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Venture for America announces its first Miami class

Melissa C. Pallett-Vasquez

In yet another sign that the Miami tech scene is poised for continued growth, Venture for America (VFA), a nonprofit organization that recruits bright college graduates and places them in emerging startups for a two-year period, recently announced its first class of Miami Fellows.

Founded in 2011, VFA recognized that every year a large number of talented, entrepreneurial college graduates look for ways to get involved in the start-up ecosystem, while at the same time, many promising early-stage companies struggle to identify and recruit such graduates. Enter VFA Founder and CEO Andrew Yang. Andrew, a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, drew inspiration from the program Teach for America, which similarly recruits recent graduates and places them in high-need schools around the country for a two-year period, and founded VFA.

VFA’s mission is to revitalize American cities and communities through entrepreneurship, to enable new graduates to create new opportunities, and to include value-creation, risk and reward, and the common good to the culture of achievement. In doing so, VFA hopes to generate over 100,000 new jobs in the U.S. by 2025, not just by training its fellows to build and grow companies, but by

“”establishing entrepreneurship as a professional aspiration of our best and brightest”

and eventually creating a new set of role models for future entrepreneurs to emulate.

Although certainly a daunting task, take solace in the fact that VFA consistently recruits top-notch individuals. For example, 92% of recruits are involved in leadership on their campus, 45% worked at a start-up before VFA, and a quarter of them even founded their own companies. And this year’s Miami recruits hail from some of the most impressive universities in the country, including Columbia, Cornell, Duke and Princeton.

VFA will welcome its inaugural class of Miami Fellows this Friday, September 12, at LAB Miami, and will feature remarks from Andrew Yang and Matt Haggman of the Knight Foundation. And because VFA’s goal is to have its fellows become successful entrepreneurs in the communities in which they are assigned, this first class of Miami Fellows could mean big things in the future for the city.

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