Program Taps Recent Grads for Startup Positions

Venture for America

New York City-based Venture for America is putting recent graduates to work at a number of tech startups across eight cities in the U.S. The program also places graduates in other sectors, as well as accelerators, venture capital firms and economic development programs. But of the companies and organizations participating in the program during 2013, 30 of the total 47 were in the tech space, says COO Eileen Lee.

Modeled after the education program Teach for America, the nonprofit’s mission is to get graduates interested in entrepreneurship. In 2012, Venture for America sent its inaugural class of 40 fellows to work at companies in Cincinnati, Detroit, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Providence, R.I., adding 68 Fellows in 2013 and expanding to Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia. In 2014, Venture for America plans to recruit at least an additional 100 fellows.

The program has yet to finalize the companies participating in 2014, Lee says, but it’s likely tech companies will continue to dominate the list given the large number that make up the startup world.

Once fellows complete a summer training program that covers everything from financial modeling to branding and marketing, they get matched to a participating company for a two-year stint. Fellows are directly employed by the company and receive a salary of between $32,000 to $40,000 a year, as well as comprehensive health benefits.

Prospective applicants can apply online. Fellows are eligible for possible seed investment for their business venture after they complete their assignment.