Remember our post about universities as incubators? A new non-profit is leveraging the products of those incubators, namely their graduates, for the purpose of job creation and creative activity in cities that struggle to attract new talent. Venture for America finds 50 Fellows, each of which a recent graduate with unusually high motivation and experience, and inserts them into smaller start ups in cities like Detroit, New Orleans, or Providence, Rhode Island. The program is meant to increase these cities’ access to talent in an effort to create new jobs and spur renewed economic activity in some of America’s most down-and-out cities.
Fellows don’t necessarily have experience in entrepreneurship, but each of them already appears entrepreneurial. The question is whether these young graduates can maintain their bright-eyed visions and idealistic energy for two years in cities where few others like them live and with a salary half of what they could be making elsewhere ($32-38K per year).
Venture for America’s goal is to create 100,000 new jobs by 2025. It’s a tall order for 50 Fellows, but if the program is successful, there will be others to take on the task, and increasingly friendly economic environments in their cities of focus. Keep an eye on this one.
- Terra Curtis