Venture for America aims to help startups

October 12, 2011
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The New York Times had a piece this month on serial entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s vision for Venture for America, a not-for-profit that aims to put new college graduates to work at startups.

Modeled after the Teach for America program that trains recent grads for two-year stints as educators, Venture is planning a five-week boot camp for the first 50 fellows in June before they’re shipped off to jobs in Detroit, New Orleans and Providence, R.I.

Other cities would be added as Yang’s group works toward the goal of creating 100,000 jobs by 2025.

Participating companies would pay the fellows’ salaries, which the Times says will range from $32,000 to $38,000 plus benefits.

Yang hopes the program helps startups attract some of the top talent that otherwise gets picked off by major corporations looking for new blood.

That approach has worked for Teach for America, but as IBJ’s J.K. Wall reported this summer, the temporary nature of the positions is a potential drawback for schools.

What do you think about Yang’s idea? Will a program like Venture for America work in a city like Indianapolis?

 

 

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  • The Orr Fellowship
    Since 2001, The Orr Fellowship has placed 115 Hoosier natives and Indiana college graduates in startups and high-growth companies around the city and state. As a part of the Orr Fellowship class of 2010, I'm happy to see this idea spread across the nation. Andrew Yang's mission to further promote entrepreneurship to America's top talent is a noble endeavor.

    As someone invested in both our city and the growth of small businesses, I'm encouraged to see the increasing amount of attention and effort being poured into the kind of companies that are creating jobs, not eliminating them.
  • Training
    I'm a student going back for a second degree in technology. It's amazingly difficult to gain the experience employers desire for entry-level positions right now. Startups require their employees to wear multiple hats. It would be a great skill-builder to get new grads into the marketplace while encouraging the growth of small business.

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