Venture for America Recruiting College Grads for Startup Jobs in Detroit, Providence, and More, Says Founder

7/26/11Follow @jpruth

New companies struggling to hire fresh talent may find help in the form of a nonprofit organization that debuted last Wednesday in New York. Venture for America says it will match a select group of college grads with early-stage companies, particularly in cities that face employment challenges.

“Our main goal is to create U.S. jobs,” said Andrew Yang, president and founder of Venture for America, in an interview. “We think that sending talented college graduates to early-stage companies is the way to do that.”

Yang says his New York-based organization is modeled in part on Teach For America, which recruits college grads and professionals to teach for two years in under-resourced urban and rural schools across the country. Venture for America plans to place its recruits as full-time employees with startups and other early-stage companies for two years. Yang says the program will initially focus on filling the ranks at companies in Detroit, MI; New Orleans, LA; and Providence, RI, with other cities to follow. “We are also talking to [Mayor] Corey Booker’s office to include Newark in the first year,” Yang says. Venture for America says it has $500,000 in funding commitments from its board, individual donors, and other sponsors.

Recruiting recent and soon-to-be grads to help companies evolve is not a new idea. The Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ, for example, matches MBA students with companies at all stages of development through its business ventures program.

Yang says college grads and professionals will be chosen … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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