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Venture for America - starting with students

It's a vicious circle: cities that lose their industry are not attractive for young college graduates, and so there's no new talent, no new young fresh ideas to boost the economy. Venture for America takes this challenge head on.

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Venture for America recruits graduate students to work for two years in startups. But rather than pick the usual suspects: silicon valley or New York, it focusses on placing those graduates in 'low-cost' cities which are struggling: Detroit, Providence, New Orleans, etc. Here's a quote from their site:

"OUR MISSION

Venture for America will recruit the best and brightest college grads to work for two years at emerging start-ups and early-stage companies in lower-cost cities (e.g., Detroit, Providence, New Orleans). Modeled after Teach for America, Venture for America will provide a path for entrepreneurship to college grads who want to learn how to build companies and create jobs.

Goals:

  • Drive talent to create jobs and spur enterprise in lower-cost cities.
  • Provide a path for entrepreneurship for young, talented college graduates.
  • Encourage entrepreneurship in parts of the United States that struggle to attract young college graduates.

The goal is that a substantial proportion of the VFA Fellows will become successful entrepreneurs, preferably rooted in the communities to which they’re assigned. Venture for America's purpose is job generation - our goal is to generate 100,000 U.S. jobs by 2025."

It's so inspiring to see approaches like this, which frame what might be seen as a problem by some, and turn it into an opportunity.

Check out Venture for America here. Is there something like this where you live in the world? Add it to the challenge!


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Photo of Charlotte

This seems somewhat similar to The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program - http://wayne.edu/detroitfellows - in which mid-career professionals are placed in minimum 2 year placements in civic organisations in Detroit.

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