Venture for America

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Venture For America, Inc.
FoundedJuly 20, 2011; 7 years ago (2011-07-20)
FounderAndrew Yang
TypeNonprofit organization
FocusRevitalizing 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.[1] In 2011, VFA was founded by Andrew Yang, a presidential candidate for the 2020 United States Presidential Election.[2]


In its first year (2012), Venture for America placed 40 fellows in 5 cities: Cincinnati, Detroit, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Providence.[3] In the following year (2013), the cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, and Philadelphia were added and nearly 70 fellows were placed.[4] In its third year, over 100 fellows were placed and an additional 4 cities of Columbus, Miami, San Antonio, and St. Louis were added.[5]

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.[6][7] 2016 also saw the addition of Atlanta and Nashville along with nearly 170 Fellows placed.

In 2017, VFA expanded to Kansas City and placed approximately 180 Fellows. In mid-2017, Andrew Yang stepped down as CEO of the company.[8][9]


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.[3] 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.[10]

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.[11] The skills they learn include topics of web design, entrepreneurship, and public speaking.[2]

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.[2][12] Since 2012, Venture for America has trained over 700 fellows who have worked in 18 cities.[13]


  1. ^ Genet, Danielle (April 25, 2016). "Passion to Profit: Young Foodie Moguls Share Stories of Success". ABC News. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Seligson, Hannah (July 13, 2013). "No Six-Figure Pay, but Making a Difference". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Coelho, Courtney (July 12, 2012). "Venture training helps entrepreneurs succeed". Brown University. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  4. ^ Venture for America (May 31, 2013). "Venture for America to Send 100 Top College Graduates Over Next Five Years to Support Detroit and Cleveland Startups". PR Newswire. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  5. ^ Dahlberg, Nancy (April 4, 2014). "Venture for America launching in Miami". Miami Herald. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  6. ^ Delamotte, Nikki (November 14, 2016). "'Generation Startup': Young entrepreneurs are in focus in new documentary". Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Friess, Steve (November 30, 2016). "How Banza, a Chickpea Pasta Start-Up, Thrives on Attention". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  8. ^ Ballard, Julie (March 29, 2017). "Andrew Yang Steps Down as Venture for America CEO". Silicon Bayou News. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  9. ^ "Andrew Yang Steps Down from Venture for America Board of Directors". Venture for America. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Zimmerman, Eilene (July 18, 2011). "The 'Teach for America' for Entrepreneurs?". Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  11. ^ "Venture for America: Entrepreneurial Fellowships for College Grads, with CEO Andrew Yang". Big Think. October 19, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Schwartz, Ariel (July 20, 2011). "Venture For America Will Do For Entrepreneurship What Teach For America Does For Education". Fast Company. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  13. ^ "Venture for America - Our Impact". Venture for America. Retrieved January 7, 2019.

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