In this exclusive guest post, Cris Landa of Venture for America provides an inside look at their fellowship program that brings young talent to the Detroit Metro Area. Companies throughout the area, including MVCA member Fontinalis Partners, have participated in the program.
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Venture for America (VFA) is a selective entrepreneurial and investment community fellowship program that recruits top-notch young talent from across the country to work as full-time employees at promising startups and investment organizations across 18 cities. VFA’s company partners hire Fellows as full-time employees for roles ranging from sales hustlers to coding wizards to savvy VC associates. During the fellowship, they work as full-time employees on a team, learning how to contribute to the success of a high-growth business and have access to mentorship and ongoing training through the nationwide VFA community.
VFA launched in Detroit in 2012, the organization’s inaugural year. Since 2012, VFA has brought 82 entrepreneurially minded recent college graduates to the Detroit Metro Area (including Ann Arbor). Throughout five placement cycles, 47 companies have benefited from top-notch talent in a variety of sectors – from people analytics-startups like Sift, to drone-tech startups like Sky Specs, to venture capital firms like Fontinalis Partners.
For the national VFA class starting summer of 2017, we have selected 208 individuals to form our most qualified and diverse class to date. Qualified candidates score highly in the following categories: Mission Alignment, Potential to Contribute, and Character as measured by rubrics used for written applications, skype interviews, and in-person Selection Day activities. We aim to bring 20 Fellows to the Detroit Metro Area through our Match hiring process which is happening right now through mid-June (with August start dates).
VFA Fellows are exceptional, creative, ambitious, and high-character individuals who want to add value to your team on day one. VFA knows how important a team is to a company’s success, and how high-growth companies contribute to a region’s economic development. We also know that startups typically do not have the bandwidth or resources available to recruit at top schools across the country. Venture for America bridges that gap and is fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs. If you are interested in accessing this talent pipeline or learning more about our program reach out to me at [email protected].