander (highest-ranked student/cadet) in the institute's 113-year history.

Pictured above: The 25th Kauffman Fellows Class during a 2020 photo.

Established in 1995, the Kauffman Fellows Program is a transformative opportunity designed to radically accelerate innovator success through self-reflection, peer learning, mentoring, and a structured curriculum taught by venture capitalists and global thought leaders. During this historical time, Class 25 is a strong reminder of the importance of honoring and equipping a diverse group of venture capital leaders in order to make a needed change and drive innovation and outstanding returns.

This year’s class is the most diverse class ever assembled. Out of our 61 incoming Fellows, 41% are women, 49% identify as people of color, and 11% come from under-represented minority groups. It is also the most senior class to-date with investors (firm founders to partners) coming from some of the most prominent firms in the industry and arriving with an average of 5 years of investing experience. Notable firms participating in this class include Canaan, General Atlantic, Foundry Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Tribe Capital, Greycroft, and others. 

The Kauffman Fellows Program is dedicated to selecting a diverse set of industry leaders year after year. Since its inception, they have believed that in order to best understand the world’s challenges and continue to catalyze innovation, the future of the VC industry must be diverse and more reflective of society as a whole. This has been at the core of the Kauffman Fellows mission since the 1995 charter class. 

Over the years, they have measured the importance of a trusted and diverse network and how it impacts the success and longevity of the best investors in the industry. Research has shown that Kauffman Fellows not only have larger returns than the industry average, but they stay in the industry 15+ years post-fellowship, which is 2X the minimum number of years it takes to recognize success in venture capital. 

Building a trusted, diverse network does not happen overnight. It takes months or sometimes years to get the right candidate. Kauffman Fellows is constantly designing new experiences that will strengthen their bond. They continuously create opportunities for everyone to work together and they couldn’t have done it alone. They rely heavily on the support of their fellows and board members to build a trusted network.

Although this year marks a celebratory year for Kauffman Fellows as they commemorate their 25th year anniversary, current world challenges have reminded them that there is still a lot of work to be done. While they share the strong conviction that positive change is inevitable – they believe that it is never passive. They must continue to struggle, persevere, and take action to fight for what is right. Together, with the new class, and appointments of our new and continuation of our distinguished board members – they are ready, and armed to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow gracefully and fearlessly.

About Brother John Lee Gaston White:

John White is the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Cardinal System Venture Holdings, LLC. He also serves a Director and Investment Committee Member at Cardinal System Holdings, LLC., (“Cardinal”), a single family office holding company that serves as a platform for multi-generational business ownership and strategic investments.

Pictured above: Brother JLG White during a 2019 visit to the ancient city of Petra.

John pioneered a “tech-hybrid” investment approach for Cardinal System Ventures that merges two worlds – traditional brick and mortar business assets and leading technology solutions – seeking out common threads across wide ranging industries and disciplines in a closed looped ecosystem. For his work in venture capital, John was selected as a 2019 REALITY Venture cohort participate through the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Pictured above: Brother JLG White and Kethlyn White.

Over the course of his career, he has worked extensively in the United States, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Southeast Asa. Most recently, he worked with MetricStream Inc., a venture-backed technology company based in Palo Alto, CA. John was MetricStream’s first Regional & Country Head for Australia, New Zealand (ANZ) and Asia Pacific markets. Under his leadership, John launched MetricStream’s office in Sydney, Australia, led the company’s first market entry in the Philippines and Vietnam, and secured the company’s first customers and partners in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand.

Pictured above: Brother JLG White and a few of his Transcendent 12 (Spring 2005) line brothers L-R Kareem V. Hawthorne, JLG White, Harry E. Johnson, Jr., and William G. Jurist.

John is a Young Leaders Circle (YLC) member of the Milken Institute and a Leadership Council member of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. He serves on the board of directors for the Florida Venture Forum and Summer Search - New York City and is an advisory board member of the Coalition of Black Excellence. John is a tech-hybrid investor, entrepreneur, advisor, writer and poet. 

Pictured above: From college days circa 2005, the complete alignment of the Transcendent 12 at Morehouse College's Alpha Rho Chapter in Atlanta, Georgia.


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