Venture for America (VFA) Fellowships provide for two years of paid work experience with start-up or early stage companies in emerging cities across the U.S. and currently has Fellows working in twelve cities: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Providence, San Antonio, and St. Louis. Venture for America will continue to add more cities for 2015, including potentially Charlotte, Denver, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh
The fellowship provides a five-week training session in essential practical business skills prior to the two-year work placement, as well as curricular activities during each two-year placements. Fellows receive a full salary each year (the salary depends on the host city), as well as comprehensive health benefits through their employer; fellows in each host city are encouraged to share group housing. At the conclusion of the second fellowship year, fellows are eligible for $100,000 in seed investment from VFA, to be awarded to the highest-performing fellow or team of fellows.
All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before taking up the fellowship, and must also be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents who have maintained a GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale.
VFA Fellows will be selected through an application process that includes peer and faculty recommendations, multiple interviews, case studies, and behavioral exercises. The goal of these evaluations is to screen candidates for qualities that distinguish successful entrepreneurs, including: intellect and independent thinking, resourcefulness and an ability to surmount obstacles, leadership ability and initiative, communication and other interpersonal skills, and dedication and character.
Candidates must submit applications by one of the posted deadlines each year in order to be considered for the following year’s fellowship class.