Go West, young designers. Silicon Valley powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is putting its money where it’s…money is, with new in-house initiatives to attract and develop design talent. Today the venture capital firm, which backs companies ranging from Agilyx to Zynga, launched the KPCB Design Fellows Program, a three-month work-based program intended to give top design students experience working on design challenges at KPCB-funded start-ups such as Flipboard, Klout, One Kings Lane, and Square. Applications are being accepted through January 31, 2013.
Fellows will be matched with members of KPCB’s newly formed Design Council, a group of design luminaries that will provide mentorship, lead discussions, and create a community for designers to network. “The importance of design as a critical part of product development and a vital strategy for companies to win in the marketplace is increasing, and KPCB sees design as a key factor in evaluating today’s consumer digital investment opportunities,” said the company in a statement issued this morning. “In addition, to build the next generation of successful companies, the firm is also committed to attracting and developing top emerging design talent.”