Rapper Nas is at it again — no, not another follow-up to Illmatic, another scholarship in tech. Nas has teamed up with job placement startup Koru to fund a scholarship for 10 college graduates to go through Koru’s training program.
Koru helps find recent college graduates a job by placing them with a potential employer and running them through a month-long career boot camp as they get started. Coaches from Koru work alongside employers like Zulily, Julep and others to build up skills like team-leading, project management and how to run a meeting. It’s an opportunity for employers to “try before they buy” potential new talent.
Nas isn’t just a distant benefactor — he’s going to come on as a guest coach.
“One of the key principles of Koru is grit,” Koru cofounder Kristin Hamilton told Betabeat, “We look for people who’ve struggled. Nas himself learned through the School of Hard Knocks, and he knows how to get things done.”
Ben Horowitz, of the king-making VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), introduced the Koru cofounders to Nas this past winter — the legendary rapper and the venture capitalist are notorious buddies. Nas went on to co-invest in Koru with a16z through his own VC firm, Queensbridge Venture Partners (QVP).
Plenty of celebrities wax poetic about wanting young people to chase their dreams, but Nas has been putting actual time and money into programs that help talented, struggling young people find good work.
Last month, Nas partnered with General Assembly, the New York-based coding school, to offer scholarships to young African Americans and Latinos who want to break into the lucrative web development industry. Nas also has a scholarship in his name at Harvard.