NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Venture for America (VFA), a two-year fellowship program for recent college graduates interested in entrepreneurship and working in a fast-paced, innovative startup environment, announced the close of a fund—the VFA Seed Fund I—to invest in Fellow-founded companies. The fund is currently at $1M and includes investments from several high-profile investors.
Venture for America has a threefold mission of revitalizing American cities and communities through entrepreneurship, enabling our best and brightest to create new opportunities for themselves and others, and restoring the culture of achievement to include value creation, risk and reward, and the common good. Since 2012 VFA has hired more than 700 Fellows at more than 300 companies in 18 cities throughout the U.S., creating more than 2,000 jobs. To date, 27 companies have been started by VFA Fellows; this fund seeks to support those Fellows in a new, monetary way.
"We believe the news of this seed fund is going to excite and motivate the new class of Fellows, as well as those who have gone through the program, who aspire to build companies and make an impact in American cities," said Amy Nelson, managing director and incoming CEO of Venture for America. "We're grateful to work with such wonderful investors who share our commitment to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, and who see such great promise in our Fellows."
Prominent investors in the fund include: Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn; Graham Weston, entrepreneur and former chairman of Rackspace; Josh Kopelman, founding partner at First Round Capital; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, Inc. and Dhani Jones, former NFL player.
"Promoting and incentivizing young talent to take an entrepreneurial route is crucial to the vitality of our economy," said Josh Kopelman, founding partner at First Round Capital. "I'm looking forward to tracking how VFA's young entrepreneurs use these funds to further their businesses, and watching their success as they continue to inject energy and opportunities into cities throughout the U.S."
"Venture for America is playing a key role in helping to shape our country's economic future by encouraging more young people to start businesses. I'm thrilled support their efforts by contributing to the VFA Seed Fund, and look forward to helping the next generation of builders take on the challenges of starting a company," said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia.
The VFA Seed Fund I is a passive co-investment fund. If Fellows raise $250,000 to $2M in their seed round, VFA will commit 10 percent to round out their funds, or up to 20 percent if they're headquartering a company in a VFA city.
For more information on Venture for America, please visit: http://ventureforamerica.org.
About Venture for America
Venture for America is a fellowship program for enterprising recent college graduates to launch their careers as entrepreneurs and revitalize American cities. After five weeks of training, VFA Fellows spend two years helping to build a startup in a U.S. city with an emerging startup ecosystem where they learn how to contribute to a high-growth business. In addition, VFA provides the mentorship, network, and resources Fellows need to become entrepreneurs.
Venture for America's goal is to fuel job growth in cities throughout the U.S. while empowering our best and brightest to create value in their communities. They aim to produce effective and high-character builders who will found and lead quality organizations throughout their careers.
SOURCE Venture for America