Entrepreneurial Program Places Grads With Start-Ups
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 23:10
Although not a student of the Carroll School of Management, Alanna Horan, a senior campus ambassador of Venture for America program at BC and A&S ’14, will definitely apply to be a fellow for the program after graduation.
“Starting your own business, creating value in the world, creating jobs, and working in an ethical and sustainable way is, I believe, a really great way to do good in the world and solve some of the same injustices that you would find while studying political science,” Horan said. “Venture for America facilitates a partnership with start-ups from which you can learn and quickly become an important part of the team. You get the opportunity to have a hands-on experience learning business, while at the same time working to help the economies and communities in your city thrive, which in turn gives you the opportunity to do good in the world and solve the injustices that I have spent my time at BC studying through my political science major.”
It has only been three years since Venture for America, a two-year fellowship program that places select talented graduates directly to startup companies, was presented to the world as a stepping stone for young entrepreneurs.
The program recruits recent graduates to match them with growth-stage companies at rising cities such as Detroit, New Orleans, and Las Vegas. Not only do they revitalize the up-and-coming communities by creating jobs but they also learn how to run a business and create value by spending two years accumulating hands-on entrepreneurship experiences. “It is a training-wheel for future entrepreneurs,” Horan said.
Students who are interested in participating in the program are required to go through three rounds of application starting from the free online application and phone interview to a full-day, in-person interview in New York. After the final decisions are made, the select candidates take part in a five-week training at Brown University where they gain business skills and gain knowledge of how to work effectively as new businesspeople. VFA fellows are able to gain access to a vast staff of mentors and professionals for advice and to create a conducive peer network. Following the training session, the members are put immediately into the real world of business through the program’s match-making process.
“They have an ultimate say in where they apply,” Horan said. The fellows apply to companies of their choice, and form a direct employer-employee relationship with them by being hired and paid directly by their employers.
During the span of two years while they are employed, the fellows can receive assistance in exploring housing options in the cities they will live in, and they often live together in groups as roommates or neighbors. Beginning with 40 fellows of the 2012 inaugural class spread across five cities, Venture for America is planning to recruit more than 100 graduates for the 2014 fellowship who will start their career in 12 cities throughout the nation.
Venture for America works toward the two goals of revitalization of emerging cities across the country through job creations and guidance of college graduates toward value-creation and pursuit of innovative and skillful entrepreneurship. By having newcomers of the business world lend their potential as entrepreneurs to early-stage companies that need original minds, it provides a starting ground for both young generations who want professional business experiences as well as a supportive network of fellow entrepreneurs and small businesses that struggle to mobilize brilliant human resources.