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Venture For America
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Venture for America is a program for young, talented grads to spend 2 years in the trenches of a startup with the goal that they will become socialized and mobilized as entrepreneurs moving forward. VFA recruits the best and brightest recent college graduates, provides them with training and mentorship, and places them at partner startups to help build those organizations. Their goal is to participate in the creation of 100,000 new U.S. jobs by 2025.

Entries by Venture For America

Building a Better Model for Microlending

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 11:07 AM

By Jacob Eichengreen, Venture for America Class of 2013

JacobEichengreen.jpgMy freshman year at Wesleyan was the same year as the Haitian Earthquake. I was able to spend 2 weeks of my spring break splitting my time between meetings with the...

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A Startup is Really Just a Rube Goldberg Machine

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 1:43 PM

By Jake L'Ecuyer, Venture for America Class of 2012

Jake L'Ecuyer

We're building a giant Rube Goldberg Machine in Detroit. Or rather, we're gathering dozens of Detroiters from across the city and suburbs to build the largest...

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Progress and Promise in Las Vegas

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 6:40 PM

By Jude Stanion, Venture for America Class of 2012

When I moved to Las Vegas over a year ago, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I had expected debt, depravity, and dehydration, but instead I was confronted with a paradox. Las Vegas is like...

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How to Find a Job with Headroom

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 6:28 PM

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By Mike Tarullo, VP of Corporate Development at Venture for America

I've spent the last two years helping young people launch their careers at startups, mostly through my work with Venture for America. This has...

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Rebirth Realty: The Scene is Set

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 2:03 PM

By Tim Dingman, Venture for America Class of 2012

I live on the 20th floor of an apartment building in downtown Detroit. When I look out my window, I see miles of city stretch out before me. The gleaming black DTE Energy tower stands tall, the tent-like bus...

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Change the Game, Don't Let the Game Change You

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 2:46 PM

By Shilpi Kumar, 2013 Venture for America Fellow

I distinctly remember the first time I got called out for breaking the rules. I was almost at the goal and my name was being yelled out, I looked up then down to find a ball at my feet. It...

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Education to Employment: N'awlins Style

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 3:48 PM

By Alison Schmitt, 2012 Venture for America Fellow

Mardi Gras, jazz, gumbo, education. While just 8 years ago these words might not have belonged in the same sentence, New Orleans, formerly known more for its bars than its classrooms, has become a poster child for education reform since...

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Started From the Bottom, Now We're Here: Maslow and Careers

(1) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 4:39 PM

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By Mike Tarullo, VP of Corporate Development at Venture for America

When I was 22 and graduating from college, there were a couple paths to take.

The first path was to follow my dreams, a dangerous idea because the dreams of...

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It's Never Too Early to Start Thinking like an Entrepreneur

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 8:19 PM

By Chris Schultz, Co-founder of LaunchPad & Flatstack in New Orleans

"Who wants fireballs going out, and who wants her shooting flames?" Lionel asked.

The hands went up for fireballs, and Lionel spun around the flame out of the trumpet arms on Fiona Flames, the new...

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Move Where You Can Matter

(2) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 12:17 PM

By Max Nussenbaum, 2012 Venture for America Fellow

"So," the woman says to me. "Are you going to get a gun?"

It's April of last year, and I've just told someone's mother that I'm headed to Detroit after graduation, to work for a startup as part of

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Small Group, Big Impact

(1) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 3:21 PM

By Kim Schaefer, Downtown Project Las Vegas

It's difficult to imagine the effect that a small group of young people can have on a workplace and a neighborhood. But I've seen firsthand just how impactful the influx of seven Venture for America Fellows into our...

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Belief: Katrina Sparks a Startup Renaissance

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 4:18 PM

By Patrick Comer, CEO and Founder of Federated Sample in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city and culture rediscovering itself as a spark of unique, radiant energy to be shared with the rest of the world. The city's rising from the ashes of Katrina has not happened...

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Big Companies and Startups: Dream Team or Arch Enemies?

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 10:56 AM

By Jeff Weedman and Roanne Lee of Cintrifuse

Meet an unlikely team.

Jeff Weedman is a Procter & Gamble veteran, most recently leading its Global Business Development arm where he initiated external relationships and became well-versed in corporate convention. He is expert in recognizing a business's potential and...

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Big Ideas Can Come from Anywhere (Even the Smallest State)

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 12:17 PM

By Sean Lane, 2012 Venture for America Fellow

I heard someone say recently, "An idea that can change the course of a company can come from anywhere." It wasn't until days later that I realized how broad of an impact such a mindset could create. One idea...

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A Better Path to Jobs

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 11:34 AM

By Steven Mazur, 2013 Venture for America Fellow

On June 1, 2009, General Motors filed for bankruptcy. One week later I graduated from high school. I hail from Metro Detroit, where the Big Three reliably operated and employed a substantial part of my community for generations. When...

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The Need for Talent in 'Fly-over' Cities

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 10:59 AM

By Bob Coy and Mike Venerable of CincyTech

In the basement of the Mason, Ohio, municipal building, a high-speed DNA lab went live last month. The lab supports a fast-growing diagnostics company, AssureRx Health, which is nurtured by an emerging ecosystem of private investment dollars and public...

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Stand for Something that Matters

(1) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 1:21 PM

By Jim Plew, 2013 Venture for America Fellow

For years, I was a perfect example of your typical over-achieving undergrad. Finance major. Investment Banker-to-be. I was driven, capable, and determined to be the best. And I was damn proud of it.

Sound familiar?

That's because I wasn't alone. Like many...

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The Stories We Tell About Ourselves Are the Most Important

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 11:23 AM

By: Astrid Schanz-Garbassi, 2013 Venture for America Fellow

Stories educate, persuade, impassion, anger, placate, and manipulate us. And there are almost no stories that are as important as the stories that we tell about ourselves.

Which is why I chose Venture For America.

Let's rewind. For my...

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Matching Talent, Empowering Entrepreneurs

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 5:24 PM

By: Melanie Friedrichs, 2012 Venture for America Fellow

The Problem

The typical job search at a competitive college inevitably starts with a moment of panic. "Oh god. I'm graduating. What the hell am I going to do?"

A tentative exploration of the career services website then returns...

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Restoring the Culture of Achievement

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2013 | 8:00 AM

By Andrew Yang, CEO and Founder of Venture for America

Back when the Venture for America was in its early stages, we drafted a mission statement:

  • To revitalize American cities and communities through entrepreneurship.
  • To enable our best and brightest to create new opportunities for themselves and others.
  • ...
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