Venture for America
|Founded||July 20, 2011|
|Focus||Revitalizing America through entrepreneurship|
Venture for America (VFA) is an American nonprofit organization and fellowship headquartered in New York City. Its mission is "to revitalize American cities and communities through entrepreneurship" by training recent graduates and young professionals to work for startups in emerging cities throughout the United States. In 2011, VFA was founded by Andrew Yang, a presidential candidate for the 2020 United States Presidential Election.
This section needs to be updated.January 2019)(
In its first year (2012), Venture for America placed 40 fellows in 5 cities: Cincinnati, Detroit, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Providence. In the following year (2013), the cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, and Philadelphia were added and nearly 70 fellows were placed. In its third year, over 100 fellows were placed and an additional 4 cities of Columbus, Miami, San Antonio, and St. Louis were added.
In 2015, the organization grew with the additional cities of Birmingham, Charlotte, Denver, and Pittsburgh, and more than 120 fellows placed.
In 2016, a documentary about Venture for America titled Generation Startup was released. The film was co-directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser. 2016 also saw the addition of Atlanta and Nashville along with nearly 170 Fellows placed.
Venture for America recruits recent college graduates to work in various startup industries, or the related industry of venture funding, for two years in economically challenged cities throughout the US. The goal of the program is for its Fellows to create jobs by eventually serving a senior role at their initial companies and hiring new employees, or by starting their own companies, which will then hire people.
Venture for America accepts about 9% of applicants. After acceptance into the program, all Fellows attend a five-week summer training program in Detroit, Michigan. There, the Fellows are taught and mentored by investors, venture capitalists, and innovation firms in the skills they will need at their companies. The skills they learn include topics of web design, entrepreneurship, and public speaking.
Fellows are then placed in startups in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, and San Antonio in industries such as education innovation, biotechnology, VC firms, media, and clean technology. Since 2012, Venture for America has trained over 700 fellows who have worked in 18 cities.
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