Not knowing what it takes to start a company can be the reason an entrepreneur is not able to obtain funding from investors and financial institutions. There are a variety of ways you can educate yourself about starting up a business. You can take classes, get a mentor, or read a million articles online. But, why not get the experience by working for a start-up? This is what the program called Venture for America offers to professionals and graduate students.
Venture for America is a non-profit organization that gives top graduates and professionals hands on experience in a start-up. Their mission is to provide knowledge that future entrepreneurs can use to create opportunities for themselves and others. Venture for America has many applicants each year, but only recruits the best and brightest.
When a graduate or professional is selected they are assigned to a start-up in locations where community development is essential such as Las Vegas, Detroit, and New Orleans. They will spend two years working in all areas of the start-up. Venture for America Fellows are compensated a salary and given health benefits during their time at the start-up. Essentially this program helps prepare the Fellows for becoming entrepreneurs themselves.
There is also a chance to obtain funding for these Venture for America entrepreneurs. At the end of the program the top Fellow is awarded $100K as seed investment for their new or existing company.
How Does the Program Prepare Entrepreneurs?
The program has three components to it:
- Training Camp: This summer training experience allows the Venture for America Fellows to learn through discussions, lectures, meetings, and readings from investors and entrepreneurs. They receive training in a variety of areas including financials, project management, sales, use of social media, and SEO.
The goals of the training program are:
- Provide each Venture-Fellow job related skills to enable them to quickly be productive for an early stage company
- Train each Venture Fellow in the ethos of entrepreneurship and job creation
- Engender relationships and collectively identify among the venture fellows
-Venture for America
- Company Placement: For two years, Venture for America Fellows will work closely with start-ups in select areas of the country. They go deep into the trenches to gain hands on experience on what it takes to work in a start-up.
- Programing & Capstone: Fellows are given regular assignments and readings to expand their knowledge about starting a business.
How Can this Training Help You Get Financing?
Not only does the program offer the top Fellow $100K, this program prepares participants for their own business ventures. It gives them the knowledge and skills needed to start a viable business. They will be able to use their experience to show investors that they have the ability to solve issues, promote a start-up, and essentially run a business. Investors invest in the entrepreneur just as much as the business idea itself. So, when investors see that you have experience working in a start-up yourself, they may take your business idea more seriously and possibly offer you financing.