Monday, August 1, 2011

USA: Venture for America Fellowship


The Venture for America Fellowship consists of the following components:

Training – Venture Fellow Summer Institute held at Brown University in Summer

Company Placement – 2 years of work at a start-up or early stage company

Programming and Capstone – Regular assignments, readings, and meetings, including a $100k prize at the conclusion of the program

Venture for America will recruit the best and brightest college grads to work for two years at start-ups and early stage companies in lower-cost cities (e.g., Detroit, Providence, New Orleans). The first class of Venture Fellows will be selected in Spring 2012, and the first Venture Fellow Summer Institute will be held at Brown University in June 2012.

The Venture Fellow Summer Institute will consist of readings and discussions as well as lectures and meetings with seasoned investors and entrepreneurs. Venture Fellows will be given a real business to assist during the Institute, and will gain practical skills in order to be able to contribute immediately. The goals of the Venture Fellow Summer Institute are as follows:

- Provide each Venture Fellow job-related skills to enable them to quickly be productive for an early stage company

- Train each Venture Fellow in the ethos of entrepreneurship and job creation

- Engender relationships and collective identity among the Venture Fellows

Fellows will receive training in the following broadly applicable skills:

Use of Social Media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Foursquare, etc.)

- Search Engine Optimization

- Search Engine Marketing

- Sales

- Project Management

Company assignments are made at the conclusion of the Institute. Fellows will live in group housing in each city. Venture for America provides a 2-year curriculum so that each Venture Fellow may continue to deepen his or her understanding of how to build a business even as he or she works. Venture Fellows will meet bi-weekly to discuss work experiences as well as supplementary readings and assignments. After the conclusion of the 1st year of their assignment, Venture Fellows will gather for an ‘Intermission’ where they will debrief about their individual experiences with their class members. At the conclusion of the 2nd year of their assignment, Venture Fellows will attend a capstone at which Venture for America will award $100k in seed investment to the Fellow who is determined to have performed at the highest level throughout his or her Fellowship. This seed investment may either go to fund the Fellow’s current company or to a new enterprise that the Fellow wishes to found or co-found, at his or her discretion.


Whether you are many years out of college or just starting your career, the management, communication, and problem-solving skills you’ve developed will help you as a Venture for America Fellow. We welcome professional and graduates applicants to the fellowship program. All applicants will follow the same selection and interview process.


Salary and Health Benefits
You will receive a full salary plus comprehensive health benefits. Fellows are fully employed by their host company and receive health benefits through their employer. Salaries are estimated at $32,000 - $38,000. All Fellowship programs and benefits are provided at no charge to each Venture Fellow.


VFA Fellows will be selected through an application process that will include peer and faculty recommendations, multiple interviews, case studies, and behavioral exercises. The goal will be to screen candidates for qualities that distinguish successful entrepreneurs, including:

- Intellect and Independent Thinking
- Determination/Ability to Surmount Obstacles/Resourcefulness
- Leadership Ability/Initiative
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Purpose-Driven/Character


All applicants must submit our online application by one of the deadlines below.

Application Deadlines / Apply to the Fellowship [COMING SOON]

What kind of company will I work for as a Venture for America Fellow?

Venture for America has developed partnerships with entrepreneurs, incubators and venture capital firms in target cities (presently Detroit, Providence, and New Orleans) in order to identify companies that have the potential to generate jobs in areas of need. Companies that have agreed to host Venture Fellows in 2012 include renewable energy, biotech, and Internet companies, though innovative non-tech companies will be considered.

How is it determined which Company I am assigned to as a Venture Fellow?

Fellows submit their preferences in terms of region, industry, and company stage of development. Company assignments are made based upon each Company's specific needs with the goal of meeting Fellows' expressed preferences. Fellows will interview with the Company to establish and confirm fit. However, it should be emphasized that Venture for America Fellows are obliged to accept their assignments.
If I'm accepted to the fellowship, can I get an extension on my decision to join?
Due to the competitive nature of the Venture for America fellowship, there will not be any extensions offered on decisions.

If I'm not accepted, can I apply again?

You cannot apply more than once for the same fellowship year, but we welcome you to reapply for future fellowship years.

Can I defer my acceptance?

Due to the competitive nature of the Venture for America Fellowship, we do not permit deferrals.

Can I be a fellow for only one year?

No. Venture for America Fellows are selected through a rigorous process and receive substantial benefits throughout the program. In most environments, it takes at least 2 years to be able to make a significant contribution.

Do you only look for graduating college seniors?

No. Venture for America invites outstanding enterprise-builders of all backgrounds with a variety of experiences to apply. Graduate students and working professionals are encouraged to apply to the fellowship and will follow the same application process as all other applicants.

What if the company I'm assigned to closes?

In the event that a host company is no longer a suitable place for a fellow, Venture for America will find and place the fellow at another appropriate company.
Does Venture for America help forbearance with any student loans I may have?
Venture for America refers Fellows to available programs that may help with loan payments. Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a way to make your monthly federal student loan payments more manageable. IBR is available to federal student loan borrowers in both the Direct and Guaranteed (or FFEL) loan programs, and covers most types of federal loans made to students. To qualify for IBR, you must have a “partial financial hardship.” You have a partial financial hardship if the monthly amount you would be required to pay on your IBR-eligible loans under a Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period is higher than the monthly amount you would be required to repay under IBR.

Further information, please visit

Please quote on your application when applying for this fellowship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator