Two years ago, I received an email from a young man named Derek Keller asking me about the possibility of interning at Highway 12 Ventures for the summer. He was a Boise native and was in the middle of working towards a finance degree at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He had also begun working at the University Venture Fund (UVF) and was learning some valuable private equity skills. From our perspective, UVF is the premier student-run venture fund in the world and we knew that he’d be a contributor. We met for lunch and I was very impressed with him. My partners and I decided to bring Derek on for the summer.
We were completely taken with Derek. A quiet young man by nature, he exemplifies the notion that still waters run deep. Exceptionally thoughtful and mature for his age, he dove into his role with great enthusiasm and vigor. We had a terrific summer getting to know Derek and kept in close touch with him when he went back for his Junior year. Once again, we brought him on as an intern last summer and noticed how much he had learned about the venture business from his experience at UVF. When summer of 2009 rolled around, we were happy to have Derek back for another go-round as an intern. Our relationship with Derek grew stronger during his senior year. Being a part of UVF was an incredible education for him and we increasingly worked with him on projects during his senior year and started talking to him about joining the firm as an associate upon graduation. For any venture fund looking to bring on an associate, there’s no better place to look than UVF.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Derek has started as our full-time associate. He’s significantly raised the IQ of the firm and brought a great deal of youthful enthusiasm to the office. An avid outdoorsman and extreme sport junkie, we look forward each Monday to hearing about Derek’s latest weekend adventure. Born and raised here in Boise, Derek is excited to contribute to the developing entrepreneurial ecosystem here and has already begun integrating himself into the tech community. We’re expecting great things from him and know that you’ll be as impressed with him as we are. Welcome aboard Derek!